HC Deb 14 May 2003 vol 405 c316W
Mrs. Calton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent advances have been made by the NHS in improving the environmental standards of NHS premises. [109649]

Mr. Hutton

The national health service has made significant advances in improving the environmental standards of NHS premises.

The NHS has met the energy efficiency target of 20 per cent. reduction in energy use from 1990 to March 2000.

Work is now underway, in concert with Action Energy and the Carbon Trust, to assist the NHS in meeting new, challenging targets of 15 per cent. energy or 0.15 million tonnes carbon efficiency from March 2000 to March 2010.

The "New Environmental Strategy for the NHS" issued in April 2002 requires the NHS to produce local strategies and plans of action against a number of key areas, including: transport, waste, water, energy/ carbon, and procurement.

To assist the NHS, advice is provided in "Sustainable Development in the NHS". A software tool, the "NHS Environmental Assessment Tool", will help the NHS identify and hence seek to improve its environmental impacts. Additionally, to assist the NHS, NHS Estates is involved with: the Government's Watermark initiative to address water conservation; the Department of Health and Sustrans to provide seminars on healthy transport planning; producing further guidance to address total waste management; and promoting sustainable construction as part of the major NHS capital development programme to 2010.