Health professionals must take steps to reduce their carbon footprint, the British Medical Association (BDA) has said.
They are asked to take urgent action to reduce energy consumption and make greater use of electronic communications, according to the new report on climate change.
Health professionals: taking action on climate change urges organisations to carry out carbon audits.
It was published by the British Medical Association last month (April)
They should also:
• make more careful use of electricity
• install water meters
• ‘communicate with other healthcare professionals and patients by email or telephone wherever possible’
• ‘turn down unnecessary heating and air conditioning systems’.
‘As the biggest employer in the UK, and one with a considerable carbon footprint, the NHS needs to take urgent action to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and the contribution it makes to climate change,’ the report says.
The NHS produces emissions equivalent to about a million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, it warns.
The report also recommends that health professionals ‘try to avoid drinking bottled water or using products with excess packaging.’
It advises installing a water filter at source ‘to avoid transportation of filtered bottled water for dispensers’.