Save money, save the planet

While green issues are growing in importance, for most NHS organisations the need to keep delivering at pace and in a cost effective way must often take priority.

Yet evidence of the negative impact of climate change on health is also growing, and in October this year, NHS England and Improvement announced a multiyear plan to become the world’s first net zero carbon health system by 2045.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, the team at NHS LPP is doing the research and hard work for trusts to help find ways to strike the difficult balance between maximising efficiency and reducing their carbon footprint.  

Michelle McCann, our Estates, Facilities and Professional Services Category Director, is a member of the NHS England and NHS Improvement Procurement Target Operating Model (PTOM) Sustainability Forum. She suggests three ways trusts can both save money and save the planet in 2021.

  1. Metered-dose inhalers account for nearly 4% of NHS greenhouse gas emissions, according to experts

    Rightbreathe is an online portal providing information on inhaled medications for clinicians and patients. The portal helps ensure the most effective medicines are prescribed and that they are used most efficiently, reducing medicines waste and the resulting CO2 impact, as well as improving patient outcomes.

    It includes an advanced prescribing tool for clinicians to help them quickly identify the most tailored treatment from the vast array available, as well as a comprehensive range of resources - including an app - for patients to help them self-manage their condition.

    Resources for patients, carers and parents are free, and available on the patient area of the Rightbreathe website or the app, which can be downloaded from the Apple or Google Play store. For access to the Rightbreathe prescribing tool and resources for clinicians contact

  2. The Social Value Calculator developed by the NHS Sustainable Delivery Unit (SDU) allows organisations to measure some of the environmental, social and economic benefits associated with the way they operate, procure services and goods or work with suppliers. The calculator can be used in service design and commissioning decisions and may also help organisations meet evidence requirements in the SDU’s Sustainable Development Assessment Tool.

    For procurement, it can be used to inform thinking when identifying the need, developing the specification or engaging with the market. As well as informing the design phase, it can be used as a tool for reporting during contract delivery where relevant and appropriate.

  3. The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme launched in September, offering one billion pounds worth of funding for capital energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects. Under the grant scheme, trusts can apply for up to 100% of costs for projects that meet a specific set of criteria.

    Applications for eligible NHS organisations that would like to have their project assessed has been extended to Monday, 11th January. The NHS LPP Estates and Professional Services team can support trusts with the business applications as well as project delivery and can be contacted

Projects currently underway by NHS LPP to help trusts reduce their carbon footprint include: identifying opportunities to introduce green transport and energy and working with suppliers with strong sustainability values. 

Do you have a top tip to help other NHS trusts be greener? Or is there an area you’d like help with to reduce your organisation’s carbon footprint?

We’d love to hear your stories - and your suggestions on how we can help you. Get in touch at:

Michelle McCann - Category Director, Estates, Facilities and Professional Services.