IT procurement in the NHS in England produces the carbon dioxide equivalent of 27,000 patients, says an environmental report from the NHS Sustainable Development Unit.
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The procurement produces 320,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, according to Saving Carbon, Improving Health: A Draft Carbon Reduction Strategy for the NHS in England.
The draft strategy aims to slash the NHS' overall carbon emissions by 60% by 2050, but says greater use of IT could increase the health service's environmental impact.
However, the report says greater use of teleconferencing could cut emissions from patient travel and NHS business travel.
ICT procurement makes up just 1.7% of the English NHS' total of 18.61m tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted each year.
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