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NHS England vows to tackle business travel

NHS England has highlighted how business travel is making what it describes as a “significant contribution” to the greenhouse gas emissions it produces.

In fact, it says in its recently released annual report that “the majority of greenhouse gas emissions” attributable to NHS England’s activities are likely to come from business travel, along with the buildings the organisation occupies.

It says that during the last financial year (2013/14) employees travelled more than 5.2 million miles in the course of their work producing the equivalent of 1.758 tonnes of CO2.

And, as NHS England does not provide company cars to staff, the organisation will be paying up to 56ppm to staff driving their own cars – the so-called grey fleet.

As a result, NHS England has vowed to “develop a programme to reduce business travel and help make the business and home-to-work travel of staff more sustainable”.

It continued: “Business travel reduction is one of the performance indicators for the ‘Excellence Organisation’ programme.

“It is a priority to shape the culture of the business operations, estate and ICT in order to encourage more flexible working patterns that are less dependent on fixed office locations and to reduce the impact of business travel.”

An NHS Sustainability Day held earlier in the year provided staff with an opportunity to engage staff in sustainability issues and to begin to develop work to reduce the impact of business travel.

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