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Procurement in the NHS - Action Areas

The principles to follow to procure goods and services more sustainably are:


  • Minimise consumption and maximise re-use - design or specify materials that have been reclaimed, refurbished or that can be reused or recycled;
  • Responsible sourcing - understand where materials come from and specify sustainably sourced materials (e.g. Forest Stewardship Council timber (FSC)) and source durable products made from recycled or recyclable materials;
  • Undertake environmental assessments to identify sustainable product choices;
  • Consider the embodied carbon and water in materials - recognise that the things we use such as steel require energy to manufacture and therefore contribute to carbon emissions;
  • Considered procurement involving collaborative supply chains where appropriate (e.g. to help suppliers understand and minimise their own carbon footprint_.
  • Whole life costing - acknowledge that a low initial cost may not be the cheapest over time

These processes should be reinforced by a clear policy with clear objectives and/or benchmarks, with a review process.

The key actions that can be taken will address each element identified in the table below.