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NHS To Cut Carbon Footprint By 1m Tonnes Annually Through Videoconferencing

The world's third biggest employer, the NHS, is likely to encourage the use of teleconferencing within the organisation in a bid to cut the carbon emissions caused by patients, visitors and staff moving to and fro.

The push, which is likely to reduce the carbon footprint of the NHS by almost one million tonnes, comes as the Carbon Reduction Strategy published last Thursday would see the NHS achieve a 60 percent carbon reduction by 2050.

Teleconferencing would also axe nearly one fifth of the NHS journeys.

However, the usage of teleconferencing itself could face a few issues as it could put a strain on the NHS IT services which are already stretched and would probably overload their data network.

Furthermore, videoconferencing would require both parties to be equipped with high tech, often expensive devices, which will ultimately consume copious amounts of electricity.

The report also underlined the fact that IT procurement in the NHS accounts for nearly 320,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide yearly which could be reduced by making use of smart counters.

The NHS currently contributes three percent of England's total carbon footprint at 18 million tonnes per annum.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.