Equipment reuse saves Scottish NHS £300,000 a year

28th May 2015


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  • Business & Industry ,
  • Mitigation ,
  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
  • Recycling

Author

Claire Perks

The Scottish NHS estate has signed a contract to reuse furniture and equipment that is estimated to save it at least £300,000 in the first year.

The contract was awarded to Warp It, a reuse website, which works in a similar way to trading sites such as ebay.

Participants list unwanted items which can then be claimed by others. They are first advertised to internal staff, with anything unclaimed after a certain period of time offered to preferred partners on the system such as local authorities, schools and charities.

The scheme saves participants money by removing both the need to send waste to landfill and to buy more equipment. Warp It guarantees customers a return in savings of at least five times the cost of its fees in the first year.

If this is not achieved, it will return the customer's fees, though it claims that this has never been necessary and the savings are often far higher than the five times multiple, according to the company's founder Daniel O'Connor.

Reusing equipment will also cut organisations' carbon emissions, Warp It says. Over 50% of NHS Scotland's carbon emissions come from its supply chain and procurement of goods, according to Wendy Raynor, sustainability manager for NHS Scotland. "The most sustainable procurement is when we do not have to procure," she said.

Scotland has 14 regional NHS boards, seven special NHS boards and one public health body. Each has its own waste reduction and sustainability targets. Rayner said she hoped reuse of equipment becomes mainstream within the next one to three years.

"Scotland as a whole is leading the way in the adoption of circular economy practices; it makes commercial sense for the NHS to be at the forefront of these developments and the benefits can then be passed onto patients," she said.

Warp It is used by 30% of councils and 60% of universities in Scotland. It claims to have helped 100 organisations save £329,449 in the past year and diverted 474 tonnes of waste from landfill.

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