South Yorkshire ICB has reduced CO2 emissions in Sheffield by more than 100 tonnes by swapping out which inhalers GPs prescribe.
The carbon footprint of salbutamol inhalers in the city has reduced from 587 tonnes to 484 over the last year following the change, the ICB said.
Salbutamol inhalers are used to treat asthma, but some metered-dose inhalers use a small metal cannister to deliver the medication that contain greenhouse gases.
GPs in Sheffield were instead advised to switching to another that emits more than 50% less CO2.
Research suggests that inhaler emissions account for around 3% of the NHS’ carbon footprint.
The 100 tonnes cut in Sheffield is equivalent to driving a car around the world 13 times.
Dr Zak McMurray, medical director and sustainability lead at the ICB, said: ‘We have worked closely with GP practices, encouraging them to prescribe a different type of inhaler than emits less greenhouse gases. The medicine in each inhaler is the same and patients use the inhalers in the same way so there is no change for patients in this respect.
‘Our medicines optimisation team have supported practices with this switch. We’d like to thank practices and patients for being on board with this scheme. It’s already had a massive impact in the reduction of harmful gases.’
Read more on the role of ICBs in sustainability here.