Medical imaging firm Canon Medical Systems UK has achieved over the last three and a half years a green milestone offsetting 20,000t of carbon dioxide (CO2) from its ultrasound, X-ray, CT and MRI machines installed in hospitals across the country.

The scheme has allowed the firm to help improve the health and quality of life for more than 22,000 people, including 12,000 children in rural areas of Uganda and Kenya.

According to the firm, this achievement means that it is the only medical equipment provider in the country to be a carbon neutral business.

To calculate the carbon footprint of its systems used in the daily prevention, diagnosis and treatment in NHS and private hospitals, the firm considered all elements related to manufacture, packaging, shipping and average energy usage for the standard lifetime of a product.

Each month, the sales figures were translated into tonnes of carbon and offset to a high impact project in a developing country.

Canon Medical Systems UK managing director Mark Hitchman said: “We are proud to be a carbon zero company helping the environment at the same time as helping people less fortunate than ourselves.

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“Our R&D commitment starts with developing systems that use less electricity and thus emit less carbon, at the same time as seeing more patients, delivering the highest quality clinical images at the lowest possible dose.”

The firm’s carbon offset scheme offers 35 modern fuel efficient stoves per MRI system sold, decreasing the amount of smoke particles in a family home.

In developing countries, cooking on open stoves is considered as a big health concern, as figures by World Health Organisation say that 3.8 million premature deaths per year occur due to non-communicable diseases such as stroke, ischemic heart disease and lung cancer.