Commissioning and adoption - Delivering a net zero health service

In October 2020, the NHS became the world’s first health service to commit to reaching carbon net zero, in response to the profound and growing threat to health posed by climate change. The Delivering a Net Zero Health Service report sets out a clear ambition and two evidence-based targets:

  • the NHS Carbon Footprint: for the emissions we control directly, net zero by 2040
  • the NHS Carbon Footprint Plus: for the emissions we can influence, net zero by 2045

In June 2022, each NHS trust in England produced and put in place a green plan to set their local actions. The plans will deliver on environmental impact and reduction of harmful emissions, and will also work to deliver improved patient care, save lives, and reduce costs and waste.

The NHS made a commitment to reduce emissions through the goods and services it buys from partners and suppliers. In 2021, the NHS published a roadmap to help suppliers align with the net zero ambition. The AAC, in collaboration with the Yorkshire and Humber AHSN, have also published some sustainability guidance for innovators, to help navigate sustainability to ensure innovations support the NHS in reaching its net zero target by 2040.

Since April 2022 an in line with this roadmap, the NHS added a minimum of 10% weighting on NHS procurement for net zero and social value (building on Procurement Policy Note PPN 06/20). The NHS also requires organisations to produce and publish a carbon reduction plan, for all contracts above £5m (building on Procurement Policy Note PPN 06/21), and from April 2024, for all procurements.

Suppliers will also be able to engage with the NHS via the Evergreen sustainable supplier assessment. Further information can be found on the Greener NHS website and on the NHS Supply chain website.