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NHS sets ambitious targets for Carbon Net Zero

On the 1st October 2020, Sir Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of the NHS, launched “Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service” report that sets out a commitment to tackling climate change by reducing emissions to net zero by 2040. In doing so, the aim is to be the world’s first ‘net zero’ National Health Service. Based on its findings two targets have been formally adopted to set as the earliest possible credible dates for the NHS to achieve net zero emissions:

  • For the NHS Carbon Footprint (emissions under NHS direct control), net zero by 2040, with an ambition for an interim 80% reduction by 2028-2032, and;
  • For the NHS Carbon Footprint Plus, (which includes our wider supply chain), net zero by 2045, with an ambition for an interim 80% reduction by 2036-2039.

The main areas of action identified for the NHS and its partners are categorised into:

  • direct interventions within estates and facilities, travel and transport, supply chain and medicines
  • enabling actions, including sustainable models of care, workforce, networks and leadership
  • funding and finance mechanisms

This is an enormous challenge for the NHS and the report emphasises that everyone will need to continue to play their part – including partners, suppliers and staff and that in this fast moving area where urgency is increasing, it represents an important milestone rather than the final word. The NHS commitment is therefore to continue engagement and dialogue, further building support for both practical action and deepening ambition. Meeting this commitment will only be achievable if every part of the NHS, more than 1.3 million of us, are working together.

NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group will now be considering its response to the call to action in the “Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service” report alongside a review of its work so far at its Governing Body meeting on 19th November.

If you would like to know more please contact:

Sophie Lamb, Climate Change Project Support Officer at: sophie.lamb1@nhs.net