A Net Zero NHS

The UK government has committed to reaching net zero carbon by 2050. This means significantly reducing emissions as well as off-setting using carbon capture, such as planting trees.

The health and care system in England is responsible for an estimated 4-5% of the country’s carbon footprint so has a major role to play in supporting this. The NHS has therefore committed to reaching Net Zero as soon as possible.

An expert panel, chaired by Dr Nick Watts from the Lancet Countdown, has been set up to look at how and when this will be possible. The panel will explore changes the NHS can make in its own activities; in its supply chain; and through wider partnerships – thereby also contributing to the government’s overall target for the UK.

Call for evidence now closed

An open call for evidence ran from 25 January to 22 March seeking ideas, evidence and case studies. Thank you to everyone who submitted.

Over 600 pieces of evidence have been collected with ideas and examples ranging from encouraging plant-based diets and sourcing local food, to clean energy production and increasing use of technology to manage conditions.

Staff are encouraged to continue sharing ideas and good practice on social media using #greenernhs

Next steps

The Panel, with other healthcare and climate change experts, will review the evidence to inform an interim report. In light of COVID-19 we are currently reviewing the timetable for publication of the interim and final reports and will provide further updates in due course.

We will work closely with NHS staff, patient groups and other stakeholders to analyse options and test proposals ahead of publishing a final report. If you would like to know more please email greener.nhs@nhs.net.