Suppliers

The NHS has committed to reaching net zero by 2040 for the emissions we control directly and by 2045 for the emissions we influence, through the goods and services we buy from our partners and suppliers.

In September 2021, one year on from the publication of the Delivering a net zero NHS report, the NHS England Public Board approved a roadmap to help suppliers align with our net zero ambition between now and 2030. This approach builds on UK Government procurement policy (PPN 06/20 and PPN 06/21).

Net zero supplier roadmap

  • From April 2022: all NHS procurements will include a minimum 10% net zero and social value weighting. The net zero and social value guidance for NHS procurement teams will help unlock health-specific outcomes (building on PPN 06/20).
  • From April 2023:  for all contracts above £5 million, the NHS will require suppliers to publish a carbon reduction plan for their UK Scope 1 and 2 emissions as a minimum (building on PPN 06/21).
  • From April 2024: the NHS will extend the requirement for a carbon reduction plan to cover all procurements. Suppliers will be required to publish a carbon reduction plan for their UK Scope 1 and 2 as a minimum.
  • From April 2027: all suppliers will be required to publicly report targets, emissions and publish a carbon reduction plan for global emissions aligned to the NHS net zero target, for all of their Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.
  • From April 2028: new requirements will be introduced overseeing the provision of carbon foot printing for individual products supplied to the NHS. The NHS will work with suppliers and regulators to determine the scope and methodology.
  • From 2030: suppliers will only be able to qualify for NHS contracts if they can demonstrate their progress through published progress reports and continued carbon emissions reporting through the Evergreen sustainable supplier assessment.

A two-year grace period on the 2023, 2024 and 2027 milestones will apply for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs).

Evergreen sustainable supplier assessment

The Evergreen sustainable supplier assessment will be the mechanism for suppliers to engage with the NHS on the requirements of the NHS net zero supplier roadmap. It will also serve as the main pathway for communications and data gathering between suppliers and NHS decision makers across NHS organisations.

The assessment is currently being piloted throughout 2022 ahead of wider rollout. Suppliers will be invited to register in advance of the April 2023 milestone and will be scored based on the degree that they show leadership in sustainability in line with the NHS sustainability ambitions. Information provided through the assessment will be used by the NHS to support suppliers to meet the NHS commitments to net zero and continue progress in sustainability across the healthcare system.

Engagement with suppliers

We recognise that not all suppliers are at the same stage of their net zero journey. While many will welcome this approach, some may face challenges.

We will continue to work closely with regulators, suppliers and industry bodies to shape our approach and give all suppliers the opportunity to align with our net zero ambition.

For any other questions related to our supply chain approach, and for suppliers who want to share their current plans for net zero, please contact england.ptomsustainability@nhs.net