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. To achieve this goal, we will require the support of all our 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 include a minimum 10% net zero and social value weighting. The Net zero and social value guidance for NHS procurement teams helps to unlock health-specific outcomes (building on PPN 06/20). Net Zero and Social Value will be applied via the Evergreen assessment for NHS England Medicines tenders.
- From April 2023: for all new contracts above £5 million per annum, the NHS requires suppliers to publish a Carbon Reduction Plan for their UK Scope 1 and 2 emissions and a subset of scope 3 emissions as a minimum (aligning with PPN 06/21). The Carbon reduction plan and net zero commitment requirements for the procurement of NHS goods, services and works guidance outlines what is required from suppliers and how it should be implemented.
- From April 2024: The NHS will proportionately extend the Carbon Reduction Plan requirements to cover all new procurements.
- 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 footprinting for individual products supplied to the NHS. The NHS will work with suppliers and regulators to determine the scope and methodology.
Download the above roadmap in PDF format.
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.
The NHS strongly encourages all suppliers to prepare for the roadmap milestones, but will also account for the specific barriers that some may face. Support will be available for Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Voluntary, Community & Social Enterprises (VCSEs) at each stage of the roadmap. For the 2023 milestone, further information for SMEs and VCSEs experiencing difficulty gathering their emissions data is included in the Carbon Reduction Plan (CRP) guidance and Net Zero Commitment (NZC) guidance.
Further detail on the support available for SME’s and VCSEs on these requirements will be included in the specific guidance published ahead of each milestone of the roadmap.
For more information on the introduction of CRPs please sign up to a supplier webinar.
NHS England will continue to offer free a CRP checking service until further notice. Suppliers can access this service by contacting the following email address: email@example.com
NHS England Medicines tenders
All suppliers intending to tender for a contract or framework administered by NHS England Medicines Value and Access will require, at the point of submission, a valid Evergreen sustainable supplier assessment as well as a compliant carbon reduction plan. These requirements are from January 2024 and April 2024 respectively.
More information can be found on the Specialist Pharmacy Service website.
Evergreen Sustainable Supplier Assessment
The Evergreen Sustainable Supplier Assessment is a tool for suppliers to engage with the NHS on their sustainability journey and understand how to align with NHS net zero ambition. It serves as a pathway for communications and data gathering between suppliers and NHS decision makers across NHS organisations and will provide a mechanism for suppliers to showcase their net zero progress and wider sustainability efforts.
Engagement with suppliers
We recognise that not all suppliers are at the same stage of their net zero journey.
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.