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 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 per annum, the NHS will require 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 (CRP) requirements for the procurement of NHS goods, services and works guidance outlines what will be required of suppliers and how it will be implemented.
- From April 2024: the NHS will extend the requirement for a Carbon Reduction Plan to cover all 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 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.
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.
A two-year grace period will be available for SMEs and VCSEs on key future milestones and requirements. Further details will be provided in the specific guidance developed for each milestone stage.
For more information on the introduction of CRPs, please register your interest in NHS England supplier webinars.
From 9 February 2023 to 31 March 2023, NHS England will be offering a CRP checking service. Suppliers can access this service by contacting the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Evergreen sustainable supplier assessment
The Evergreen sustainable supplier assessment will be a tool for suppliers to engage with the NHS on their sustainability journey and to understand how to align with the NHS net zero ambition. It will serve 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 sustainability efforts.
The assessment was piloted in 2022 ahead of wider rollout in 2023 . Suppliers will be assessed against how they align with the NHS sustainability ambitions. To be notified when Evergreen launches, please register your interest here.
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.
Further information about our work with suppliers can be found on the Central Commercial Function (CCF) page. Suppliers can also get in touch with questions via email@example.com.