National commitments

‘For a greener NHS’ supports the ambitions set out in The NHS Long Term Plan, announced in 2019, to improve care over the next 10 years.

These initial commitments include:

  • Reducing carbon, waste and water: By 2025, the NHS will reduce its carbon footprint by 51% against 2007 levels. The key initiatives include phasing out coal and oil fuel for primary heating uses, switching to greener asthma inhalers, and reducing the carbon footprint from anaesthetic gases.
  • Improving air quality: By 2023/24, the NHS will cut business mileage and fleet air pollutant emissions by 20%. The key initiatives include reducing NHS fleet emissions (including from ambulances and other specialist vehicles), and reducing outpatient appointments by a third, working with local government to reduce pollution on our streets.
  • Reducing single use plastics: We will deliver reductions in single use plastics throughout the NHS supply chain, across NHS catering as well as in clinical domains. Reductions in use will be paired with improvements to the disposal and recycling of plastic material that remains in operation.

More information about the commitments above can be found on the Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) website.

Now we are going further with a route map being developed to a ‘Net Zero’ NHS.