A net zero NHS: 5 key green plan findings… so far

nhs-green-plan

 In 2021, all four UK health services pledged to be net zero carbon emissions and the green plan was introduced to help meet this target. Since then, many NHS trusts have been working towards achieving their net zero goals, creating their own green plans and Inspired Energy have been helping them do so.

Here are 5 key NHS green plan findings…so far.

1. Data

Data has been a huge challenge for NHS trusts across the UK, from obtaining the information needed to sourcing missing medicine and travel data. The provided data is generally different to their Estates Returns Information Collection (ERIC) data. NHS trusts have vastly different service provisions, management structures and administration; adding further complication to mapping out the data necessary for developing a green plan.

2. Policy

Policy is rapidly changing on an ongoing basis and the NHS releases new information, data and guidance frequently and on an ad hoc basis. Which means green plans must be revised and amended at the drop of a new policy or legislation change.

3. Finances

Whilst most trusts are enthusiastic in achieving their net zero goals and sustainable models of care, they require significant financial investments at a time when the NHS is dealing with COVID-19 and a general financial deficit. Sustainability is being drawn into business decisions and commissioning services when budget allocation is already stretched thin.

4. Procurement

NHS trust procurement-related emissions are a similar percentage to NHS England’s calculations/estimates, which is around 70-80% of total emissions. All trusts should be procuring 100% REGO renewable electricity, unless their contract renewal date is post-April 2022.

5. Decarbonisation

Trusts are also making strides to decarbonise throughout their entire supply chain. From electrifying transport, decarbonising heating and mandating all suppliers to provide embodied carbon emission data for their products and services, including social and environmental weighting in all tenders by 2030.

NHS Integrated Care Systems (ICS) whilst still in their infancy are beginning to have plans to work with other public sector bodies in the area to jointly tackle emission reductions, climate change adaptation and reduce health inequalities.

 

Whilst these findings may look like more challenges for the NHS, it’s the beginning of the road to net zero and each trust can overcome the energy challenges it faces with help from energy experts. Inspired Energy can help support your NHS trust with its green plan and on its net zero journey. Get in touch today on 01772 689250 or email hello@inspiredenergy.co.uk.