As the NHS pushes forward on its ambitious Net Zero commitments with changes in the pipeline for next spring, we look at what this means for many of the 80,000 suppliers who provide goods and services to our most treasured national institution.
The NHS is committed to reaching Net Zero by 2040 for the emissions over which it has direct control and by 2045 for the emissions arising through goods and services supplied. A comprehensive roadmap to Net Zero was created to meet these goals, targeting carbon emission reductions across its vast network of buildings and operations and signalling a transformational shift in how healthcare is delivered, with big implications for suppliers and partners.
NHS Net Zero requirements
Since April 2023, NHS suppliers with contracts valued above £5 million have been required to publish an annual Carbon Reduction Plan (CRP) for their UK Scope 1 and 2 emissions and a portion of Scope 3 emissions.
This must detail a supplier’s carbon footprint and outline the plans it has in place to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier. This aligns with the UK central Government’s PPN 06/21 guidelines.
From April next year, this requirement will be extended to other contracts. Additionally, suppliers providing contracts valued between £10k-£5m per annum excluding VAT will be required to make a Net Zero Commitment. This will place obligations on many smaller suppliers – a huge part of the NHS network – to get to grips with their carbon footprints and Net Zero.
The challenge for smaller NHS suppliers
These requirements are comprehensive, and meeting the new standards will require many suppliers to make significant changes in operations, reporting, and perhaps even infrastructure. Some will need to develop new or overhaul existing environmental management systems and carbon reduction strategies – something that may prove a daunting task and one for which they have insufficient knowledge, skills and resource.
The Net Zero Now solution
Net Zero Now was established with the specific aim of helping businesses of all sizes to navigate these types of challenges. We can provide a structured, step-by-step approach to help suppliers work through these new NHS requirements, providing the tools, resources and guidance to make the transition process easy, manageable and affordable for suppliers of all sizes.
Simon Heppner, Net Zero Now Founder and Executive Director said, “The NHS’ Net Zero Commitment is a bold clarion call to climate action and signals a step change in the way public procurement can be leveraged to realise key sustainability goals. It will drive positive action on carbon emissions in thousands of businesses. Collectively, these reductions will be significant. Whether you’re an NHS supplier already on your net zero journey or are just starting out, Net Zero Now has the tools and expertise to help you not only achieve compliance and make a meaningful contribution to the NHS’ Net Zero targets, but also help you to realise some of the commercial benefits that accompany committing to Net Zero.”
Contact Net Zero Now to start your journey towards compliance and sustainability.