NHS England commits to net-zero emissions by 2040

Thursday, 1 October, 2020

Today England’s National Health Service has announced its commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040, and net zero within its supply chain by 2045.

NHS England has shown fantastic leadership in being the first national health service to make a net zero commitment and has clearly recognized the urgency of including climate change as a priority to secure both a healthy recovery from the current pandemic and a healthy and safe future. 

Here is a link to the full NHS report Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service which outlines both the direction and scale of change needed, and also provides details of the data underpinning the latest NHS carbon footprint and the interventions required to achieve the net-zero ambition.

Please do support this commitment by retweeting @SusHealthcare and others’ tweets and releasing your own statements of support.

The NHS has set two clear targets for their net zero commitment:

  • The NHS Carbon Footprint (emissions they control directly), will be net zero by 2040, with ambition to reach an 80% reduction from 2028-2032
  • The NHS Carbon Footprint Plus (emissions they can influence), will be net zero by 2045, with ambition to reach an 80% reduction from 2036-2039

As outlined in the report, Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service, every area of the NHS will need to act if net zero is to be achieved and the NHS Constitution will therefore be updated, making the response to climate change a key responsibility for all staff.  Every NHS organisation will assign a board-level net zero lead to support this work.

Dr Nick Watts, Chair of the NHS Net Zero Panel will introduce the new report in a virtual session.

This is a really groundbreaking report which sets the standard for other health systems to follow throughout the rest of the world. We commend NHS England on its vision and leadership, and we look forward to working with our colleagues within the NHS and our partners in the wider health system to make this happen.