Net Zero Resource Pack

We have put together a series of helpful resources for members to continue their efforts to achieve Net Zero, whether following IHPN’s sector-wide commitment by 2035 or in line with the NHS Suppliers Road Map target of 2045. This page details information about our Net Zero programme as well as relevant resources, including recordings and slides from all previous IHPN meetings, in one place to make the content more accessible for members. We hope you find this helpful!


Climate change is a global emergency affecting all aspects of life – particularly public health, with the World Health Organisation calling it the ‘single biggest health threat facing humanity.’ The measurable negative effects on health, which impact individual and community wellbeing as well as health care affordability, makes it a particularly important issue for the healthcare sector, the organisations that we represent, and the day-to day work that our members do.

The healthcare sector also has a significant impact on the environment. The production of medical equipment, transportation of patients, and the energy consumption of hospitals and clinics all contribute to carbon emissions. Reducing carbon emissions in healthcare can improve air quality, reduce waste, save money, and improve patient health outcomes.

To tackle this issue, the UK Government and the National Health Service have set ambitious targets to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and 2040, respectively. It is important that all healthcare providers take proactive measures to reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to this effort.

Government Commitment to Net Zero emissions

In June 2019, the UK committed to a target to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. In October 2021, the government’s Net Zero Strategy set out policies and proposals for decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy to meet the net zero target by 2050. Achieving this target includes measures to decarbonise electricity generation, transition to electric vehicles, improve energy efficiency in buildings, and support the development of low-carbon technologies. The government also established an independent advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change, to provide expert advice on achieving the target.

In 2023, there were several updates to government policy: The Net Zero Growth Plan updated the government existing strategies focusing on the scale up and deployment of technologies for decarbonising homes, power, industry and transport; The Carbon Budget Delivery Plan set out proposals and policies reaching up to 2037 to support the delivery of the 2050 promise; The Prime Minister then announced the government’s “new approach to Net Zero” which included moving the proposed ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by five years; and finally, the 2023 Energy Act was introduced to deliver a cleaner, more affordable and more secure energy system for the long term.

The Cabinet Office previously issued PPN 06/21, which introduced a new selection criteria for major government contracts (contract value over £5m pa) to support the Government’s commitment to net zero by 2050. More recently, the government issued PPN 01/24 which builds on the previous by introducing the Carbon Reduction Schedule which provides standard T&Cs to support contract specific decarbonisation objectives, and provides a framework to monitor and assess the suppliers decarbonisation performance. The document outlines that the schedule is optional and should be included where relevant and proportionate, though it will be incorporated into future iterations of the suit of Model Contracts.

A Greener NHS

In October 2020, the NHS adopted a multiyear plan to become the word’s first carbon net zero national health system. Based on the finding of the Delivering a Net Zero Health Service report, updated in July 2022, the NHS formally adopted two targets:

For the NHS Carbon Footprint (emissions under NHS direct control), net zero by 2040, with an ambition for an interim 80% reduction by 2028-2032, and;

For the NHS Carbon Footprint Plus (which includes their wider supply chain), net zero by 2045, with an ambition for an interim 80% reduction by 2036-2039. As part of their roadmap, the NHS is looking for suppliers to set robust targets aligned with NHS ambition for Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP) scope 1 and 2 by 2022 and scope 3 by 2024

The NHS is currently responsible for around 4% of the nation’s carbon emissions. The report outlines their planned early steps that will be taken to decarbonise which includes:

  • new ways of delivering care at or closer to home, meaning fewer patient journeys to hospitals;
  • Greening the NHS fleet, including working towards road-testing a zero-emissions emergency ambulance by 2022;
  • reducing waste of consumable products and switching to low-carbon alternatives where possible;
  • making sure new hospitals and buildings are built to be net-zero emissions, and;
  • building energy conservation into staff training and education programmes

On 1 July 2022, the NHS in England became the first health system to embed net zero into legislation, through the Health and Care Act 2022. The Delivering a Net Zero National Health Service report is now issued as statutory guidance.

What does this mean for NHS Suppliers?

The second of the NHS’s two climate related targets is for both the NHS and its wider supply chain to be net zero by 2045 (NHS Carbon Footprint Plus). This means that all organisations that form part of the NHS supply chain must have reached net zero by 2045 to maintain NHS contracts.

To support its suppliers, one year after the publication of the Delivering a Net Zero Health Service report in September 2021, the NHS England Public Board approved a roadmap to help suppliers align with the NHS’s net zero ambitions:

From April 2022: all NHS procurements now include a minimum 10% net zero and social value weighting. The net zero and social value guidance for NHS procurements teams will help unlock health-specific outcomes

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

From April 2024: the NHS will extend the requirement for a carbon reduction plan to cover all procurements. You can find guidance on Carbon reduction plan requirements for the procurement of NHS goods, services and works here.

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 the the Evergreen sustainable supplier assessment.

IHPN’s work in the area: Recognising the need to go further

With the impact of climate change affecting our industry, and the industry also having a measurably negative effect on the environment, we recognised that the UK independent healthcare sector is no exception to the concerted effort that must be made to address climate change and in turn, protect public health. This is why, in 2021 we decided to take action.

Ahead of the COP26 UN Climate Change conference in Glasgow, IHPN launched a voluntary industry wide pledge for the UK independent healthcare sector to achieve net zero emissions by 2035, with a net zero supply chain by 2045. This demonstrates full support for the both NHS’ and government’s commitments. Whilst ours is an ambitious target, it reflects the sector’s desire to move as fast as possible in recognition that small changes today can make huge differences in the long term.

We are delighted that so far almost 75% of our members, who deliver care in over 1600 sites, have signed up to the pledge and others are looking to do so in the near future.

Alongside the 2035 commitment, we launched our Net Zero group which brings members together and promotes mutual assistance as they look to tackle climate change related challenges.

Getting involved: How can you join the initiative?

Our industry wide commitment of net zero emissions by 2035 is voluntary. At IHPN we realise that whilst many organisations are well under way in adapting to the challenge, others are just beginning the process of introducing changes that can make a difference. Wherever you are on the journey, we want to support you.

Signing up to the pledge

As it stands this is still an informal process and we don’t currently track our members’ progress. The pledge serves as an indication of the independent healthcare sector’s desire to become more sustainable and our individual members’ commitment to the cause.

To become a signatory to the pledge you simply need to contact one of the IHPN team and they will refer you to our relevant contacts. We can then update the page on our website that has all current signatories to include your organisation’s name.

The ‘Net Zero Group’

To help support independent providers achieve our pan-industry climate change commitment, we formed a working group of representatives from member organisations, which reflects the breadth of the membership in terms of size and provision type. The purpose of the group is to bring together the industry’s efforts, provide subject matter expertise and enable providers to support and share learning with each other. At the latest update, a fantastic 90% of the IHPN membership are represented within the group.

In sessions facilitated by Deloitte, who provide much needed subject matter expertise, the group aims to meet every four months to share knowledge and best practice on how to reduce emissions across organisations. These sessions have been extremely informative, covering everything from how to baseline and set an achievable net zero goal, to procuring electricity from renewable sources and investing in low carbon infrastructure. They have also allowed providers to identify and explore the biggest challenges they face as organisations in their pledge to reach net zero and learn from one another about which practices have been beneficial in similar settings.

Our work programme with Deloitte has so far included the following

The impact of climate change on businesses and their surrounding landscape

Exploration of practical guidance on decarbonisation, committing to and delivering net zero goals

Practical steps to explore the industry commitments, actions, dates and possible communications ahead of COP 26

Understanding the broader Environment, Sustainability and Governance (ESG) agenda and best practice for decarbonisation in transport

We have been delighted with the feedback we have had from members on these sessions facilitated by Deloitte and look forward to continuing the partnership.

IHPN Net Zero Conference – 18 September 2023

“Nearly 2 years since the launch of our work programme to support members on their organisational journey to net zero, we held the inaugural IHPN Net Zero Conference.
A key part of the initial work programme was the sector-wide industry’s voluntary commitment to net zero for scope 1 and 3 by 2035 and scope 3 by 2045, with the majority of members having signed up in support.

The conference acted as a deep dive into reducing scope 3 emissions in particular, with sessions exploring supply chain management, and how organisations can reduce emissions in relation to their investments.

We saw a fantastic turnout from across the sector. Our panels and speakers did a terrific job of enlightening, inspiring, challenging, informing and engaging. Below you can watch a snippet of our keynote speaker, Dr Jonny Groome. You can also download the slides from the conference here.

Danielle HenryAssistant Director of Policy and Programmes, IHPN

“The work programme shows the value of coming together”

“Deloitte have enjoyed supporting IHPN and its members to work towards net zero through our programme of work. We are particularly please that this resulted in the voluntary net zero commitment which was ambitious yet achievable for the whole range of independent healthcare providers – whatever their size and whatever services they deliver”

“It’s important to take stock not only to appreciate what has been achieve but also the work that lies ahead. The case studies we’ve collated for reports highlight the good work that IHPN members are already doing in their own road to net zero. The work programme also shows the value of coming together as a sector to share subject matter expertise, best practice and resolve difficult problems together. We are looking forward to building on the good work so far and continuing sharing our expertise with IHPN members during the next year”

Giles DeanSenior Manager – Deloitte LLP

2024 Webinar Series

A key aspect of the IHPN Net Zero working group is the opportunity to hear from various subject experts, from a wide range of relevant subjects and disciplines. Below are some examples of the incredibly insightful and thought provoking webinars that we’ve hosted to date.

Professor Hugh Montgomery OBE: Call to Action

Eliminating modern slavery in supply chains

We were joined by Alexandra Hammond, Head of Sustainable Procurement and Supply Chain at NHS England, who updated the Net Zero group on the work they are doing on eliminating modern slavery in supply chains and sharing learning which will be essential for providers delivering NHS funded services as well as those who deliver private work.

Dr Kenneth Barker: Reducing Carbon Emissions within Anaesthetics

We were joined by Dr Kenneth Barker, Chair of the Environment and Sustainability Committee at the Association of Anaesthetists who provided an insightful update to members on the work of the Committee, and took the time to discuss with members their progress in reducing carbon emission within anaesthetics.

June Update

Net Zero Resource Library

As part of IHPN all members are invited to participate in the Net Zero Group meetings through their designated organisation contact. Below is a media library with recordings of all Net Zero group meetings as well as the corresponding slide packs and supporting information for your reference. The library also includes useful resources that can support your work to Net Zero emissions.

Other IHPN Engagements

IHPN are also part of the NHS England Sustainability Supplier Forum, where they are working with trade associations and other groups that represent suppliers, to support suppliers in achieving net zero by 2045. Below are some resources from the forum.

January 2022 – Forum sessions focus on Greener NHS update, a programme update on PPN06/20 and PPN06/21, as well as IHPN’s net zero approach and development.

August 2021 – The session provided a ‘Sustainable Supplier Engagement update’ to IHPN members.

Other sessions have included a presentation on NHSE’s Tom Andrew on baselining. The slides from the session can be found here.

‘Clearing the Air’ – How the independent healthcare sector is working to achieve net zero by 2035

Since launching our commitment and working group independent healthcare providers have been focussing their decarbonisation efforts on a number of different areas. Last year, to mark COP27 and one year of IHPN’s net zero work programme, we publish a report outlining the sector’s progress in reducing carbon emissions.

The report showcases some fantastic examples of the work being done by our members to reduce their emissions. The efforts are a true testament to the independent healthcare sector’s commitment to making a real difference in the area and demonstrates that many are on track to achieve the ambitious target.

Communication Resources for Members

As part of our work to promote the 2035 pledge, IHPN have produced an emblem (below) for use on our member’s websites and any other communications to demonstrate a commitment to achieving the net zero target.

Variations of the emblem can be found here, as well as images to use on social media.

We have also drafted a release for members to use for local/trade press when announcing their decision to join the pledge. The document includes quotes from David Hare, IHPN’s Chief Executive, and Dr Nick Watts, NHS Chief Sustainability Officer, on the importance of tackling climate change and the positive impact that this pan-industry pledge will have.

Additional Resources

We have compiled a library of relevant external resources that we think members will find useful.

Greener NHS

The Greener NHS website (previously known as the Sustainable Development Unit) provide guidance, resources and case studies to help achieve sustainable healthcare practices. The website offers tools for carbon reduction, energy efficiency sustainable procurement and more.

You can also sign up to the Greener NHS bulletins here.

Carbon Reduction Planning

The government’s Carbon Reduction Plan Guidance is a useful resource, as is the Cabinet Office’s template for organisations to us as their carbon reduction plan.

There is also a CRP Communications Toolkit to support supplier trade bodies to promote the publication of the NHS Central Commercial Function Carbon Reduction Plan (CRP) Guidance

The slides from a useful session on Carbon Reduction Plans run by the Crown Commercial Service can be found here.


Deloitte have shared access to their sustainability and climate hub as part of the support they are offering IHPN. You might find this article of use, which focuses on tips to getting started with net zero.

Supply Chains

A useful, albeit high level 5-minute read by the CBI and a more in-depth report by the World Economic Forum on decarbonising supply chains.


WWF UK published their Emission Possible report. The simple booklet focuses on baselining/reporting and there is some useful information included for options on measuring tools.

Centre for Suitable Healthcare

CSH have a useful resource library with sustainable healthcare resource, toolkits, case studies and publications

Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change

The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change is an international research collaboration that tracks the links between climate change and human health. Their reports provide insights into the health impacts of climate change and strategies for reducing emissions in the healthcare sector.