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NHS Suppliers and Net Zero Goals


The NHS has set considerably optimistic expectations to reduce their Carbon Footprint, in line with the NHS Greener Programme

What’s quite clear is that not every supplier is at the same sustainability stage, and so the timeline to a Net Zero health service varies slightly. A grace period has been implemented for SME’s on the 2023, 2024 and 2027 milestones, however this does not necessarily mean it’s the best idea to wait it out. 


The Big Players 

Whilst many businesses are biding their time, awaiting the milestones that appear to be far away, there are those that are proving to be Leaders in Sustainability in the healthcare industry. 

This comes as we hear that some of the biggest NHS suppliers have come together to make a pledge. The likes of big players such as Microsoft, Unilever, BT Group and AstroZeneca have committed to meet Net Zero by the reduction deadline 2045 or earlier. Suppliers are expected to detail their commitment with evidence to outline how they plan to get there. These particular suppliers have actually gone one step further. They are also offering support and sharing best practices with the entire NHS supply chain. 

However, this is not necessarily realistic for every business that supplies to the NHS. The healthcare service appreciates that not all suppliers are at the same stage of their Net Zero journey, so there is certainly time and opportunity for them to get to the same page.


Procurement Policy Note 06/21 (PPN 06/21)

So how can you make a realistic start? The most basic requirement of the first milestone is complying with the PPN 06/21 standard. The standard was released by Crown Commercial Service in June 2021 and sets out how government departments need to take account of suppliers’ Net Zero Carbon Reduction Plans (CRP) in the procurement of major government contracts. It is subject to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

Since 30th September 2021, all NHS suppliers who bid for large government contracts (over £5 Million) have to comply with PPN 06/21, detailing their commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2045 and how they will reach the target.

As for all other suppliers, it is the 2024 milestone that you need to look out for. Regardless of contract size, all suppliers to the NHS will be required to publish a CRP for their UK Scope 1 & 2 emissions – as a minimum. 

So why should you concern your business with something that you don’t have to do yet?

The Evergreen Sustainable Supplier Assessment 

The Evergreen sustainable supplier assessment will be the mechanism for suppliers to engage with the NHS on the requirements of the NHS net zero supplier roadmap. It will also serve as the main pathway for communications and data gathering between suppliers and NHS decision makers across NHS organisations.

The assessment is currently being piloted throughout 2022 ahead of a wider rollout. Suppliers will be invited to register in advance of the April 2023 milestone and will be scored based on the degree that they show leadership in sustainability in line with the NHS sustainability ambitions. Information provided through the assessment will be used by the NHS to support suppliers to meet the NHS commitments to Net Zero and continue progress in sustainability across the healthcare system.

There are three different levels of sustainability that suppliers can aim towards. Eventually, the NHS would like to only work with suppliers that are complying with the NHS Net Zero Supplier Roadmap. 

Level 1: Targets in line with NHS Net Zero Ambitions

Level 2: Demonstrating progress towards target

Level 3: Leadership in sustainability




Want to know more about each level? Click here.

What’s being emphasised more than ever is how sustainable businesses actually are. Companies and the public alike are looking for more than just the basics. As the awareness around climate change increases, so do the expectations of the public. When it comes to the healthcare sector, there’s also the effect on public health that is a major concern. 

Extreme climate and weather events, such as droughts, floods and heatwaves, are increasing in severity and frequency across the world. 

Around a third of heat-related deaths are already attributable to climate change, and the number of extreme weather disasters driven by climate change has increased fivefold over the past 50 years, killing more than 2 million people.

How Can We Help?

The risks of not complying with national and international legislation can be damaging, but environmental sustainability is also a big opportunity. Our experts can help you unlock the financial, operational and reputational benefits of becoming an NHS approved supplier. Gain a competitive advantage by implementing sustainable practices.

Our goal is to provide a service that helps Trusts and NHS suppliers reach their Net Zero targets with the help of our sustainability platform. Track your emissions, create carbon reduction plans and ensure you comply with the standards designed to tackle the climate crisis.

With our carbon management platform, you can easily generate an accurate and real-time carbon footprint, as well as develop realistic Carbon Reduction Plans.

Our platform analyses and controls carbon and energy data in real-time across unlimited sites with unlimited user access. It facilitates the measurement, reporting, and management of an organisation’s carbon emissions.

It’s also the backbone of our carbon and energy management services. It allows our clients to much better understand when and where their carbon consumption is going with its easy to interpret dashboards and reports. It enables carbon and energy waste to be identified and to better manage consumption, leading to average savings of 28%.

You can also save time by uploading your data straight onto the platform, or let us worry about the data collection for you. Once your data is uploaded, you can generate various reports, including the all-important PPN 06/21 report. Once our experts have reviewed the report, you can download it in an editable format, so you can customise it and share it with your colleagues. 

We can help you with your Scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions, ensuring that you’re working up the ladder on the Sustainable Supplier Framework. 

It’s all down to you and your needs. We understand that every supplier needs something different, which is why we adjust our platform to meet your needs.

The Ensitic Platform can be accessed anytime, anyplace, anywhere with your own personal and secure login.