As a system, we're working with NHS organisations and partners to prevent people from getting sick and improve communities' health.
On 1 July 2022, the NHS became the first health system in the world to embed net zero into legislation, through the Health and Care Act 2022.
Two targets are outlined in the statutory guidance Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service report:
- Emissions we control directly to be net zero by 2040, with an ambition to reach an 80% reduction by 2028 to 2032.
- Emissions we can influence to be net zero by 2045, with an ambition to reach an 80% reduction by 2036 to 2039.
We have a climate crisis and the NHS and regional partners have a significant role in reducing its impact and to build a strong coalition to reach net zero carbon.
Achieving net zero will require a growing and ongoing focus across all of our planning and healthcare delivery activities to ensure that our decisions make a positive contribution.
These decisions will not be straightforward and some of them will cost more in the short term which will be difficult at a time that the NHS is being challenged to become more efficient and cost-effective.
However, we have to act and act now at an NHS, organisational and personal level to reduce our contribution to the emissions that are changing our climate and increasing the risk of harm to our citizens. Some of these actions will be easier to achieve than others, such as choosing how, when, and even if we need to travel, while others will be more complex, like planning which services need to be delivered in hospitals, which can be achieved digitally, and which need to be delivered closer to where people live, in more local settings.