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Next Steps on the Supplier Roadmap By Heidi Barnard

3 January 2023

Over the last few months, NHS Supply Chain has spoken a lot about PPN 06/20 and 06/21, as these are the next milestones on NHS England’s Supplier Roadmap. Hopefully suppliers will have seen the webinars being hosted by the Central Commercial Function at NHS England with further information running from now and into the new year.

As we get towards the end of the year however, we’d like to take this opportunity to think longer term, at the outcome we are all driving towards, and how soon 2040 and 2045 will be here. For those who have seen me present, you know I like to put this into the context of a child born today. We have to be 80% of the way to our scope one and two targets, by the time they are 10, by 18 we need to have achieved this, as well as 80% of our scope three, and by the time they are 23 hit it.

By the time they are six years old, the supplier roadmap talks about carbon foot printing, so we thought we’d talk to you around the work we have been doing in this area.

You will have seen from the ‘Delivering a Net Zero Health Service’ report, that NHS England developed a system wide footprint, broken down by scope and categories. You will also be aware, that for the NHS 62% of our emissions come from our supply chain.

As the organisation that helps procure goods for the NHS we clearly have a key role to play in understanding this impact, and working out what we do about it. That is why earlier in 2022 we commissioned an organisation called CO2 Analysis to help us understand our scope three emissions.

We have now received the analysis back and are beginning to work through the data and information and are looking at how we turn this into knowledge, wisdom, and actionable insights to begin to tackle our carbon hotspots.

We know that we are not going to be able to do this in isolation and are already moving to put in place ways in which we can collaborate with suppliers and customers in areas where we know there are improvements to make.

Heidi Barnard Head of Sustainability - Small Image
Heidi Barnard, Head of Sustainability, NHS Supply Chain

We’re looking at how we break down the products, looking at things such as intensity and volume, and the differing approaches we need to take across the vast product catalogue, looking not just at what we buy but also, how we use it and the systems in which things are used.

An area we know is close to our customers’ hearts is packaging, and again we have begun the conversation with customers, to understand what are the top 10 products they feel are the issue, so we can do a deep dive into understanding how those products come off the production line, the journey they go on to get to the ward, theatre or into colleagues’ hands, the packaging that is applied along the way and why, and explore what options we have, understanding the full lifecycle applications.

Again as you may have heard me say before, this is the start of a conversation that is going to be many years long, and I look forward to meeting with more of you and continuing this in the new year.