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Reflections on COP26 and Delivering a Sustainable Supply Chain

18 November 2021

The past few weeks have acknowledged the vital role that the NHS must play in achieving our shared ambitions on climate change, the environment and how crucial the role of the supply chain is to maintain a sustainable and resilient NHS.

Led by the government’s Net Zero Strategy and the NHS Net Zero Report that commits to be Net Zero by 2045, we are committed to ensuring our Delivering Health Sustainably Strategy makes a tangible impact and that our work with suppliers creates a definitive transition to a green and sustainable future.

We will work with suppliers to provide high-quality care – from the provision of nutritious food and world-class medical equipment, to safe and secure healthcare supplies for all trusts.

We aim to take bold, decisive action, highlighted by our pledge to deliver a sustainable supply chain, whilst also offering support and sharing of best practice with the entire NHS.

The NHS published its Net Zero Supplier Roadmap, charting a route towards a net zero healthcare system and laying out a process for collaboration over the coming years. The end point is clear. By the end of the decade, the NHS will no longer purchase from suppliers that have not aligned with our trajectory towards net zero carbon. From 1st April 2022, all trusts must adopt the Government’s Social Value Model (PPN 06/20), by including a minimum of 10% weighting on net zero and social value in all tenders.

We recognise the value that becoming greener can offer and are working to decarbonise our operations. We are committed to working in collaboration with suppliers to resolve roadblocks along the way.

COP26 has provided a catalyst for action and we now need to turn that into tangible progress, year on year, to realise a healthier, low-carbon future.

Our Pledge

NHS Supply Chain committed to specific actions that we will take to deliver Net Zero. This pledge to achieving Net Zero showcases our collective support and action across the health and care sector.

Our commitments are as follows:

  1. NHS Supply chain will promote and champion hybrid working, using technology as our standard solution for working with all stakeholders
  2. NHS Supply chain will reduce our direct CO2 emissions, eliminate single-use plastics (where possible) and reduce all packaging used in our operations.
  3. NHS Supply chain will champion the supply of environmentally sustainable products and services to the NHS, including these requirements in all future tenders.