Carbon Reduction Plan update

NHS Expands Carbon Reduction Plan Requirements from April 2024

15th April 2024

NHS suppliers, take note - the NHS has announced the extension of its Carbon Reduction Plan requirements to cover all new procurements with effect from April 2024.

Designed to ensure all NHS suppliers support progress towards the NHS Net Zero Target, the extension provides a phased approach for large and small suppliers using a two-tiered approach based on contract values:

Full Carbon Reduction Plans will be required for the following:

  • Contracts of £5 million per annum (excl. VAT) and above
  • New frameworks where it is expected that the value of the contract to be awarded under the agreement is likely to be £5 million per annum and above
  • All new frameworks operated by in-scope organisations (NHS organisations and organisations acting on their behalf)

A Net Zero Commitment is required for all contracts below £5 million per year (excl. VAT) and above £10,000 per year (excl. VAT)

What does this mean for your business?

All organisations supplying the NHS must have a Carbon Reduction Plan – a current carbon footprint, as well as an outline of the business’ plans to achieve net zero emissions, including:

  • Confirmation from the business that they are committed to achieving the NHS Net Zero Target
  • Details of a carbon footprint with a Scope 1 and 2 boundary, and defined subset of Scope 3 (upstream and downstream transportation and distribution, waste, business travel and employee commuting)
  • Emissions reporting in the context of the seven greenhouse gases
  • Environmental management measures to comply with the NHS Net Zero Target

A fully compliant Carbon Reduction Plan is approved by a company board or a director, made publicly available on a company’s website and updated regularly.

For organisations that already have a Carbon Reduction Plan in place, this update may not change very much for your organisation’s sustainability policy, but is an excellent reminder to assess and update your Plan.

What is a Net Zero Commitment?

The largest change to legislation, a Net Zero Commitment is required for all suppliers working on NHS contracts of between £10,000 and £5 million.

A Net Zero Commitment is a statement that includes the following:

  • Confirmation of a supplier’s commitment to achieve Net Zero by 2050 or earlier for their UK operations on the sources included in Scope 1 and Scope 2 of the GHG Protocol, and the defined subset of Scope 3 emissions mentioned above
  • The organisation must clearly signpost and publish the commitment on their website

An example of this commitment can be found here.

What are the NHS Net Zero Targets?

The NHS has set two targets for Net Zero, which include:

  • For the emissions we control directly (the NHS Carbon Footprint), we will reach net zero by 2040, with an ambition to reach an 80% reduction by 2028 to 2032;
  • For the emissions we can influence (our NHS Carbon Footprint Plus), we will reach net zero by 2045, with an ambition to reach an 80% reduction by 2036 to 2039

At GEP Environmental, our team of experts has years of experience helping organisations of all sizes achieve their sustainability goals, and we’d be delighted to help your business too.

For more information about Carbon Reduction Plans and Net Zero Commitments, get in touch today.

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