NHS SNEEICS - Green Plan

The NHS response; Carbon and healthcare The NHS is the UK’s largest employer and is responsible for 4-5% of the UK’s carbon emissions, so we have a critical role to play.12 In response to the climate challenge the NHS has pledged to be net zero carbon by 2040 on its own emissions (scope 1 direct and 2 indirect) and its entire scope (indirect emissions where we have influence) by 2045 (scope 3). Carbon neutrality, which is the same as net zero emissions, means a balance between emissions into the atmosphere and removal of emissions from the atmosphere.13 Decarbonising our system is our ethos, rather than relying on any measures to offset carbon at this stage. Offsetting involves investing into a scheme that funds something such as tree planting or renewable energy to negate or ‘offset’ carbon emissions.14 The major emissions of the NHS carbon footprint are shown in this graphic (methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride, carbon dioxide, CFC, perfluorocarbons, and hydrofluorocarbons). When looking at carbon emissions it’s important to note that ‘carbon’ is used as a collective term for all these greenhouse gas emissions. This is expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents.10 Decarbonising requires many actions targeting different elements across the system. Some actions are easier and low-cost, including transition to active travel modes such as walking and cycling instead of driving when commuting. Switching NHS secondary care to LED light bulbs would pay back in 3.7 years with estimated savings of £3bn over the next three decades.12 However, some areas will require financial investment and longer pay-back periods than we traditionally use, such as investing in renewable energy systems and decarbonising our heating. Thinking and approaching these decisions sustainably by considering the wider health impacts of a decision (social benefit), the carbon or pollution benefit (environmental benefit) alongside the monetary costs (financial benefit) will help drive the changes needed. For example, investing in preventative measures could cut the cost of air pollution to society by £1.7bn every year.2 Source: Delivering a Net Zero National Health Service12 Fossil Fuels Electricity NHS Carbon Footprint Scope 1 DIRECT Scope 2 INDIRECT Scope 3 INDIRECT Travel OUTSIDE GHGP SCOPES NHS Carbon Footprint Plus NHS Facilities Anaesthetics NHS Fleet & Leased Vehicles Energy WELL-TO-TANK Business Travel PUBLIC TRANSPORT, GREY FLEET ETC. Waste Water Metered Dose Inhalers Medical Devices Freight Transport Business Services Construction Manufacturing PRODUCTS, CHEMICALS, GASES Medicines Patient, Visitor Travel Food & Catering Commissioned Health Services Outside NHS ICT Staff Commuting Major Emissions CH4 N2O SF6 CO2 CFCs PFCs HFCs Greenhouse Gas Protocol scopes in the context of the NHS Introduction Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System Green Plan | 9