To mark the 12 month anniversary of the NHS’s commitment to be the world’s first carbon net zero national health service, this blog explains how CCS is supporting the Greener NHS programme.

The Greener NHS programme

The Greener NHS programme aims to build on the great work being done by trusts across the country, sharing ideas on how to reduce the impact on public health and the environment, save money and reach carbon net zero. 

On 1 October 2020 the NHS published their Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service report, The report sets a clear ambition and target for the NHS, and lays out the direction, scale and pace of change needed to achieve these goals.

Here’s how CCS can help trusts reach carbon net zero.

Transforming your fleet

As the NHS transitions to greener methods of transport and reduces the need for travel, it has become clear that we can take a big step towards carbon net zero by adapting transport strategies. However, knowing where to start can be a challenge. 

Did you know NHS buyers and fleet managers can use our Fleet Portal to purchase a wide range of zero and ultra low emissions vehicles? 

Visit our fleet page to find out more, or speak to one of our experts by completing our contact form.

Kim Harrison – Associate Commercial Specialist

Green salary sacrifice

Employee-owned vehicles are often overlooked when considering alternatively fuelled vehicles, but they too can have a big impact on your carbon net zero targets.

More than one billion miles are driven each year by the public sector in employee-owned vehicles. This is also known as grey fleet. The average grey fleet vehicle is estimated to be 8 years old. As older cars emit more harmful pollutants, it is reasonable to conclude that reducing the use of grey fleet is one way to help reach carbon net zero.

A vehicle salary sacrifice scheme is a tried and tested way to tackle the grey fleet dilemma. You can specify which vehicles are available in your scheme. So, by choosing to make only Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles (ULEV) available you can take another towards your carbon net zero goals.

To learn more about salary sacrifice, take a look at our short salary sacrifice scheme benefits guide

Kim Harrison – Associate Commercial Specialist

Sustainable construction methods

How new buildings are constructed and old buildings are maintained can play a significant role in creating – or reducing – carbon emissions. 

Whilst the Construction Playbook makes it clear we all need to incorporate carbon net zero into our procurements, ensuring your project is built as sustainably as possible is not always so simple. From embodied carbon to Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and offsetting, it can sometimes seem too complicated to comprehend. Join our construction alliance carbon net zero focus group, where we will be bringing suppliers and customers together to share best practice and support mutual improvement that helps the UK reach carbon net zero by 2050.

If you would like to join the group please email info@crowncommercial.gov.uk and quote ‘CWAS Alliance’.

Jasmine Evans – Commercial Agreement Manager

Greener energy

We are committed to providing the NHS with routes to buy energy that support their strategy for reaching carbon net zero. The energy solutions available through CCS include: 

  • 100% renewable power that is Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) backed through UK or European sources 
  • clean energy from wind, solar and/or hydro – you can even choose energy that is generated from a specific location or singular type of generation 
  • green gas 
  • a variety of cleaner fuels for your heating or automotive needs

We are working with our suppliers on alternative solutions such as power purchase agreements, onsite generation and efficiency improvements. If you are interested in providing customer insight and feedback into our future solutions please email info@crowncommercial.gov.uk and quote ‘renewable energy’.

Kate Beckingham – Head of Category

IT lifecycle

As the NHS moves towards a more digital future this will likely mean the need for quicker and better processing power, and the need to refresh equipment more regularly.

The old linear approach of ‘take, make, dispose’ is being replaced as the circular economy is gathering momentum. The circular economy is a model of production and consumption that involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible. 

Alongside the standard service and cost-related questions, other questions that should be considered in your technology procurements are ones that help you evaluate the impact of the whole equipment lifecycle. For example:

  • what is the disposal option? 
    • this is for both the equipment it is replacing and for the new equipment when it becomes end of life. It is becoming more popular for old equipment to be refurbished or recycled in a number of ways including donations to charity. This is often a preferred option as it can help you build social value into the project. 
  • does it need to be new or can the operation that it will be used for be covered by a refurbished system? 
    • more and more systems are being refurbished and they can cost 70% less than new equipment. 

Asking questions like these will help support the circular economy, and develop a mindset where the first question asked is ‘how are we going to dispose of this equipment?’. 

Our technology agreements can help with the supply of both new and refurbished equipment, along with the removal of all the old equipment for recycling.  

Andrew Smith – Commercial Lead

Find out more

For more information on reaching Carbon Net Zero visit our webpage or contact us on info@crowncommercial.gov.uk