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Stronger sustainability requirements for the NHS

NHS England have released the draft Standard Service Contract for 2021-22. The new contract strengthensĀ  sustainability requirements required of NHS organisations. Last years’ contract established the requirement for NHS Organisations to implement a Green Plan, and this years contract looks to add more teeth to the requirements.

Chief among the new sustainability requirements is a strengthening of the carbon reduction targets. Previously, the NHS was aligned with the national target of becoming carbon net-zero by 2050. However, with the publication of the “Delivering a Net-Zero NHS” document, the NHS is now aiming for net-zero by 2040. It appears as if this target will now be a contractual obligation for all NHS organisations.

In addition to bringing forward the target, there will be a contractual requirement for a board-level member of staff to be directly accountable for sustainability, ensuring that the highest levels of an organisation are involved and leading on sustainability matters.

WRM welcome the strengthening of sustainability requirements for NHS organisations as this increases the urgency and importance of sustainability for NHS organisations and will help lead to faster, more far reaching carbon and air pollution reductions.

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