A supplier of the NHS who must do the Evergreen Assessment preparing medicines.

The NHS has set targets to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2040 for its directly controlled emissions and by 2045 for the emissions it influences.

This pledge is part of a strategy to integrate sustainability into the healthcare industry’s operations. The publication of the “Delivering a Net Zero NHS” report offers a blueprint for how the NHS plans to reduce its carbon footprint and highlights the NHS’s dedication to sustainability, setting a precedent for other organisations to follow.


Overview of the Evergreen Sustainable Supplier Assessment

The Evergreen Sustainable Supplier Assessment is designed for NHS suppliers to provide their sustainability credentials in a clear way. The assessment, which is available on the Atamis platform, evaluates suppliers and provides a maturity score against a range of sustainability metrics, such as emissions calculation coverage and commitments to sustainability frameworks. By engaging with this process, NHS suppliers are encouraged to enhance their sustainability practices to achieve a better maturity score, reflecting their alignment with the NHS’s sustainability framework. This system gauges current sustainability standings and promotes a collaboration towards mutual sustainability goals and the overarching ambition of Net Zero carbon emissions.


Understanding the Net Zero Supplier Roadmap

Since April 2022 the NHS has increasingly incorporated Net Zero and sustainability considerations into their procurement processes, beginning with the integration of a 10% minimum weighting for Net Zero and social value across all procurements. In April 2023, requirements for new NHS contracts above £5 million per annum were implemented, requiring suppliers to publish a Carbon Reduction Plan (CRP) aligned with the UK government’s Procurement Policy Note 06/21 (PPN 06/21).

From April 2024, the NHS introduced a two-tiered approach to the application of these Carbon Reduction Plan (CRP) requirements across all new NHS procurements, ensuring the majority of suppliers are increasing their sustainability credentials in line with the NHS’s commitments:

  • High-value procurements – those with an annual value exceeding £5 million, excluding VAT – have a Carbon Reduction Plan (CRP) requirement. This requirement aligns with the UK government’s PPN 06/21, whereby suppliers commit to Net Zero by 2050 or earlier, analyse their in-scope emissions, and indicate how they will reduce them. The CRP must provide an analysis of UK-based Scope 1 and 2 emissions, along with five specified categories within Scope 3.
  • For contracts below this threshold but above £10,000 excluding VAT, a Net Zero commitment requirement was introduced. This requirement draws on key elements of the CRP, whereby suppliers must publicly commit to achieving Net Zero by 2050 or earlier for their UK operations, and provide proof of their progress towards Net Zero if requested.

Sustainability requirements for NHS suppliers are expected to be further increased in the future; from April 2027, all suppliers will be required to publicly report their global Scope 1 to 3 emissions and corresponding targets within a published Carbon Reduction Plan.

April 2028 is expected to mark the inclusion of requirements for carbon footprinting of individual products supplied to the NHS. The NHS will work with suppliers and regulators in order to determine the exact scope and methodology in due course.

This roadmap encompasses a set of requirements that vary by contract size and scope, essential for guiding suppliers towards sustainable operations and Net Zero carbon emissions. Central to these requirements is the completion of the Evergreen Sustainable Supplier Assessment, a mandatory step for all suppliers engaging in NHS procurements.


How We Can Help

McGrady Clarke supports NHS suppliers with navigating the NHS’s Net Zero Supplier Roadmap intricacies, including the development and revision of Carbon Reduction Plans in line with PPN 06/21, producing Net Zero commitments and providing responses to the Evergreen Sustainable Supplier Assessment questionnaire. By aligning with the NHS’s strategic sustainability objectives, organisations can enhance their overall environmental performance.