ThinkLab Report: “Achieving Net Zero within the NHS”

19 April 2022

By Tyler Shores


The ThinkLab report from our collaboration with NHS and Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) Addenbrooke’s is now available online.

Abstract: We are in a state of climate emergency, and this is also a health emergency. The healthcare system itself is currently a significant producer of carbon emissions, however the NHS has set an ambitious target, committing to net zero by 2045. Reaching this crucial goal will require change not only at an organisational level, but action from every single one of the 1.3 million people working for the NHS. This report recommends system-wide transformational and behavioural change in order for the NHS to reach its net zero target. We have investigated the barriers to sustainability, and have created a number of scalable tools which can be used to better understand obstacles that individuals within then NHS face in implementing sustainability changes. We have also developed guidance on how to use system-wide transformational change to achieve net zero in the NHS, focussing on four key areas: Education & Awareness; Procurement; Progress & Improvement and Communication & Knowledge Sharing. This interactive report brings together the various resources, reflections, tools and recommendations to create a blueprint to inform the development of regional NHS Green Plans and deliver net zero.

For the full report, please visit the Apollo University of Cambridge Repository at the link below:

Special thanks to Richard Hales and Stella Cockerill for their time and efforts, and to Sarah Carden for the report design.

thinklab nhs