Achieving Net Zero with the UK’s National Health Service (2021)

Project Overview

In 2021, the University of Cambridge ThinkLab launched a joint research project with the UK National Health Service (NHS) and Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) Addenbrooke’s to explore how the NHS can successfully reach its net zero target by 2045. The collaboration culminated in a comprehensive report, titled Achieving Net Zero within the NHS, recommending system-wide transformational and behavioural change in order for the NHS to reach its net zero target. The research team investigated the barriers to sustainability, and created a number of scalable tools which can be used to better understand obstacles that individuals within the NHS face in implementing sustainability changes. The team 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.

The project represents a collaborative effort involving stakeholders across the NHS, medical professionals, and global sustainability experts. The outcome is a collection of recommendations, based on extensive research, that will aid to guide the implementation of a green thread into all aspects of the NHS. The ThinkLab aims to stay engaged with members of the NHS in order to help support data collection, implementation of Green Actions, and a wide-spread communication strategy.

More information about the project and the report can be found here.