Environmental sustainability has been moving up the priority list in the healthcare sector with increased awareness of climate change and impacts on public health, and more recently cemented in strategic thinking with NHS net zero targets to work towards.

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The journey to a greener NHS comes to a head in two key targets: net zero by 2040 for emissions sources controlled by the NHS, and net zero by 2045 for emissions it does not directly control.

But what is the first step in the journey towards net zero? This is the question Kevin Jackson and Anthony Armitage sought to answer in a recent HSJ webinar, held in association with Inspired Energy on 6 July.

Naturally, the conversation initially focused on how to assess the scale of the challenge and take a step-by-step approach to reaching the ultimate targets. Data collection will of course play a key role here, both in understanding the journey ahead and reporting progress to ensure organisations keep on track.

Data collection should be frequent – monthly or event weekly – advised Kevin Jackson, Inspired Energy’s Head of Social Value.

Breaking down sources of data and how best to calculate environmental impact along the supply chain, Anthony Armitage, environmental consultant at Inspired Energy also commented that data “makes or breaks” Green Plans and is essential for target monitoring and reporting.

The webinar brought together a mix of sustainability directors and managers, board members and clinicians to discuss their main pressure points and challenges and they seek to hit net zero targets, who highlighted via a survey their main challenges as being:

- Clinical and operational priorities

- Finance and resources,

- Engagement across the system

With some focus on the 14 January 2022 deadline for updated NHS Trust Green Plans, questions quickly honed in on Scope 3 emissions and where to start.

An on demand recording of this webinar is available.

If you had previously registered for the session, click here. Simply log in and you’ll then be able to view the on demand recording.

If you haven’t already registered, click here. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be sent details of how to access the on-demand session. This will also grant you access to the other sessions in the HSJ Sustainability Virtual Series.

Our next webinar (3 August, 11:15) will focus on tackling Scope 3 so please join us then!