The new net zero rules for NHS suppliers: what you need to know

Net zero is set to feature heavily in NHS procurement decision-making, with new rules coming into force from April next year.

A new Net Zero Supplier Roadmap outlines progressively stringent milestones for suppliers to take action on their emissions, including a requirement for all suppliers with new contracts to have a carbon reduction plan in place in 2024.

More than 60% of the NHS’ carbon footprint is based within the NHS supply chain, and it uses products from more than 80,000 suppliers, encompassing medical equipment, food, business and office goods. It has set a target of achieving net zero emissions across its value chain by 2045.

The Net Zero Supplier Roadmap

From April 2023: the NHS will adopt the Government’s ‘Taking Account of Carbon Reduction Plans‘ (PPN 06/21), requiring all suppliers with new contracts for goods, services, and/or works with an anticipated contract value above £5 million per annum, to publish a carbon reduction plan for their direct emissions.

From April 2024: the NHS will expand this requirement for all new contracts, irrespective of value.

From April 2027: all suppliers with contracts for goods, services, and/or works for any value, will be expected to publish a carbon reduction plan that takes into account the suppliers’ direct and indirect emissions.

From April 2028: new requirements will be introduced overseeing the provision of carbon foot-printing for individual products supplied to the NHS. The NHS will work with suppliers and regulators to determine the scope and methodology.

From 2030: suppliers will only be able to qualify for NHS contracts if they can demonstrate their progress through published progress reports and continued carbon emissions reporting through the supplier framework.

The NHS says it is developing a Supplier Framework for benchmarking and reporting progress against the requirements in this roadmap – this will be published in 2022.

Social value

In addition to the Net Zero Supplier Roadmap, as of 1st April 2022 the NHS will adopt the Government’s Social Value Model (PPN 06/20) in the award of NHS contracts.

The government defines five specific social value themes: Fighting climate change, COVID-19 recovery, tackling economic inequality, equal opportunity, and wellbeing. The NHS  has published new net zero and social value guidance for NHS procurement teams.

If you’d like advice on setting a carbon reduction plan that meets NHS procurement rules, get in touch at