Representing estates and facilities professionals operating within the  



New guide encourages leadership on sustainable development

The Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) and NHS Improvement have produced a joint guide for NHS organisations on reducing waste while protecting the public’s health, now and for the future.     

The guide and resources is designed to help Boards lead their organisations to deliver sustainable healthcare, maximising efficiency in resources and delivering positive health benefits for their local communities. 

Health and care organisations are often the largest local employer, the largest estate, significant contributors to road traffic and spend a great deal in local economies. They therefore have the capacity, through the way that services are designed and delivered, to leverage health benefits for local communities - such as less air pollution or more local employment, while immediately reducing direct costs - for instance, through energy-efficiency or designing out waste.  

Organisations have a duty to protect the health of future generations including by reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change. The health and care system reduced emissions by 18.5% up to 2017. While this is admirable progress it is still behind the trajectory needed to achieve the Climate Change Act 2020 target of 34%, highlighting the need for all organisations to accelerate efforts going forward.

The resources support organisations to produce their Sustainable Development Management Plan (SDMP) to address areas including: air pollution; energy, waste and water efficiency; green space; carbon emissions, adaptation and staff engagement in social and environmental activity.

The new guide will help organisations develop an approach to delivering financial savings and benefits alongside health and wellbeing benefits for staff, patients and the public. The guide is aligned with the national and global approach to addressing shared societal challenges, such as climate change and sustainable development.    

SDMPs form a key part of sustainable healthcare delivery to ensure services reduce waste, while protecting the public’s health, now and for the future. The NHS standard contract mandates all providers to have an SDMP in place.


Click here to download the guide and supporting documents.