Be Transformative to deliver a decarbonised health service

How Net Zero supports better financial and healthcare outcomes

Colleagues discussing

Is the NHS Net Zero target solely emission based and isolated from the reality of daily NHS pressures? Is it something to be kept for better times without economic, workforce and waiting list objectives?

We don't think so. 

We believe that making decarbonisation part of normal day-to-day activity is good for key outcomes such as financial performance and staff engagement, and ownership, of operational improvements.

The key to this is bringing a cost and carbon approach into every strategic planning and decision-making activity, every board meeting, policy review and project initiation.

How to achieve this?

Explore the key measures

Developing carbon literacy

A crucial first step in this journey is upskilling board members and staff fluency in the impact that decisions have on costs and carbon.

Strengthening the understanding of Net Zero science, and integrating it into strategic planning and decision-making, is needed to bring a cost and carbon approach to every board meeting, policy review and project initiation.

Building greenhouse gas capabilities

It’s already possible to create a world where carbon, the currency of greenhouse gas emissions, is as visible as money. If NHS organisations had a clear, unambiguous picture of individual environmental impact it would make it possible to visualise the actual benefits of decarbonisation efforts here and now.

Choosing the right digital tools will enable healthcare organisations to effectively navigate their respective Net Zero journeys, know where the “quick wins” are and where the highest impact can be achieved with the least effort.

Identifying where Net Zero, financial and health outcomes intersect

This is the key to understanding high value carbon decisions that clinical teams take and the choices patients make. They ultimately shape the carbon and cost footprint of organisations and the system as a whole.

In our experience, it’s critical to empower clinicians and care groups with ‘real-life’ emissions data that brings carbon to life in the world of clinical care and patient outcomes. We also see that carbon decisions yield cost benefits. Typically this data can be used to craft highly specific actions that remove carbon and save money at the same time.

Reframing Net Zero as an opportunity to deliver improved outcomes

Reframing Net Zero enables decarbonisation initiatives to seamlessly dovetail work that is already mobilised within healthcare organisations to deliver financial and operational efficiencies.

It’s critical to recognise ‘crossover points’ where operational and financial efficiencies directly correlate with sustainability outcomes - this will rally workforces and organisations behind a shared and compelling goal.

The critical pathway to delivering Net Zero prioritises these crossovers and highlights the financial benefits.

“Sustainability can’t be a standalone strategy: net zero must be embedded into day-to-day strategy and operations to deliver improved outcomes.”

Chris Temple
Partner, Net Zero Transformation Leader, PwC UK

Contact us

Nancy Park

Nancy Park

Partner, Value Creation and Realisation, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7725 633066

Peter Tattan

Peter Tattan

Healthcare Procurement and Supply Chain, PwC United Kingdom

Moiz Hameed

Moiz Hameed

Pharmacist, PwC United Kingdom

Follow us