Sustainability and commissioning for sustainable development

Published 19 July 2016; updated 13 March 2019

Our CCG has been recognised for excellent sustainability reporting (March 2019)

We have been recognised for excellent sustainability reporting as part of our annual report and we have received a certificate of excellence awarded by the Sustainable Development Unit (SDU), NHS Improvement and the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).

The SDU, which works across the health and care sector on behalf of NHS England and Public Health England, conducted an analysis of all provider and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) annual reports to evaluate sustainability sections. 55 trusts and 42 CCGs (around 22%) have been selected for recognition out of 432 organisations across England. 

High quality reporting on sustainability is recognised as a fundamental way in which organisations can demonstrate their commitment to embedding environmental, social and financial sustainability.

Good sustainability reporting is widely recognised as including the following areas:

  • Leadership and engagement – Board level, staff and community
  • Resources - such as energy, water and waste
  • Travel - including staff travel, patient transport, business travel
  • Procurement – including local, community and ethical procurement
  • Adaptation and transformation
  • New models of care

The NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) further strengthens the commitment of the NHS as a system leader in embedding sustainable development across the organisation. The LTP set clear targets for sustainability; carbon, air pollution and a mandate to in particular, reduce wastage and over reliance on single use plastics.

Sustainability can be defined as:

Meeting the needs of today without compromising what is needed tomorrow. Sustainable development ties together concern for the resource capacity of our planets natural systems with the social and economic challenges facing society.

Commissioning for sustainable development is:

The process by which commissioners improve both the sustainability of an organisation, and the way it provides services and interacts with people in the community. It is about striking the right balance between the three key areas of financial, social and environmental sustainability when making commissioning decisions. It also saves money and resources which benefits both patients and staff.

We are committed to shaping a more sustainable NHS by:

  • Developing a ‘whole systems’ approach to commissioning.
  • Understanding our role in improving the sustainability of healthcare.
  • Using the commissioning cycle to increase sustainability and implement the NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy.

To help us achieve our objectives we have developed a Sustainability Development Management Plan.

Sustainability Impact Assessments (SIA)

An SIA helps to estimate the likely sustainability implications of the introduction of a new policy, project, or function; or the implementation of an existing policy, project, or function within our organisation.

When sustainability implications are identified, steps can be taken to amend the proposed policy, project or function or amend the way in which it is implemented. This helps to make sure it is inclusive and does not discriminate (either deliberately or accidentally).

We have developed and implemented a tool and guidance for use by staff to help identify the likely impact.  Our Governing Body considers the results of these analyses during its decision making processes.


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