International Leadership Group for a Net Zero NHS urges NHS suppliers to act in open letter BMJ commits to net zero publishing by 2040
An influential group of global healthcare and tech companies has pledged to decarbonise the NHS supply chain by 2045 at the latest, supporting the ambition of the NHS in England to become the world’s first net zero health service.
The International Leadership Group for a Net Zero NHS, led by Lord Prior, current chairman of NHS England, brings together the chief executive officers of major suppliers to the NHS, as well as key trade bodies, The BMJ, the independent charity the Health Foundation, and EAT, the non-profit science based global platform for food system transformation.
Today the group has written an open letter to the 80,000 global suppliers that make up the NHS supply chain, urging them to act now and commit to work with the NHS to decarbonise their operations by 2045 at the latest. The letter is published as a rapid response on bmj.com.
The NHS has committed to reach net zero carbon by 2040 for its own emissions, but nearly two thirds of its carbon footprint resides in its global supply chain.
“We understand that taking action on this agenda is complex, not least because our supply chains are global. It will require strong leadership, bold commitments, and a clear roadmap with intermediate targets. But it is critical if we are to support a healthier planet and healthier people,” says the letter.
In recognition of the urgency of the threat posed by climate change and its own role in securing a healthier world, BMJ the company has pledged to achieve Net Zero by 2040. This means making changes to cut carbon emissions to the lowest amount possible, and offsetIng the remainder.
In a statement issued today, Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief, The BMJ, and independent member of the International Leadership Group for a Net Zero NHS, said: "BMJ recognises the urgency with which we have to address climate change for healthier people and a healthier planet, now and in the future. We fully support the NHS in its roadmap to achieving Net Zero, including its work with suppliers to decarbonise.
She adds: The BMJ has extensively covered climate change in the past, raising awareness of its impacts and the role of the medical and wider health professions in reducing demand for healthcare, decarbonising health systems, advocating for societal change, and being role models for individual behaviour change.
“To build on this, we are committing to net zero publishing by 2040 and we will publish additional regular educational content to guide clinicians and researchers on what they can do to tackle climate change.”
Chris Jones, Chief Executive Officer at BMJ the company, commented: "BMJ’s vision of a healthier world is the goal to which all our efforts are directed, and we know this will never be realised unless urgent action is taken to defeat the climate threat.
“As a founding member of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, BMJ has a leading role in advocating for the policies and behaviours needed to combat further climate change and so protect public health globally.
“As a business, we are committed to decarbonising our operations as swiftly as is practicable, in line with staff and customer expectations. And as a publisher we shall continue to provide a platform for the evidence and arguments for much needed changes to policy and practice.”
Notes for editors
Journal: The BMJ
Signatories to the Open Letter
Mr Alan Jope, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever
Mr Alex Gorsky, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Johnson & Johnson
Dame Emma Walmsley DBE, Chief Executive Officer, GSK
Mr Geoff Martha, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Medtronic
Mr Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Novo Nordisk Global
Ms Lisa Jackson, Vice President, Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Apple
Mr Michel Vounatsos, Chief Executive Officer, Biogen
Mr Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca
Mr Philip Jansen, Chief Executive Officer, BT Group
Mr Roland Diggelmann, Chief Executive Officer, Smith+Nephew
Mr Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft
Mr Xavier Martiré, Chairman of the Management Board and Chief Executive Officer, Elis
Dr Michelle McMurry-Heath, Chief Executive Officer, Biotechnology Innovation Organization
Mr Peter Ellingworth, Chief Executive Officer, The Association of British HealthTech Industries
Dr Richard Torbett, Chief Executive Officer, The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief, The BMJ
Dr Gunhild Stordalen, Founder and Executive Chair, EAT
Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive, the Health Foundation
For further information please contact Emma Dickinson, BMJ Media Relations Manager
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