Sustainability at Southern Health

Southern Health
2 min readOct 18, 2021

What is COP26?

The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October — 12 November.

The focus will be, in the recovery of COVID-19, taking the opportunity to tackle climate change at the same time and to build back better and greener. A green recovery will involve keeping the temperature of the planet under control — limiting its increase to 1.5 degrees. The science dictates that by the second half of the century, we should be producing less carbon than we take out of the atmosphere.

That is what reaching ‘net zero’ means.

COP26 will work with partners to take forward action on protecting and restoring forests, critical ecosystems and will champion the transition towards sustainable, resilient and nature positive agriculture.

What does this mean for the NHS?

With the NHS being responsible for an estimated 4–5% of the country’s carbon emissions, it is now more important than ever to understand how we can reduce our emissions and become Net Zero as soon as possible.

With this in mind, NHS England has set a net zero target of 2040/45 across all emission sources, with the aim to becoming the first National Health Service in the world to become Net Zero. In order to achieve this, close consideration is being made in areas including, new models of care, workforce and leadership, funding, data and monitoring and adaptation.

What does this mean for Southern Health?

With these Net Zero targets being driven by NHS England, Southern Health is committed to achieving Net Zero as soon as possible, with our Green Plan being the first step towards achieving this goal. In addition to our Green Plan, we are developing a detailed decarbonisation programme across our built environment, infrastructure and transport systems.

This programme will look to finalise our emission trajectories, identify carbon reductions project for the short, medium and long term, as well as developing a carbon offsetting strategy for all residual emissions.

For more information about our sustainability plans across the Trust, please email me on the details below.

Grace Ryder, Energy and Sustainability Manager




Southern Health

Southern Health provide community, specialist mental health and learning disability services for people across the south of England.