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Part of Sustainability Annual Report 2019-2020

A forward look

The climate emergency is now clear and our responsibility is to work internally and across the sector to drive rapid de-carbonisation and sustainability improvements while simultaneously preparing for the challenges that climate and ecological breakdown will bring.

Summary

The climate emergency is now clear and our responsibility is to work internally and across the sector to drive rapid de-carbonisation and sustainability improvements while simultaneously preparing for the challenges that climate and ecological breakdown will bring.


Building on the successes of 2019/20 and meeting our local targets, we have re-focused our planning for the coming year, which includes the development of a 5-year strategy to look holistically at both NHS Digital’s own delivery and in our contribution to the national agenda on digital sustainability. As a result, we have enhanced our Sustainability programme workstreams to include:

  • cross-health and social care system consumption of digital and technology infrastructure
  • enablement of sustainable health and social care through digital transformation
  • promoting a sustainability culture amongst NHS Digital’s organisation, which adopts and supports sustainability components of our People Plan

The wider scope of the programme workstreams are illustrated below.

We are reviewing our long term objectives as part of developing the 5-year strategy and working with a revised steering committee group to ensure that we have a balanced focus on the delivery of those through our programme workstreams. Our sustainability strategy, programme and delivery work for both local developments and NHSD’s contribution to the health and social care system agenda will be led by the Deputy CEO and MD for IT Operations, given the critical dependency on technology capability.

Sustainability programme workstreams

Workstream Objectives Key 2020/21 priorities Challenges Opportunities
Estates Lower the environmental impact of our estate. Maximise benefits from the Leeds Hub move.  Current estate footprint is large. Consider resilience issues - Leeds Hub flood risk. Current Leeds estate will be rationalised to efficient Leeds Hub,
Travel Reduce business travel and increase the use of virtual collaboration tools Organisational travel reduction Developing use of full virtual meeting tool functionality Retain positive travel reductions from COVID into permanent change.
Commercial Manage and reduce the environmental and social impact of procurement activities. Formalise sustainable procurement interventions, such as FCAP checks. Carbon footprint setting in procurement.  Resource provision in commercial areas Learn from NHSE to better implement sustainable procurement tools. New commercial group - potential resource increase to allow focus.
Internal ICT Reduce the impact of internal ICT choices and practices. Take part in the Pan-Gov Sustainable Technology (STAR) processes, maximise Circular Economy processes, consider upstream ethical and critical raw material resilience issues. STAR processes and buying in new ICT equipment instead of buying refurbished (culture change task) Cost in embodied carbon into procurement decisions,
NHSD-delivered products and services Lower the impact of products and services delivered by NHS Digital through sustainable and resilient architecture and IG practices. Ensure our services are resilient to future climate challenges. Deliver against Enterprise Architecture sustainability principle. Embed climate risk and implement Information Governance data retention policy. Enforcement of principles - and in legacy systems Rationalisation of systems
Cross-system technology consumption Through NHS Digital’s contribution, optimise cross-system technology consumption (focused on infrastructure and cloud). Cross-system infrastructure optimisation; cloud migration, embedding sustainability and resilience in framework creation. Quicker implementation of good practice. Work with NHS X on tech consumption strategy, trust level enterprise to cloud migration.
Cross-system enablement of sustainable health and social care Contribute to digital and technology services that enable downstream sustainability and resilience improvements across health and social care Greener NHS Net Zero Plan, benefits work (green book), embedding sustainability into user design Resource provision across NHS Digital operations – required approach to sustainable tech delivery . Product delivery in-line with EA service design principles – sustainability criteria.  
Sustainability culture Cement sustainability as a core essential priority.  Delivering against the sustainability commitments within the People Plan and the organisation’s comms strategy and the sustainability comms plan. Provide resources and time for staff to participate in culture change activities. Create a climate emergency literate workforce. Link sustainability to the equality’s agenda. New group required.

 

Last edited: 19 October 2020 1:54 pm