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Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital merged on 1 February 2023. More about the merger.

Part of Sustainability Annual Report 2021-22

Reducing environmental impacts from ICT and digital

Current Chapter

Current chapter – Reducing environmental impacts from ICT and digital


ICT carbon footprint

NHS Digital is a national digital service provider that recognises the environmental impacts of its ICT and digital services and operations. We operate a ‘cloud first’ strategy for our hosted services and have an appointed Sustainability Cross Cutting Concerns Representative within the membership of our Technical Review Group (TRG) to ensure sustainability architectural principles are considered and applied in line with the Tech Code Of Practice (TCOP).

We collate and report relevant data for NHS Digital hosting arrangements as part of the government’s Greening Government Commitments


We are continuously working with hosting suppliers to improve transparency of data and reporting.

NHS Digital’s continued push on the use of hyperscale cloud services, and cloud vendors driving efficiencies and increasing off-setting, enabled us to host more services on hyperscale cloud while still achieving carbon savings.

Our exit from the HM Land Registry data centre at the end of December 2021 and decision to move NHSmail from on premise to Office 365 in hyperscale cloud resulted in significant reductions in our ICT carbon footprint, which in 2021-22 was 1,024 MTCO2e, a 38% reduction from 2020-2021 and 81% reduction from our 2013-14 baseline (data was unavailable for the 2017-18 baseline year).


Continued migration to cloud hosting arrangements

NHS Digital remains committed to moving the services and applications it hosts from on-premises data centre arrangements to the cloud. 

In March 2022, we hosted 56% of our services and applications in the cloud

We also:
  • established a Cloud Centre of Excellence to promote cloud adoption and best practice guidance, and to improve optimisation and resilience for cloud services across NHS Digital and NHS organisations

  • exited two HM Land Registry data centres, moving hosted applications to cloud arrangements where possible

  • commissioned an external assessment of NHS Digital’s hosted applications and services (known as a ‘7Rs’ assessment), to be carried out in 2022-23. This project aims to assess how and when services and applications hosted on-premises can be moved to cloud, and how those already in cloud can be further optimised


Last edited: 11 November 2022 1:51 pm