NHS trusts have been warned to clean up their act after it emerged more than two thirds have missed targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

While some trusts are recorded as not being on track to meet the Government’s aims to cut carbon, others have not set a target, or have failed to implement vital sustainability plans.

The Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth branded the figures “shocking” and is among those calling for changes to be made in light of the findings by Newsquest’s Data Unit.

However, East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which oversees the running of Colchester Hospital, is on track to meet the 2020 deadline of reducing carbon emissions by a third.


A spokesman for the trust said: “Colchester didn’t have a sustainable development management plan for 2014/15 as the old one had expired, but when ESNEFT was created, a new energy and sustainability manager was appointed and a new plan was put into action.

“At Colchester Hospital, the trust has been rolling out LED lighting, improving levels of insulation, commissioned a Flue-Gas recovery device and replaced old inefficient plant with modern equivalent equipment.”


The Climate Change Act requires a reduction in emissions of 80 per cent by 2050, supported by reductions of 34 per cent by 2020, and 50 per cent by 2025.

Trusts are also encouraged to implement a healthy transport plan to improve their impact on the environment with measures such as improving their fleet and promoting sustainable travel options among staff and the community.

Since 2014, NHS Digital has published data on how well trusts are performing across England.

Analysis revealed a third of England’s trusts still do not have either a sustainable development management plan or carbon reduction management plan in place as of 2017/18.