66% of healthcare organisations doing ‘too little’ to support net zero

By Jo Makosinski | Published: 23-Oct-2023

Almost two thirds of healthcare project managers believe their organisation is not doing enough to support the UK’s 2040 net zero targets, new survey reveals

Two thirds of healthcare project managers say their organisation is not doing enough to support the Government’s net zero targets, according to new research by the Association for Project Management (APM). 

A total of 66% of healthcare project managers answered ‘too little’ when asked if they felt if their organisation was doing too much, too little, or enough, to support the Government’s commitment to ensuring the UK reduces its greenhouse gas emissions by 100% from 1990 levels by 2050.

The NHS has also set even-tougher targets of becoming net zero by 2040 for emissions it has control over and by 2045 for those is can influence, for example across its supply chain. 

This figure was the joint third highest of 17 sectors polled in the survey of 900 project professionals carried out by national research company, Censuswide, on behalf of APM – behind government (central or local) and sales, media and marketing (both 69%) and retail, catering and leisure (71%). 

And it comes amid ongoing fallout from Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak’s recent controversial Downing Street news conference in which he confirmed he remains committed to the 2050 target, but announced a significant scaling back of green policies, which was criticised by the Government’s climate watchdog. 

Another 15% of project managers working in healthcare answered in the survey that their organisation is doing ‘enough’ to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and 18% said ‘too much’.  

The APM survey also revealed that 85% of healthcare project managers said their organisation does incorporate net zero carbon emissions planning into its projects.

The survey’s cross-sector average was 75%.

The three most-common ways of doing so were: using new technologies, ensuring minimum carbon footprint across supply chains, and using low carbon/sustainable materials.

Other methods included reducing project-related travel, including sustainability and environmental measures within project benefits, and keeping project scale to minimum requirements.

Professor Adam Boddison OBE, chief executive of APM, said: “Rising to the challenge of meeting the UK’s 2050 net zero target requires a huge amount of co-ordination, collaboration, and championing, among much else. 

“It is therefore surprising to find that almost two thirds of project managers working in healthcare think their organisation isn’t doing enough to support the UK’s signature net zero policy, whether that’s promoting the unique benefits of innovative new technologies, embracing hybrid work patterns, or being firm enough on supply chain partners who fall below acceptable standards. 

“Project professionals are value driven and cherish the wider social, economic, and environmental aims and benefits of their projects.

“Whenever a mismatch involving core values arises, we support and encourage our members to speak with their employer to identify suitable opportunities to help enhance and reshape their organisation’s sustainability strategy and activities.” 

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