Sustainability and Green Plan

Our aim is to be a net-zero organisation by 2040, having reduced our carbon footprint by 80% by the end of this decade. We intend to deliver sustainable healthcare for the benefit of the population we serve. Our Green Plan guides our sustainability programmes so that we can become a greener, more environmentally friendly organisation in the future.

Our Green Plan 2022-2025

Creating better, more sustainable healthcare for our community


When people talk about the green agenda the focus is often on urban areas with large populations, significant carbon emissions, and increasing air pollution. Rural communities can often be forgotten, even though the issue is just as important there as anywhere else.

Left unabated climate change will have a detrimental effect on our healthcare service, with pollution contributing to an increase in major diseases such as cardiac problems, asthma and cancer. This is not just a concern for Trusts operating in our large cities and towns, it will also have a catastrophic effect on those operating in rural areas too – unless we address the issue now.

The National Health Service is determined to become the world’s first healthcare system to reach net zero carbon emissions. It is an ideal that we as a Trust share and which has shaped our own Green Plan for the future.

Our Trust’s footprint covers both geographies across North Yorkshire and the North East – from the historic towns of Harrogate, Ripon and Northallerton, and the cities of Sunderland and Gateshead, to the untouched natural beauty of the Yorkshire Dales and as far as Northumberland, so it is important that our Green Plan consider both.

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust (HDFT), together with our subsidiary company Harrogate Integrated Facilities (HIF), take our environmental responsibilities extremely seriously and our Green Plan clearly demonstrates our aims for the future and how they will be achieved.

The plan has been developed to reflect our sustainability objectives, ensuring that they deliver improvements across the whole HDFT footprint, as well as contributing to the wider national sustainability agenda.

The plan sets out the key areas we need to focus on, for instance, to significantly reduce carbon emissions across our footprint by developing schemes that support walking and cycling, enhance green spaces, reduce pollutants and waste, improve energy efficiency, and increase recycling.

Such activity will not only help us to become a greener, more sustainable organisation, it will also lead to financial benefits. Delivering our green objectives will lead to reduced running costs, and the savings can be used to support improvements in patient care.

These are exciting times for teamHDFT. We are already progressing a number of environmental initiatives, and have a whole host of future activity planned, so that we can become a net zero organisation by 2040.

Of course, we will not be able to achieve our aims alone, and over the next three years we will need the help and support of our patients, staff and the wider community so that we can continue to implement the changes and become a greener NHS.

Our Trust’s values of kindness, integrity, teamwork and equality are embedded in everything we do, including our plans for becoming a greener, more sustainable organisation. At teamHDFT we will work together to make changes that will benefit our future generations and ensure we can continue to provide a healthcare service of which we can all be proud.

Our Commitment to Sustainability

At Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, we recognise the huge challenges that climate change, air pollution and waste present in the region in which we operate.

As a major healthcare provider in North Yorkshire and the North East of England, it is essential that we reduce our contribution to climate change and embed sustainability throughout each aspect of our organisation to mitigate the risks to the health of our population. HIF, is leading this work on behalf of the Trust, as they have the greater level of expertise in this area.

This is an exciting joint venture between our respective organisations and we look forward to working together to implement the objectives for delivering sustainable healthcare across our communities as set out in our Green Plan. Our Green Plan.

Our Green Plan will build upon the successes of our Carbon Management Plan and set more ambitious targets for the future, in line with national and local objectives. The Plan will stand as an organisation-wide strategy, which will guide the implementation of a collection of actions to improve our sustainability credentials and meet NHS targets. The Green Plan will act as the core document pertaining to sustainable development at the Trust over the next three years and will act as a framework use to reduce our environmental impact and improve the health of our community.

Key Areas of Focus

This Green Plan will act as the framework for sustainability strategies across our Trust. The Plan will deliver the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan, ensure that the Trust is compliant with the latest legislation and enable the Trust to become a more sustainable organisation.

Sustainability Targets and Drivers

In line with national and local drivers, the Trust will adopt the following targets:

Carbon Reduction

  • We will achieve a 100% reduction of direct carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions by 2035. An 80% reduction will be achieved by 2030 at the latest.
  • We will achieve a 100% reduction of  indirect CO2e emissions by 2045. An 80% reduction will be achieved by 2039 at the latest.

Air Pollution

  • We will convert 90% of our fleet to low, ultra-low and zero-emission vehicles by 2028.
  • We will cut air pollution emissions from business mileage and fleet by 20% by March 2024.
  • We will work with Yorkshire Ambulance Service to understand the appropriate number of electric vehicle charging points we should install to accommodate their ambulances.


  • We will send no waste to landfill.
  • We will increase our percentage of recycled waste to 25% by 2025.


  • The Trust will work to adopt the West.
  • Yorkshire and Harrogate Sustainable Procurement practices.
  • The Trust will seek to reduce our indirect emissions through our supply chain.
  • The Trust will work to embed sustainability within our procurement decisions and practices.

Clinical Services

  • The Trust will work to reduce emissions through provision of our clinical services.
  • The Trust will work to embed sustainability within our clinical care models.
  • The Trust will work to eliminate unnecessary single use plastic items from our service delivery, where clinically appropriate.

To meet this challenge we are focussing on:

Our Sustainable Action Initiatives to deliver change

Sustainability is a key issue for everyone and we have set out a number of initiatives we will take forward over the next three years which support our commitment to delivering change. Further details can be found within our Green Plan.