Reporting on Sustainability

Measuring, monitoring and reporting on sustainability through the annual report supports the assurance process for meeting legal, reputational and policy requirements.

Annual Sustainability Reporting is required from CCGs and Trusts through the Department of Health Group Accounting Manual (DH GAM) and by the Foundation Trust Annual Reporting Manual (FT ARM); and from Arm’s Length Bodies through the Greening Government Commitments. Along with regularly updated Sustainable Development Management Plan, annual reporting on sustainability is expected by the NHS Standard Contract (Service Condition 18).

In order to help with this process the SDU has helped developed a standard template specifically tailored for NHS Trusts, Foundation Trusts and CCGs.  The template is currently being reviewed and an updated version will be available soon.

The template is in line with the data requirements in government's HM Treasury Guidance.

2017 key actions and timetable

  • Annual reporting guidance for 2016/17 – Guidance and the template last updated February 2017 (new update due December 2017).
  • If you would like to have your say in the future development or have any comments on the template please contact the SDU.     
  • For most organisations, sustainability reports will need to be prepared before 22 April 2017 for inclusion in the annual report. This may vary slightly from organisation to organisation.
  • Please send completed excel templates to the SDU. Send to by 31 May 2017. 

Background to sustainability reporting and useful links

The NHS Standard Contract and DH guidance includes a requirement for providers and CCGs to demonstrate and report on progress on adaptation and mitigation. Sustainability reporting as part of the annual report fulfils this requirement. Timescales:

  • The Annual Report is required by the auditors in mid-April
  • Figures should be finalised in the report by mid-May
  • Please send the Sustainability Report to the SDU by the 31 May

Due to the Annual Reporting cycle deadlines, set by government, figures may need to be estimated for the full year in line with financial reporting standards used for the Annual Report.

HM Treasury provides guidance, incorporating minimum reporting requirements and further voluntary reporting.

Environmental impacts are reported in line with Defra reporting guidance - measuring and reporting environmental impacts: guidance for businesses.

The framework is to be included in the annual reports of NHS organisations, making the links between financial and environmental sustainability more transparent to patients and other stakeholders while also highlighting the mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

We have prepared some guidance to help organisations complete their annual report sustainability entries and may prove useful to non NHS organisations as well.

The SDU has also reviewed the quality of sustainability reporting in Annual Reports.  If you would like to improve your Sustainability Reporting have a look at some of the best practice we identified - see best practice download below.

We have also produced a map showing the results at a regional level (below).

For further questions please contact the SDU.


Template update March 2017

Please note

The SDU apologises but we have spotted an error within the “Output – Treasury format” tab and is double counting owned fleet business travel.

Please can you correct with the following formulas,

On the Treasury Output tab please replace the formula in cell L19 with;
=Input!L97*'Carbon Factors'!N83*Input!$M$16/1000 
And in cell L48 with;
=(Input!L98+Input!L96)*'Carbon Factors'!N85*Input!$M$16/1000
Then both of these formulas from the bottom right hand corner of the cell need to be dragged across the previous cells in that row from L to C to provide an accurate calculation of travel carbon emissions. This does not affect the outputs on either the Provider or CCG output report tabs. 

Details of updates to the sustainability reporting template Feb 2017 to March 2017.

  • Formatting of cells if organisation type is a CCG; Input tab, cell B33
  • Clarity provided to question Input tab cell A50
  • Output – Report (provider) Partnerships table failed to pull through data from Input tab cell J56 (re-pull down these formulas from A95 and A111)
  • Output – Report (CCG) Partnerships and Performance tables failed to pull through data from Input tab cell J56
  • Output – Report (provider) year reference in cell A70 incorrect and formula updated to most recent years
  • Output – Report (CCG) year reference in cell A137 incorrect and formula updated to most recent years
  • Output - Report (Provider) formula in D206 behind the chart should be =F92+F94
  • Output – Treasury format year reference to graphs updated where incorrect