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).

SDU Sustainability Reporting Portal is now live

The SDU have developed (in Beta format) a Sustainability Reporting Portal (SRP) for both providers and CCGs, which is also co-located with the 'Securing healthy Returns' customisable resources. Please register via here and follow the instructions here. An excel version will also be released in February however all users are advised that the portal should be the preferred route. The portal saves your data avoiding data entry each year, the portal allows us to import and edit data form ERIC and creates customisable reporting outputs. 

Sign up and start using.

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

Next steps
  • Register for the Sustainability Reporting Portal - takes up to 2 working days to assign your login to your organisation
  • Import, edit and add in your data from previous years (only needs doing once). 
  • If you would like to have your say in the future development or have any comments on the portal please contact the SDU.     
  • The excel template is available below alongside new sustainability reporting criteria for 2017/18. 
  • For most organisations, sustainability reports will need to be prepared before the end of April 2018 for inclusion in the annual report. This may vary slightly from organisation to organisation.
  • For those using the portal please simply submit your report once you have completed the report. Those using the excel templates please share with the SDU. Send to by 31 July 2018.

Please see three short videos to help you use the SRP:
How to register
Data entry 
Using the report

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 typically required by the auditors in mid-April (external to SDU).
  • Figures should be finalised in the report by mid-May.
  • Please submit your report/template to the SDU by the end of Aug - either by submitting your report and data in the portal or email your template. 
  • During the summer the SDU will review all sustainability content in every trust and CCG public annual report and be scored against the below criteria. 

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.