Green plan guidance

The Sustainable Development Unit and NHS England and NHS Improvement have produced a new Green Plan guide and resources, to help organisations plan their sustainability work and deliver environment, social and financial value. 

The jointly-authored resources support organisations to produce their Green Plan to address issues such as air pollution, energy use, greenspace, carbon emissions, climate change and adaptation. Organisations are expected to consider their direct impacts and potential as well as their influence on their supply chain and local communities.

Green Plans, formerly known as Sustainable Development Management Plans (SDMPs) form a key part of sustainable healthcare delivery to ensure services remain fit for purpose today and for the future.

Health and care organisations should use their Green Plan to describe their plans to improve prevention and the wider determinants of health in the communities they serve. A good Green Plan will for example, help target action for minimising air pollution from health-related transport, travel and logistics.

Green Plans help identify waste reduction opportunities, financial savings and address national priorities such as carbon reduction. 


The Green Plan guide is accompanied by additional resources:

  • Sustainable development Assessment Tool (SDAT) framework and descriptors
  • Materiality Assessment Chart Tool
  • Workbook A, Writing your SDMP
  • Workbook B - Materiality Assessment


The guide and supporting documents can be downloaded below. The supporting documents continue to refer to SDMPs, and not Green Plans. Following the outcomes of developing the Net Zero Plan, the Green Plan guide and the additional supporting documents will be updated. 

The Sustainable Development Assessment Tool can be found here.



Adaptation Planning 

Adaptation should be part of all SDMPs.  Specific adaptation planing guidance can be found here.

Drivers for change and legislation

We have produced a summary of "Statutory and policy drivers for change" on sustainability (see below) outlining the statutory, regulatory and policy requirements which organisations in the healthcare system should consider as part of their Sustainable Development Management Plans.