New sustainable development management plan (SDMP) guide

The Sustainable Development Unit have worked with NHS Improvement to produce a new guide and resources to help organisations plan their sustainability work and deliver environment, social and financial value. 

Jointly authored by the NHS Improvement sustainability team and the SDU the resources support organisations to produce their SDMP 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.

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 SDMP to describe their plans to improve prevention and the wider determinants of health in the communities they serve. A good SDMP will for example, help target action for minimising air pollution from health related transport, travel and logistics.

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


The SDMP guide is accompanied by additional resources:

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

The guide and supporting documents can be downloaded below. 

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.