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Guidance for NHS organisations on the funding available to fund projects that contribute to reducing emissions or help adapt to the impacts of climate change.

First published:
29 April 2022
Last updated:

Round 1 (April 2022) funding scheme guidance

The Health and Social Care (H&SC) Climate Emergency National Programme is looking to fund projects from across NHS organisations that contribute to reducing emissions or help the sector adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Organisations can apply for a share of the Welsh Government’s £2.4m H&SC Climate Emergency National Programme Funding Scheme. Funding of up to £60,000 per organisation is available in this initial round.

Projects funded must deliver towards the ambition for the Welsh Public Sector to be collectively net zero by 2030 and/or increase resilience to the impacts of climate change, by: 

  • Supporting communication, engagement or behavioural change activity that helps embed the climate change agenda within the organisation, and/or
  • Driving the implementation of organisation-level Decarbonisation or Adaptation Action Plans, including through funding specific initiatives or posts, and/or
  • Providing funding for small to medium-sized grass-roots initiatives (for example activities led by ‘Green Groups’ within organisations) or innovation activity.

All projects funded need to demonstrate ambition and the potential for the project to be upscaled, spread and adopted more broadly across the organisation and/or NHS Wales.

As a condition of the funding, organisations will need to report on progress and, at the end of the funding period, provide a short case study on the work undertaken, the lessons learnt and recommendations on the potential for the project to be adopted more widely (at local or national level).

Project leads may also be asked to participate in communication activities linked to the work of the National Programme with the aim of sharing experiences, best practice and lessons learned.

Background and context

The H&SC Climate Emergency National Programme has been established in recognition of the significant opportunity for health and social care systems to lead the way on reducing carbon emissions from the public sector and ensure our contribution to the ambition for the public sector to be collectively net zero by 2030.

Action is needed not only because NHS Wales is the biggest public sector emitter (with a carbon footprint of around 1.00 MtCO2e in 2018/19) but also because the health and social care systems are at the forefront of responding to the impact of the climate emergency on health outcomes.

In response to this challenge in March 2021 the NHS Wales Decarbonisation Strategic Delivery Plan 2021-2030 was published.  The plan sets out 46 commitments for delivery by 2025 across NHS Wales’ highest emissions areas including procurement, buildings, land use and transport. This National plan is underpinned by Decarbonisation Action Plans developed and delivered by each NHS Organisation.  Collectively these plans are a clear and ambitious mandate for action but are only the start. Further activity is underway to strengthen the sector’s approach to adaptation planning to ensure resilience to the health and service delivery risks from climate change, and to support Social Care and wider Primary Care respond to the climate emergency.

The funding scheme has been set up to support projects and initiatives that have the potential to make a difference at both local and national level.

Who can apply?

Applications are initially invited from NHS organisations. 

The maximum allocation NHS organisations can apply for in Round 1 (April 2022) is £60,000.

Organisations can submit single or multiple applications up to the maximum allocation.  This does not exclude organisations working together and/or submitting joint bids.  The total maximum allocation is also not a ceiling on the value of projects that can be submitted, organisations can choose to ‘top up’ or match fund their project/s.

Applications should be approved and submitted at Board Director level. 

The H&SC Climate Emergency National Programme Team will use lessons learned from this initial funding round to inform decisions on how best to support wider health and social care organisations in future years. 

Application criteria

Projects should be designed to enable the funding to be spent within the financial year in which the funding is allocated. 

Organisations need to commit to provide quarterly updates on spend and progress and, at the end of the funding period, provide a case study on the work undertaken, the lessons learnt and recommendations on the potential for the project to be adopted more widely.

Funding exclusions

As a guide the following will not be funded:

  1. Costs that are not associated with the actual project.
  2. Capital purchases.
  3. Subsistence, travel, and accommodation costs.
  4. Courses, training and conference costs or registration.
  5. IT equipment.
  6. Additional capacity for existing roles or service provision.
  7. Like-for-like replacement of existing or de-funded resources.

Funding guidance

Funding decisions will be made by a sub-group of the National Programme consistent with the criteria set out in this funding guidance and the application process.

Applications for Round 1 funding need to be received by 9 June 2022.

Through the application process organisations will need to provide details on how their project proposal supports NHS Wales’s contribution to the ambition for the Welsh Public Sector to be collectively net zero by 2030 and/or increases resilience to the impacts of climate change, by:

  • Supporting communication, engagement or behavioural change activity that helps embed the climate change agenda within the organisation, and/or
  • Driving the implementation of organisation-level Decarbonisation or Adaptation Action Plans, including through funding specific initiatives or posts, and/or
  • Providing funding for small to medium-sized grass-roots initiatives (for example activities led by ‘Green Groups’ within organisations) or innovation activity.

The National Programme will not pay any funding without:

  • Executive Board level or equivalent approval of the funding application.  Please contact HSC.ClimateEmergency@gov.wales should you require a contact point within your organisation. 
  • Agreement to the funding conditions including quarterly reporting.  

Funding can only be used for the project purposes set out during the application process. Any change in the project purpose or targets must be notified in writing in advance of implementing any change.  All reasonable written requests will be considered.

You must not use any part of the funding for any activity which could bring Welsh Government or NHS Wales into disrepute.

If you decide to buy any goods and/or services to deliver the purposes of the project, they must be purchased in a competitive and sustainable way to demonstrate that you have achieved best value (including social value) in the use of public funds.

Should you have any questions please email HSC.ClimateEmergency@gov.wales.