Taking responsibility for our emissions: Net Zero is core to PKB’s mission

PKB is proud that as of 2021 we are a Net Zero company. Our challenge is to ensure we maintain, and improve, as we grow and expand.  This isn’t a tick box exercise for us, but core to our social enterprise status and company mission.

Over the past few years we’ve worked with our partners Supercritical to calculate our carbon footprint for 2021 and 2022, have reduced this where possible, and used carbon removal technologies and solutions to remove the remainder of our carbon footprint from the atmosphere. This process has been documented within our newly published carbon reduction plan (found here), which showcases our work to date and commitments going forward, exceeding the national targets that have been set by NHS England’s Greener NHS team.

The earlier, the better

As a company we focus on empowering patients to take an active role in their care, supporting healthcare professionals to provide excellent care within finite resources and reducing the financial costs associated with care delivery. In sum, to create a more sustainable healthcare system for the future.

However, we recognise that this also requires us to address the serious challenges that climate change presents to the health of the population and to our planet. In the UK alone between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths per year are linked to human-made air pollution. For this reason, we decided that we couldn’t wait any longer, and needed to be fully accountable and responsible for the entirety of our emissions, progressing at pace to become a Net Zero organisation. We want to ensure that whilst we’re supporting healthcare services in reducing their own carbon emissions – through avoided postage, outpatient appointments, emergency attendances, inpatient stays and surgical procedures – we don’t contribute to the overall carbon footprint associated with care delivery.

Being fully accountable and responsible – our approach to carbon removal

At PKB, we believe in taking a proactive and accountable approach to our carbon footprint.  Instead of simply purchasing avoidance offsets, where we pay someone not to emit and our emissions remain in the atmosphere, we purchase carbon removal offsets that directly remove our carbon emissions from the air.  This stops them from warming the atmosphere so our emissions no longer contribute to global warming.

We have committed to removing our entire 2021 and 2022 footprints, including emissions from platform usage by patients and professionals.  This means accounting for the entirety of our emissions, rather than solely on emissions that are ‘required’ as part of a standard carbon reduction plan.

To achieve this goal, we invest in carbon sequestration and removal through biochar and enhanced weathering projects.  Biochar involves producing charcoal from waste biomass and storing it in soil to remove carbon dioxide.  Enhanced weathering accelerates the natural process of weathering to permanently remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  We also plant trees through afforestation to bridge the gap between now and the date of our enhanced weather carbon removal.

We’re proud of our progress, but we know this is a journey and we are on a constant mission to improve. We welcome any feedback based upon our work to date and our newly published carbon reduction plan so that we can continue to do all that we can for the environment.

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