Operation Zero

At HCWH Europe, our vision is that every European country develops a national decarbonisation plan for its healthcare sector. With the support of our project partners ARUP, we have established Operation Zero - a groundbreaking project to put the European healthcare sector on the path to net zero carbon emissions, in line with European and international climate commitments.

Designing net zero roadmaps for healthcare

Through Operation Zero, we have developed and piloted a new methodology that any national or regional health authority can use to measure its healthcare emissions and establish a decarbonisation roadmap that achieves net zero by 2050.


Front cover of publication Designing a net zero roadmap for healthcare

Designing a net zero roadmap for healthcare provides a framework to create a decarbonisation roadmap for healthcare systems. This includes how to calculate a carbon footprint, model emissions trajectories, and develop the appropriate governance structures to support the process.

This technical methodology is primarily aimed at analysts working within national or regional health authorities, but also includes guidance for policy officials. It was piloted by three national and regional health authorities, ensuring that it is robust and ultimately drives action among European health systems.


National healthcare decarbonisation roadmaps

Phase one | 2021 - 2022

HCWH Europe initially partnered with three national and regional health authorities to develop and pilot this methodology, supporting them to generate detailed climate footprint analyses and decarbonisation roadmaps. Through these pilots, we gained valuable feedback on the practicalities and limitations of developing decarbonisation roadmaps that helped to build a more rigorous methodology.

Phase two | 2023 - ongoing

Building on the lessons learned in phase one, we are now working with two further national health authorities to generate detailed climate footprint analyses and decarbonisation roadmaps for their health systems using the Operation Zero methodology. The Health Service Executive (Ireland) and the National Environment-Health Action Plan (Belgium) are working with HCWH Europe and Arup on Operation Zero.

We are also developing a community of practice comprising health authorities driving action towards net zero carbon emissions within the European healthcare sector. They will help refine the methodology and ensure it is applicable to health systems across Europe and beyond.

Project partners

Operation Zero partner logos


Funded by the European Union, the IKEA Foundation, and the Skoll Foundation. Views and opinions expressed are however those of Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union, CINEA, the IKEA Foundation, or the Skoll Foundation. The European Union, CINEA, the IKEA Foundation, and the Skoll Foundation cannot be held responsible for them.




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