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Welsh commissioners will demand net zero care homes by 2030

Sustainability in care is to take a more central role in local authority commissioning, the Welsh chief social care officer has said.

In the new sustainability plan for Wales, Decarbonising Social Care in Wales SCO Albert Heaney CBE calls on local authorities to develop procurement policies that appraise care providers’ sustainability credentials and to exert greater influence in the supply chain.

The plan makes clear that council-run homes and private providers accepting NHS/council placements will be expected to aim for net zero Wales targets by 2030, and all homes by 2050.

By 2030, care home providers will be expected to take a low carbon approach to all processes, with energy and carbon reporting/monitoring becoming common practice. Every building used for social care will have undergone energy-efficiency upgrades – low carbon heating will be utilised and renewable energy will be generated on-site where feasible. In addition, low carbon travel will be established, and social care providers will be implementing low carbon travel plans as standard.

To support the transition, commissioners will appraise providers’ carbon impact in planning, commissioning and the delivery of social care. The reduction of carbon emissions will be mandated within new procurement contracts for social care providers and the social care-related supply chain. New developments and refurbishments of social care buildings will be designed and built according to net zero building standards, which includes the provision of low-carbon heat, the generation of renewable electricity and the provision of EV charging. Every building used for social care will have undergone energy-efficiency upgrades, where feasible

Local authorities and social care providers will promote active travel, consider models of care that reduce travel mileage and strengthen the local community workforce.

 Welsh Government will also provide incentives to pursue the provision of ultra-low emission vehicles, the necessary infrastructure as well as public transport.

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