Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, presented winners from HM Naval Base, Portsmouth with their Defence Sustainable Business and Low Carbon Sanctuary Awards 2020 during a recent visit to the base.
Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, presented winners from HM Naval Base in Portsmouth with their Defence Sustainable Business and Low Carbon Sanctuary Awards 2020 during a recent visit to the base.

Sustainability in Defence — why it matters

As the UK prepares to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UN COP26) in November this year, we take a look at the role that Defence is playing in reducing carbon emissions and supporting net zero targets.

Why climate change is relevant to Defence

The world’s climate affects us all. For our Armed Forces, this means a changing landscape in which they have to operate, presenting challenges such as extreme weather conditions.

The UK is building on a record as a climate and sustainability leader, and this year we will host the UN COP26. We are the first major economy to pass laws to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and the UK’s commitment requires Defence’s full involvement to help make this commitment a reality.

“Sustainability has long been embedded in Defence and we continue to build on our activity, from the way we procure to the vital conservation work conducted across the MOD Estate.

“Through innovation, industry partnering and strong commitment from the Defence community, we are addressing the impact of climate change on Defence and are determined to play our full part in achieving the UK’s legal commitment of net zero by 2050.”

Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin

What have we done so far?

Defence has outperformed its emissions reduction targets, reducing its emissions by 45% against a 39.9% target as well as increasing its recycling by 56%, and reducing overall waste by 38% in comparison to the 2009/2010 baseline.

Our Climate Change and Sustainability Strategic Approach sets out in further detail what our strategic ambitions are to build on this work through innovation, industry partnering and supporting our people to deliver.

Recognising efforts in the Defence community

The Defence Sustainable Business and Low Carbon Sanctuary Awards are an opportunity to recognise the people and innovation behind our commitment to ensuring the UK meets its net zero targets.

The awards focus on key areas of work within Defence, such as:

Environmental Protection and Enhancement: projects focused on wildlife and biodiversity, environmental research, or tackling pollution and contamination issues.

Social Value, Community and Heritage: projects focused on any of the social aspects of sustainability, including heritage, public access, community engagement and education.

Sustainable Construction: new build and refurbishment projects that innovate in fields such as new materials or designs, resource management, reuse of historic buildings or climate resilience.

Energy, Low Carbon and Resource Efficiency: projects to reduce energy, water or resource consumption, recycling, the use of renewable energy and projects that contribute to the MOD’s Net Zero Carbon ambition.

Sustainable Procurement: projects to improve sustainability of equipment or services, management of supply chains or product life cycles.

Individual Achievement: for those who have made a significant personal contribution to MOD sustainability or conservation as a volunteer, MOD employee or contractor.

Find out more about this year’s winners here and below:

DefenceHQ is the official corporate news channel of the UK Ministry of Defence.

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