Defence department launches green buying strategy

31 March 2010

31 March 2010 | Helen Gilbert

A plan to help make the UK armed forces and their equipment greener has been published by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The sustainable procurement strategy sets out how the MoD will work with its industrial partners to develop and introduce new technologies, particularly those concerning renewable and sustainable energy.

Under the plan, purchasers will be required to embrace sustainable development in all areas and stages of acquisition, including:

• Integrating sustainable development principles throughout the MoD acquisition process

• Taking a “through-life” approach to procurement projects to deliver solutions that consider the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable development and maintain and improve operational sustainability

• Rejecting investment proposals that have not adequately addressed sustainable development issues

• Moving towards supply chains that contribute to the sustainable development vision

• Carrying out sustainability appraisals

According to the MoD, green purchasing will help reduce fuel and through-life costs of equipment. It also states that improving the energy efficiency of equipment will cut operational risk by helping to lower the number of deliveries needed in the field.

Defence minister Lord Drayson said: “Climate change, resource depletion and energy competition are likely to contribute to future instability and conflict making sustainable procurement an important defence issue.

“Reducing reliance on fossil fuels and other scarce resources will help the armed forces address the causes of climate change but will also improve their ability to operate in hostile environments, reducing the need for resupply convoys in dangerous territory.”

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