Officials from the UK Ministry of Defence along with significant industry partners have taken a significant step towards creating a more sustainable department by signing a sustainable procurement charter.

The voluntary charter, which was signed at the first National Defence Industries Council (NDIC) to be hosted by the defence secretary, commits the MoD and its suppliers to work together to achieve sustainable development goals through educating the supply chain, developing performance measures and sharing best practice.

British Defence Secretary John Hutton said that the charter was a powerful statement of intent.

“This document sets out the expectations of the department and what the industry can expect from us. The aim is that our procurement processes become greener, more sustainable and provide even better value for money,” he said.

Director of the Sustainable Procurement Programme, Duncan McDonald, said that maintaining operational capability remained the militaries first core task.

“The MoD is working in partnership with suppliers and trade associations to ensure that the needs of our troops on the front line are met by delivering sustainable solutions,” McDonald said.

One example of these initiatives is the air defence and air traffic systems integrated project team’s green commander fleet radar programme which includes eco-design principles to reduce resource use, increase use of recycled materials, and minimise repair miles.

The majority of the MoD’s key suppliers and the Defence Manufacturing Association have already signed the charter and MoD is encouraging the rest of its key suppliers to follow suit soon.

By Daniel Garrun.