Luca Leone explains the issues behind this year’s Team Defence Information and Ministry of Defence (MOD) Sustainability Challenge – and how you can enter

Team Defence Information and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) have launched the 2020 Sustainability Challenge, with this year’s focus on carbon reduction.

The MOD is committed to assisting UK efforts to meet the net carbon zero target for 2050. But the MOD must also work with its own unique challenges, reductions must be made within the constraints of its Equipment Plan and the challenges posed by legacy assets with planned lengthy in-service lifespans.

To achieve a force that can fulfil its role in an increasingly contested and degraded operating environment whilst reducing its carbon footprint, Defence must consider alternative approaches to delivering outputs whilst meeting imposed legislative requirements.

Reducing carbon while meeting MOD objectives

The Joint Information Group Vanguard (JIG-V), a collaborative MOD and Defence Industry working group, is seeking radical proposals that identify areas where Defence could achieve reductions in environmental footprint, whilst still achieving its objectives. This could be through new technologies, innovations in policy, process or procedure, or through other previously unexplored options. Titled “Delivering digitally-enabled and integrated support without costing the Earth”, the competition will coincide with the LOGNET 20 conference due to take place 12-13 March 2020.

LOGNET 20 is the Ministry of Defence’s logistics and support enterprise-engagement and future-development event for 2020. The MOD wishes to advance its engagement with industry, academia, international partners and allies to optimise military logistics and support capabilities and promote UK prosperity; not just by being open for business, but ready for modernisation and change. This year sustainability will feature as a key theme of the event and the sustainability challenge will be a key opportunity for stakeholders to input into the discussion.

10 finalists will be selected to pitch

Submissions are welcome from groups or individuals from academia, MOD and Industry at any level within the organisation. Ten of the most-promising ideas will be selected to pitch to senior defence personnel and other VIPs at an exclusive reception during LOGNET 20.

Finalists will be offered support and mentorship from academia, The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and MOD to develop and finalise their ideas before they are invited to present to a panel of senior judges from UK MOD who will assess the entries and select the most innovative proposal.

The winner will be awarded a cash prize of £1,000.

Team Defence Information are grateful to Harmonic for sponsoring this years’ competition. Harmonic have been central to operational support chain improvement in MOD for more than a decade. They are now helping lead the way in business modernisation for support and digital transformation. The sustainability challenge fits perfectly with the company’s new social value agenda.

MOD faces unique challenge

Challenge managers Ben Eddy (Boeing) and Ollie Organ (Allan Webb) summed up the issues posed by the competition: “The MOD faces a unique challenge in reducing its carbon footprint, with assets often staying in service of many tens of years. We are excited to be supporting the MOD in looking for new and innovative ways to combat or offset emissions. We hope this competition will encourage a broad range of stakeholders to join the conversation and support the work the MOD is doing to minimise demand, footprint, cost and waste”

* For terms and conditions of the competition and to submit your entry, please visit the Team Defence website here.

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