The first defence sustainability conference takes place next week bringing together government, industry and academia to showcase projects which support the UK’s target of Net Zero 50.

The event takes place online on January 19 and 20 and is a collaboration between the UK’s Ministry of Defence, Team Defence Information, and the UK Defence Solution Centre.

The conference is being run as a collaboration between Team Defence Information, UK Defence Solution Centre (UK DSC) and the Ministry of Defence, with support from ADS Group and techUK, and will feature a full day of live speakers, virtual trade stands and areas to network and share ideas.

Registration open now

Those interesting in attending or finding out more about the agenda can register their interest through the Team Defence Information website at

The event highlights the need for clear policy developments and provides a platform for innovative ideas and projects being delivered in support of a more sustainable future. It has been designed to spark opportunities for developing best practice and collaboration, as well as creating a pan-sector network of stakeholders to help raise awareness of opportunities to challenge the current ways of working.

Presentations feature some of the key stakeholders within the MOD itself, across the supply chain and outside of the industry. Keynote speeches include Lieutenant General Richard Nugee CB CVO CBE Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy Lead and Lieutenant General Richard Wardlaw OBE, Chief Defence Logistics and Support, who will provide his vision on a Sustainable Defence operating model.

KBR: discussions around “full sustainability lifecycle”

Projects and programmes solutions provider KBR co-authored a sustainability roadmap for the defence industry. Global Vice President Ben Sawford said the organisation looked at lessons learned in the private sector which could be applied to government organisations. He added the lessons represented a “huge opportunity” to make the Ministry of Defence more efficient.

He added that the topic of sustainability covered a broad range of issues which needed to be implemented from the very beginning of product lifecycles. “I think there’s an opportunity here to talk about things that are far broader than perhaps people assume. It’s not just about hydrogen vehicles, it’s not just about recycling plastic, it’s about the full sustainability lifecycle. So it’s a circular economy, it’s looking at how we can make sustainable operations in the field and the theatre of war.”

“It’s about wasting less, it’s about using less water and less resources. And inevitably, actually looking at it from an economic standpoint, which I don’t think has always been part and parcel of the sustainability argument, even though it clearly is all about people profit and planet.”

“Greater contentment within your workforce”

Babcock, along with KBR are prime sponsors of the event. Babcock Aviation’s Safety and Assurance Director, Paul Chivers said working towards greater sustainability would involve working more collaboratively with our customers, to drive down environmental impact and reduce our emissions.

But he added there were other positive impacts to be gained from addressing sustainability issues. He explained: “It’s also a way of driving down your costs. It’s also a way of actually gaining greater contentment within your workforce.”

“For the MoD, it’s really important to get sort of the population’s buy in. Contributions back towards society are going to be really important as we move forward.”