UK Ministry of Defence promises to recycle more

September 5, 2007 at 11:04 am

The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has published a challenging set of environmental targets in its latest Sustainable Development Action Plan, including a promise to recover and recycle more waste than they send to landfill by 2012. Defence Secretary Des Brown said that Environment and Defence were “by no means separate issues” and that the MOD must work to understand and limit the environmental impact of all defence operations and activities.

With an annual procurement budget of around £16 million and an estimated £19 million spent each year on waste, the MOD is well aware of its environmental ‘footprint’. Key targets included in the plan include:

  • ’Waste Management – Some MOD sites already recycle up to 70% of waste. Following a recent MOD waste study, they will now aim to recover and recycle more waste than they send to landfill by 2012 and work towards become a zero-waste to landfill organisation by 2020.
  • Climate Change – The MOD aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from buildings by 15% by 2012 through higher energy efficiency, reduced energy consumption, and investment in sustainable technologies.
  • Water – The MOD claims to have saved over three million cubic metres in annual water consumption in 2006 through leakage reduction. They now aim to reduce their annual water consumption of 24 million cubic metres by a further 25% by 2020.
  • Biodiversity– Owning vast amounts of land in the UK, the MOD is responsible for 174 Sites of Special Scientific Interest. 81% of these are already in good condition according to targets set by the government. The MOD aim to increase this to 95% by 2010.

Expressing an ambition to become a national leader in sustainable development by 2012, the MOD said this was particularly important as an organisation operating in places where access to scarce resources contributes to conflict and communities are directly affected by environmental problems. They said there was now an established link between climate change and instability and that this would have implications for future operations.

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