The Ministry of Defence’s sustainable procurement goals

For years, the Ministry of Defence has been working towards its sustainable procurement goals.

The ‘Sustainable MOD Strategy’ was established in 2015 and runs until 2025; it provides clear direction as to how the MOD should address risks to the environment and propose more sustainable alternatives in its business activities.

In May 2020, the National Audit Office (NAO) released a report on the progress the MOD has made in meeting its environmental sustainability objectives. The NAO has found that, while the defence sector has made some progress, there remains room for improvement.

 

Defence procurement’s impact on the environment

The defence sector plays a crucial role in securing procurements that are sustainable. As the MOD spends almost £21 billion with industry every year, it is important that the organisation works collaboratively with its suppliers to champion greener initiatives and adopt more sustainable alternatives to traditional practices.

The NAO’s recent report examines how far the Ministry of Defence has embedded environmental sustainability in its estate management, procurement, governance and policy-making.

Key statistics in the report include:

  • The Department reported 830,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – a 42% reduction since 2009-10, which means it has achieved its Greening Government Commitments (GGCs) target for reducing carbon emissions.
  • 50% of the Department’s share of central government’s GGC reported greenhouse gas emissions in 2017-18 (carbon dioxide equivalent) came from the MOD.
  • The report also shows that 1.8 million tonnes of emissions from military activity such as operating defence equipment fall outside the scope of the GGC targets, and these emissions are reducing at a slower rate.
  • 9% reduction in the Department’s non-GGC greenhouse gas emissions since 2015-16 (GGC emissions reduced by 26% in the same period) (carbon dioxide equivalent).
  • 169 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) on MOD land (3.5% of Great Britain’s total). 48% of MOD-owned SSSIs are in a ‘favourable’ condition.

Although the MOD is on course to achieve some of its sustainability targets, it is struggling to improve its efforts on waste recycling, the use of paper and reducing domestic flights. The NAO  report states that:

“The MOD’s energy mix has not changed significantly over the last 10 years, and the Department has made little progress in increasing the proportion of its energy drawn from renewable sources.”

If you are interested in learning more about the MOD’s sustainability journey, download the full report here.

Work with the MOD

By working with the MOD, your organisation can help streamline effective procurement strategies and make environmentally conscious decisions.

Are you part of a SME business that wants to win work with the Ministry of Defence?

Our portal advertises tender and contracts opportunities valued over £10K. Gain access to the official source of MOD contracts by registering for free with Defence Contracts Online.

What DASA is doing to support the COVID-19 Response

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is a cross-body organisation established to help the UK Government access innovative ideas, equipment and services.

The organisation has played an integral part in the procurement of services required to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic. Gabriella Cox, DASA security competition lead, said:

“Innovation has never been more important as we play our part in the national effort against Coronavirus.”

Defence Contracts Online (DCO) is the official defence contracts portal for the Ministry of Defence – here DCO outlines DASA’s Coronavirus response.

 

Ambulance cleaning

At the end of March DASA announced that it was looking for partners that could supply rapid sanitising technology that would speed up the time it takes to clean ambulances, as it can take up to 45 minutes to clean an ambulance that has transported a patient suspected of having COVID-19.

The organisation announced at the end of April that more than 200 ideas were submitted in just seven days following the appeal.

DASA’s partner Dstl has so far seen good results from trials. Dstl scientist Steve Mitchell, who led the trials, has said:

“The trials have shown some really promising ideas ranging from fogging techniques, sprays, and using a decontaminant vapour to give a thorough and deep clean in the quickest time possible.”

Innovation fund

On the 8 April 2020 it was announced that DASA would launch a £1 million fund to fast-track innovation to aid the Armed Forces in the fight against Coronavirus, as the organisation wants to work with suppliers that can and support the national effort against Covid-19.

Director of Defence Innovation Clare Cameron said:

“Innovators and industry have stepped up to the plate with a remarkable response to the Coronavirus outbreak. This investment will unleash the power of innovation to rapidly help us in the national effort against Coronavirus.

“Coronavirus is not just a health emergency, but also one that affects many other aspects of the way we live. That is why £1 million has been allocated to launch this rapid response call today seeking the very best ideas from innovators.”

The first wave of applications closed on 15 April. However, DASA will continue to accept proposals after 15 April for consideration.

 

How your organisation can help

If you think your business might be able to help with the response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), register your details here.

All information provided in this article is given in good faith. However, to the extent that any actions taken in relation to matters concerning procurement, the above article does not constitute legal advice to you. The contents of these articles are not to be construed as legal advice or a substitute for such advice, which you should obtain from your own legal advisors if required. We are not and shall not be held responsible for anything done or not done by you as a result of the information provided.

DASA invests £1m to develop cyber security technology

On 27 April, the government announced that the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) will invest £1m into the development of technology that can predict and counter cyber attacks.

DASA is actively working with partners in both the public and private sector to proactively defend deployed UK military systems and networks from cyber criminals.

 

DASA keeping the UK cyber safe

This project, which is now in its second phase, aims to create a safer cyber future for everyone in the UK. In a government statement, Project Manager Rebecca Duncan said:

“Cyber security has been in an arms race for decades, with hackers continuously exploiting new vulnerabilities while developers race to patch them.

This DASA competition looks to get the UK ahead of these threats and better prepare us against – and even predict – future cyber-attacks.

As our understanding of adversaries and attack patterns improves, increased computing power and data growth to drive the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution with multiple new possibilities emerging to keep the UK safe and prosperous.”

The MOD wants to better anticipate and mitigate the impact of cyber attacks. Phase 2 of the project will support this as the MOD seeks to continue and enhance predictive approaches.

DASA has granted funding to the following organisations:

  • RiskAware Ltd which has been awarded around £450,000 in collaboration with the University of Southampton
  • decisionLab which has been awarded nearly £240,000 in collaboration with DIEM Analytics and Actica
  • Montvieux Limited which has been awarded nearly £250,000

 

During the first phase of the project nearly £1m in funding was granted, bringing the total funding to about £2m.

 

Find opportunities with DASA and the MOD

Are you part of a SME business that wants to win work within the UK defence marketplace?

Our portal advertises tender and contracts opportunities valued over £10K. Gain access to the official source of MOD contracts by registering for free with Defence Contracts Online.

Coronavirus: Defence Updates

The Ministry of Defence has announced some new information and guidance for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19).

Letter from Jim Carter, Commercial Director Supply Chain: Covid-19 Guidance to Defence Industry suppliers

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Defence Procurement Policy Note 01/20 Responding to COVID-19

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Defence Procurement Policy Note 02/20 Responding to COVID-19

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Covid-19 Defence Furlough and Interim Payment Policy Note

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DPRTE 2020: New Date Released

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Defence Procurement, Research, Technology & Exportability (DPRTE 2020) has been re-scheduled to take place on 3 September 2020; the event will remain at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre.

Grow your business at DPRTE

DPRTE is a must-attend event if your business is looking to grow its defence client base. The defence marketplace in the UK is worth over £20 billion a year, with lucrative opportunities available for both new and existing suppliers.

Not only can suppliers strengthen ties and communication with the Ministry of Defence and its prime contractors, but there are also numerous opportunities to learn at the event’s various dedicated Knowledge Transfer Zones.

What’s going on at DPRTE 2020

The 2020 event will bring together over 1500 key defence industry decision makers. Supported by the Ministry of Defence, DPRTE provides a unique platform for both buyers and suppliers across the supply chain to engage within a strong range of interactive and educational features, including:

  • DPRTE Product Showcase Exhibition (featuring over 100 suppliers)
  • Live Keynote Arena, featuring talks from industry leaders in defence, including the MOD and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)
  • Five Knowledge Transfer Zones: Supply Chain and Partnering, Infrastructure and Estates, Technology and Innovation, Procurement Skills, and Doing Business with the US DoD
  • Six Networking and Collaboration Zones: unique areas offering buyers and suppliers the chance to engage with key personnel and organisations representing a range of diverse sectors

Keynote Arena

As always, there will be an impressive line-up at the Live Keynote Arena for DPRTE 2020. These sessions will be led by some of the defence sector’s most influential leaders and speakers.

The 2020 event will include a range of talks covering a number of important subjects, from supporting the wider defence supply chain, to innovative techniques for procuring defence medical supplies, to the evolution of technology within counterterrorism, among others.

Commercial Strategies Ltd CEO and former Ministry of Defence Commercial Director, Les Mosco will once again be chairing the arena. Mr Mosco will welcome Chief Commercial Officer at the MOD, Andrew Forzani to open the sessions with a keynote address.

Dstl’s Division Head, Defence and Security Analysis, Rob Solly will be next up. This session will focus on the key role agencies play in exploiting technical innovation when contributing to the UK’s defence and security.

Fayola-Maria Jack, Head of Defence Commercial, Air and Jonathan Pollock, Navy Command Deputy Director Commercial also have a slot. Not to be missed, delegates can expect a highly engaging roundtable discussion on communicating with the Front Line Commands.

This is just a selection of the speakers appearing at the event; for more information, view the DPRTE pre-event planner. 

Global opportunity

Protecting territory and keeping citizens safe are key priorities for all nations across the globe.

Global trends such as shifting balances of power, rising nationalism and the emergence of new digital battlefields are redefining the geopolitical landscape.

This ever-evolving political and security environment is creating a stimulus to increase investment in defence and the requirement to spend more effectively as nations look to protect their own interests.

Joining the UK MOD at DPRTE 2020 are the US Department of Defense (DoD) and the Australian Government – which gives delegates a chance to network on a truly global scale.

Gateway to the defence marketplace

DPRTE has been successfully supporting the defence procurement market since 2012, and will continue to do so for many years to come, enabling buyers and suppliers across the defence sector and wider supply chain to collaborate and streamline their future procurement strategies together.

If you are interested in meeting defence procurement experts from across the world, join over 1500 delegates at DPRTE 2020 on 3 September.

Register now

How the MOD is responding to COVID-19

As concerns rise over the Coronavirus pandemic, the UK Ministry of Defence has announced it will increase its response to provide necessary extra resources to assist the public services. The MOD will work alongside the UK Government in a bid to help tackle the virus, with heightened MOD presence in place to relieve pressure on the NHS and ensure the science field has the resources it requires for extensive testing.

Defence Contracts Online is the official defence contracts portal for the Ministry of Defence – here DCO outlines the Department’s Coronavirus response.

The MOD and the COVID Support Force

The Ministry of Defence has stated an additional 10,000 military personnel will join the COVID Support Force – on top of the 10,000 that are already being held on high readiness. The Support Force will consist of 20,000 specialist servicemen and women who are trained to assist public services, local authorities and citizens.

Other steps in the MOD’s Coronavirus response include:

  • The training of 150 military personnel to drive oxygen tankers to support the NHS if required. Training for this will begin imminently.
  • Reservists have been called upon should they be required to join the response effort. This measure has been put in place to increase military numbers.
  • Supporting Public Health England’s efforts to understand the virus and tackle its spread by using scientists from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) to conduct testing.

These are by no means the first actions the Ministry of Defence has taken since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak. The military has already assisted with repatriation flights from China and Japan, and has been instrumental in providing public health services, local authorities and emergency services with contingency planning and crisis management assistance.

Not only is the military designed to respond to challenging times such as these, the MOD has implemented well-rehearsed mechanisms to ensure its actions are effective, efficient and work to protect the lives of UK citizens. This was demonstrated recently, when the Armed Forces were called upon to assist citizens in the north of England after winter storms caused severe flood damage.

The Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, echoed this sentiment in his reassuring statement:

“The men and women of our Armed Forces stand ready to protect Britain and her citizens from all threats, including COVID-19. The unique flexibility and dedication of the Services means that we are able to provide assistance across the whole of society in this time of need.”

The MOD is supporting NHS supplies

To further assist the NHS, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed it will provide as many ventilators to the health service as possible, after concerns over the resources available to the NHS mounted. Although this is reportedly only a small fraction of the number of ventilators believed ultimately to be needed nationally, it demonstrates the extent to which all areas of defence are engaged with government departments as they work together to contain and manage the pandemic. The MOD will continue to advise the devolved administrations as well as local authorities on how the Department can best support them over the coming weeks and months.

It is now widely understood that it will require a national effort to tackle the virus and support ventilator production – crucial equipment for patients who are unable to breathe on their own. The Government has therefore made an official call for organisations who can help in the production and supply of ventilators, in order to achieve its objective of producing 20,000 additional machines as quickly as possible.

This is an opportunity for new and existing defence suppliers who work across a range of specialisms to play their part in the Coronavirus response. The work of suppliers will not only give the NHS increased patient capacity in hospitals, but will also potentially save thousands of lives. As we navigate our way as a nation through these challenging times, the role of defence procurement has never been more important.

How your organisation can help

If you think your business might be able to help with the response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), register your details here

All information provided in this article is given in good faith. However, to the extent that any actions taken in relation to matters concerning procurement, the above article does not constitute legal advice to you. The contents of these articles are not to be construed as legal advice or a substitute for such advice, which you should obtain from your own legal advisors if required. We are not and shall not be held responsible for anything done or not done by you as a result of the information provided.

DSEI 2019: show delivers confidence in UK defence industry

On the opening day of DSEI 2019 (Defence and Security Equipment International), held at London’s ExCeL arena from 10 to 13 September, Minister for Defence Procurement Anne-Marie Trevelyan delivered a speech summarising the highlights of UK defence projects currently under way. Specifically, the minister discussed how the UK defence industry is leading the way in innovation across projects in construction, including more investments and less exclusivity.

Defence contracts to drive development in SMEs

Ms Trevelyan focused on the important and integral role SMEs play in defence procurement, expressing the philosophy that has always been core to the DCI brand – helping businesses of all sizes find, bid for and win defence contracts across the UK and internationally.

She spoke of pockets of brilliance in every corner of the four nations that make up the UK, using her own constituency, Berwick-upon-Tweed in the far north east of England, as an example. “I recently discovered that Hardy Fishing – who make the best fishing rods in the world by royal appointment – also use their expertise in weaving to manufacture slender fibres of incredible toughness for the wings of our regal Typhoon.”

It is important to recognise the expertise SMEs possess throughout the supply chain and their contribution to keeping UK defence procurement a thriving marketplace.

Future investment in defence people and security

The biennial DSEI fair regularly attracts a measure of controversy, with criticism over the range of arms and other military hardware on show. Ms Trevelyan addressed these concerns in her speech, stating that by investing in equipment and kit for the Armed Forces, citizens are protected against unthinkable dangers.

Defence procurement is as much about training talented people to make positive changes in the defence industry as it is about purchasing weaponry.

New investments in personnel training were announced at DSEI, including £31 million to provide a Joint Fire Synthetic Trainer at multiple sites across the UK. This project, which originated in an Israeli idea, will sustain jobs and allow students from the British Army, Royal Navy and RAF to train together in realistic battlefield scenarios.

There has also recently been a powerful drive to include more women in UK defence. Formally launched by Ms Trevelyan at DSEI 2019, the new ‘Women in Defence Charter’ project is a collaboration between the Ministry of Defence, Women in Defence UK and leading aerospace trade association ADS, among others. This partnership is a bid to get more talented female leaders winning top spots in the industry.

Getting SMEs into defence procurement

Are you part of a SME business that wants to win work with the Ministry of Defence?

Our portal advertises tender and contracts opportunities valued over £10K. Gain access to the official source of MOD contracts by registering for free with Defence Contracts Online.