Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Defence innovations recognised in 31st sustainability and conservation awards [March 2023]

The press release issued by the Ministry of Defence on 21 March 2023.

The Sanctuary Awards have today recognised outstanding sustainability and conservation efforts across the Ministry of Defence (MOD) over the past year.

  • Innovative and forward-thinking solutions recognised at Sanctuary Awards.
  • Baroness Goldie presents this year’s Silver Otter to Captain Nigel Williams RAMC.
  • More than 30 years of awards recognising the MOD’s commitment to sustainability.

Celebrated for more 30 years, the Sanctuary Awards – sponsored by the Climate Change & Sustainability Directorate and hosted by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) – recognise the projects that are benefitting sustainable development and helping to conserve the environment, natural resources and heritage across Defence’s UK and overseas estates.

This year’s winners include a number of ground-breaking initiatives across Defence supporting the MOD’s future sustainability, with the Sustainable Business Award won by The Queen Elizabeth Class Logistics Centre Project at HMNB Portsmouth – a fully net zero facility in its operation.

The facility is a dedicated Forward Logistics Centre adjacent to the carrier berths at HM Naval Base Portsmouth which introduced several carbon reductions projects across the site, including photovoltaic panels, low energy lighting, highly efficient thermal cladding and the use of battery powered forklift and stores handling machines.

Defence Minister, Baroness Goldie said:

Defence procurement and the Defence Estate offer significant opportunities to support net zero and biodiversity. We remain focused on embedding a culture of sustainability while meeting essential Defence outputs and we are proud of the innovative ideas being generated to drive change.

I send my congratulations to all the winners and nominees of this year’s Sanctuary Awards.

Presented by Baroness Goldie, this year’s prestigious Silver Otter trophy was awarded to Captain Nigel Williams RAMC. This award recognises the best conservation group-led project or individual conservation effort on the MOD estate.

Awarded due to Williams’ attitude and commitment to being innovative and creative in searching for new ideas and improvements, the trophy also recognises the prioritisation of safety and environmental protection processes, as well as the implementation of new procedures that have been shared as “Best Practice” and been at the forefront of driving cultural change around sustainability in Defence.

Richard Brooks, DIO Principal Environmental Support and Compliance said:

DIO is proud to host the Sanctuary Awards to celebrate the positive work taking place throughout Defence on climate change and sustainability initiatives.

DIO takes this work incredibly seriously and we are pleased to continue to contribute to the wider Defence and government sustainability targets. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you for your contribution to making Defence greener.

The coveted Net Zero and Resource Efficiency Award was this year given to Project Prometheus, which has constructed the British Army’s first solar farm at the Defence School of Transport (DST) at Leconfield.

The solar farm was the first of four pilot farms across the Army estate, with the project aiming to decarbonise the estate, better understand solar farm construction, and generate long term cost savings for the Army.

Set to save approximately £308,000 in its first year alone, the project will save around 400 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the first year – equivalent to removing 250 petrol cars from the road – and will provide at least 30% of DST Leconfield’s electricity needs.

Julia Powell, Deputy Director for the Climate Change and Sustainability Directorate and Chair of the Sanctuary Magazine Editorial Board said:

I am once again inspired by the accomplishments and commitment of this year’s awards winners.

Tackling the impact of climate change and embedding sustainability will be a challenge, but the passion and innovation in evidence shows defence’s full commitment to finding solutions.

Defence continues to prioritise sustainability and conservation and is committed to maintaining the capability of our world-leading Armed Forces whilst working to meet the government’s Net Zero policies.