How to leverage sustainable procurement practices to increase resilience and competitiveness in the UK defense industry.

Introduction: What is Sustainable Procurement and Why is it Important?

The need for sustainability is more important than ever in the modern world, where resources are scarce and pressures on the environment and people are rising. Adopting sustainable procurement practises is obviously no longer a matter of choice. Rather, it is a responsibility across all industries. 

The procurement process allows businesses and government departments to obtain goods and services and ultimately fulfil their obligations to their customer/the public. Sustainable procurement practises help businesses, suppliers and government agencies ensure that these goods and services are sourced in ways that minimise any impact on the environment or society as a whole.


Typically, sustainable procurement involves a company finding a balance between business and cotnract requirements and utilising sustainable and ethical sources to fulfil them.


When businesses operating within the defence sector opt to embrace sustainable and ethical procurement practises, they are not contributing towards environmental conservation. This helps improve competitiveness and resilience for businesses hoping to win MOD tenders and security contracts. 


There are a number of benefits for companies in the defence sector that make use of sustainable procurement processes. We will explore a range of aspects around the role of sustainable procurement practises in the defence industry. 

The role of Sustainable Procurement in the UK Defence Industry

In the past, sustainability seemed like an unattainable goal. An abstract idea. However, it is even more crucial in the world today. The world has witnessed three major threats against global stability and, in turn, national security. These include climate change, exhaustion of resources, and energy competition, among others. Consequently, sustainable defence procurement is now an issue the MOD must tackle.

However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. This is how MOD works to supply equipment and support services in a sustainable manner, thus limiting the damages inflicted on society and the environment. Therefore, through collaborating with businesses in the defence sector that have embraced sustainable procurement strategies, the MOD is able to sustain its operations within the limited budget available.


Therefore, the main decision makers choose defence industry businesses oriented towards sustainable procurement during the selection and bidding process for MOD tenders and defence contracts online.

There are also a number of benefits that businesses aiming to win security contracts in the UK can feel by introducing sustainable procurement practises into their business model. Sustainable procurement encourages better efficiency, resilience, and adaptability. 


Increasing Resilience:

Within the context of sustainable procurement, resilience can be viewed as the ability of procurement processes and supply chains to cope with a range of risks. These risks are related to security, environmental, and social issues.


Through the adoption of proper sustainable procurement measures, businesses can react and adapt appropriately. Therefore, a resilient procurement process helps these business providers fulfil their contracts to maintain national defence capabilities. 

Improving Competitiveness:

While incorporating sustainable procurement can help businesses deal with challenges and changes associated with climate change, energy competition, and resource scarcity, this is not the only benefit. By implementing sustainable procurement practises, businesses can improve their competitiveness and open themselves to contract opportunities. 

Businesses in the defence sector support the sustainability strategies of UK MOD and the government through the adoption of sustainable procurement processes. This enables them to formulate investment appraisals and business cases centred on sustainability concerns, which leads to lower costs, a better reputation, higher resilience, and boosted operational efficiency. By coming up with security contracts that have policies for resource use and efficiency, they can help cut business costs. However, this is only one of the numerous ways to ensure sustainability in procurement issues.

Sustainable Procurement Strategies for the UK Defence Industry

There are a number of strategies that businesses within the defence industry can use when implementing sustainable procurement practises. These strategies help businesses in the defence sector become more competitive and resilient. Further, they help ensure the impact on the environment is reduced. 

These methods cover:

Using Locally Sourced Materials and Products

Making use of locally sourced products and materials helps businesses with mod contracts cut out long, complicated supply chains and support local businesses. This, in turn, helps support the economy and local communities. 

Energy Efficiency: 

The defence industry has always been a leader in incorporating new technology. By making the switch to energy efficient technology, defence sector a company can lower its energy consumption and reduce their carbon emissions. 

Waste Reduction and a Circular Economy: 

By committing to policies around a circular economy and effective waste reduction, companies with ministry of defence contracts and those in the defence sector can further reduce their carbon footprint. This can include aspects such as recycling, reusing materials where possible, and environmentally friendly disposal methods. The implementation of efficient waste management programmes can help build a culture of environmental conservation in the ministry of defence.

Challenges in Sustainable Procurement: 

Organisations seeking to implement environmentally conscious practises face a number of obstacles when it comes to sustainable procurement. Some of these barriers include financial limitations, lack of awareness, and, at times, even resistance, especially with regard to some stakeholder groups.


Nevertheless, with the world shifting to a focus on sustainability and the search for eco-friendly options, sustainable procurement has more advantages than disadvantages.

Building a Sustainable Future

By incorporating sustainable procurement practises into their business model, businesses in the defence sector improve their competitiveness and resilience.


Businesses like small and medium enterprises looking on the defence sourcing portal for new opportunities such as surveillance tenders, blue light procurement tender opportunities, or any defence contracts or security tenders have a better chance of selection when they have policies and practises in place that reflect a keen understanding of the need for sustainable procurement practises. 

To build a sustainable future for all, implementing sustainable procurement practises in defence procurement is key. It is clear that through these practises, businesses can reduce their carbon footprint, extend the lifespan of the goods and services received, and even boost local economies.  


Given the increasing intensity of climate change and its impact on the UK defence sector, it would seem natural to want to adopt sustainable procurement practises. This creates a competitive edge, increases a business’s resilience, and ultimately increases the chance of securing bids for mod tenders and defence contracts.


Strategies can include the use of locally sourced materials, energy efficient technology and policies, as well as effective waste management. However, sustainable procurement involved overcoming challenges like financial constraints, a lack of understanding, or even resistance from stakeholders. But in order to achieve a sustainable future, adopting these processes is vital. 

To learn more about how you can implement sustainable procurement and contract and tender using practises within your business to bid and win defence contracts, security equipment tenders, and more, contact us today!



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