Our energy use

We publish information on how much energy our headquarters uses, as part of efforts to make government operations and spending more transparent.


We collect information about our energy use from our main utility meters (electricity, gas and water) at the end of each day. The continual capture of data allows us to monitor how much energy and water we are using each day, week and month.

Sustainable development

The Sustainable Development Policy Team sits within the Director Business Resilience Safety, Sustainable Development and Continuity (DBR-SSDC)

What is sustainable development?

Sustainable development is about striking a balance between environmental protection, economic development and social progress which results in ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (The Brundtland Report, 1987).

Sustainable development in defence is more specifically defined by 2 principles:

  • defence must be resilient to current and future environmental, social and economic threats (adaptation)
  • defence must realise the positive and minimise the negative impacts that defence activities can have on the environment, people and the economy in the UK and overseas (mitigation)

Why sustainable development is important to defence

Global environmental, social and economic pressures pose real threats to defence’s ability to meet its strategic objectives. For example, climate change, natural resource depletion, water scarcity, and energy and resource scarcity are all potential catalysts for increased unrest or armed conflict. These challenges will also present fresh demands on our people, infrastructure and equipment.

Embracing sustainable development will ensure that defence is prepared for these challenges (adaptation) and that we play our part in reducing the severity of any environmental, social or economic threats to defence capability in the first place (mitigation). Other important benefits of sustainable development to defence include:

  • less reliance on fossil fuel in-theatre will reduce the amount of fuel that has to be transported to the front line; a costly, risky and logistically resource intensive activity that can undermine operational continuity
  • considering issues such as the effects of climate change and resource availability in our equipment, infrastructure, training and policy planning, and adjusting and adapting our behaviour now, will cost less than trying to adapt in the future
  • using fewer natural resources, less energy, fuel and water and producing less waste will save money across defence, especially if we take a through-life value for money approach to investments in equipment and infrastructure
  • acting more sustainably has the potential to increase support for defence which could generate more favourable conditions in which to conduct our UK business, as well as potentially contribute to the success of military operations, and aid recruitment and retention
  • giving appropriate consideration to the impacts of defence decisions on the UK economy could contribute to the maintenance of a healthy UK industry in the defence and security sectors as a source of innovation and supply, and for the wider economic benefits this brings in terms of providing jobs and maintaining skills

MOD and climate change

What climate change means for the MOD

MOD’s climate change vision is to ensure effective delivery of defence capability that is robust to climate change and does not substantially contribute to its causes.

The effects of climate change are wide ranging and often have complex interactions; changes in weather patterns, rising sea levels and changes in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as heat waves are already being felt and likely to become more apparent over the next 50 years, both in the UK and abroad.

In the UK, climate change is a government priority and the MOD, like all UK government departments, must play its part in helping the UK government deliver its climate change programme.

For the MOD, the effects of climate change pose real threats to defence’s ability to meet its strategic objectives. Priorities for consideration include:

  • the type, frequency and location of operations that the MOD might be involved in as a result of climate change
  • availability and cost of energy, products and services the MOD requires in order to operate in the future
  • the role of the MOD in co-operating with other government departments to identify and understand the global impact of climate change and its impact on the UK
  • increasing the resilience of the defence estate to cope with local effects of climate change such as flooding or subsidence
  • compliance: reduction of the MOD’s greenhouse gas emissions in line with government targets while maintaining or preferably improving operational capability
  • utilising the emergence of low carbon technologies to reduce dependency on fossil fuels