DND favors sustainability

National Defence

The Department of National Defence (DND) is moving to achieve sustainable operations to minimize the impact on the environment.

DND faces the unique challenge of achieving environmentally sustainable operations as one of Canada’s largest federal organizations while defending Canada and meeting international military obligations.

Over the last several years, significant gains have been made.

As of 2018-19, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were lowered by 32 per cent from 2005 levels on the way to reach 40 per cent by 2030 and the new federal target of 80 per cent by 2050.

In terms of powering the military fleet, reliable low-carbon and renewable fuels are not yet broadly available. Fighter jets and other aircraft, ships, and armoured vehicles rely on carbon-intense fuels for power, and using those fuels produces a significant amount of greenhouse gases.

National Defence is tracking fleet emissions, and will be reporting them for the first time this fall.

DND is also testing sustainable energy solutions and new technologies.

Like DND, many of Canada’s NATO allies are already diversifying their energy sources to achieve higher levels of energy independence.

October 2019 marked two years since the launch of the Defence Energy and Environment Strategy (DEES), a plan to improve energy efficiency and environmental management across Defence.

There have been positive results. Last year, 100 per cent of new and upgraded defence buildings were built to meet the latest industry standards for excellence in green building design, construction and maintenance; 75 per cent of all electricity used at bases and wings in provinces with carbon-intensive electrical grids came from clean sources; and 27 per cent of the light-duty vehicle fleet now runs on hybrid, plug-in hybrid and/or electric technology.