Environ mental weapon buying
Under new rules being introduced by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), weapons manufacturers have been told to account for the environmental impact of making depleted uranium shells or the social consequences of assembling cruise missiles.
The Sustainable Procurement Charter, which has been sent to defence suppliers to the MoD and which all will have to sign, tells companies to minimise any adverse effects on society from their activities, which may be hard to establish for makers of nuclear submarines or weapons of mass destruction.
The charter says: “SP is a process whereby organisations meet their needs for goods, services ... and utilities in a way that achieves best value for money on a through life basis with minimal adverse impacts on the environment and society.”
There is also concern that the Government is adding further bureaucracy to MoD procurement. One industry executive said: “This is yet another example of civil servants living in a parallel universe. Everyone knows the MoD is broke and by its own admission is constipated with process, much of it pointless and counter-productive, so why has it launched another vacuous initiative that will consume resources?”
The MoD said that it was introducing the charter as part of an effort to get suppliers to reduce energy use and carbon dioxide emissions and to limit their adverse effect on society.
Far more important than whether the pointy things will hurt the baddies and the flat things stop the baddies hurting our own, and whether there are any of them actually available in the hot dusty places.