Sustainable Security: a thematic deepdive
A theme for any event is supposed to provide some structure to attendees. In this case, this is not straightforward: pairing two societal challenges with wide implications does little to clarify either. As editorial team, we had to call in the experts: the participants of the NIDV Platform for Sustainability, Environment and Safety.
Sustainability is a wide topic. It ranges from reducing Green House Gas emission and adapting to climate change to handling waste and avoiding the use of hazardous substances. But it also concerns codes of conduct for export, anti-corruption, information security, diversity, inclusion and in general respecting human rights.
Without sustainability no security, but the opposite statement is also true: without security no sustainability. The latter can now growingly be observed since a war bordering the EU and rising tensions in several regions in the world start to threaten our western society, and its foundations that are a condition to strive for a sustainable world.
According to our institutions, governments and associations, this is a high priority challenge. Improved budgets for Defence, after decades of reduction, can now at least give a first boost to restore our military capabilities. This in itself is a big challenge because of the longer neglect of the defense industry in combination with a now growing complexity and very high performance demand of systems. But we need future proof and adequate capabilities for our women and men at sea, in the field and in the air; for military dominance comes first and must be met at all times.
Fortunately, there are numerous examples where operational excellence and sustainability go hand in hand. For example, use of renewable energy results in smaller signatures, more cost efficient platforms and various logistical advantages. Furthermore, responsible behavior makes the defense & security sector as a whole more attractive for employees and investors.
The wide view
The United Nations has provided guidelines with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Furthermore, NATO and the European Commission have taken the lead in making our sector more sustainable, supported by national Defence organizations, industry and research.
Especially now, in times of increased threats, it is important to stay on this course. Therefore, the theme of NEDS2023 is Sustainable Security. We invite all exhibitors and visitors to discuss and highlight this important topic at the exhibition.