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19th European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production – Circular Europe for Sustainability: Design, Production and Consumption

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Sustainability in NATO Armed Forces. Drivers and Influence

Sustainability and sustainable development are remarkable terms at the global level. In response to the increasing pressures coming from national and international regulations, and from society in general, organizations and business are gradually pushed towards the adoption of principles of sustainability within their strategies, structures and management systems. In this context, sustainability will only be embedded in an organization only if it is supported by a robust business case linked to tangible benefits. The sustainable performance of an organization is a result of various factors and most important the integrated outcome of the sustainable management.

In light of the above, the defense sector can, and must, be an enabler of this venture. The concept has received growing recognition, but it is a new idea for the Armed Forces. Armed forces primary consideration is to serve and protect the security and global peace. Therefore, other priorities like the environment, social demands or the economic effectiveness usually hold less importance. The last years, the integration of sustainable policies into the Armed Forces’ functions has gained interest for the military sector internationally. In particular, defense sustainable development strategies of NATO countries provide direction on what defense must do to in order to become increasingly sustainable. Although NATO countries implement sustainable structure to assist sustainable management, there are not enough study results and evidence of the application in the Armed Forces.

The main sustainability policies faced by the NATO Armed Forces and their Ministries of Defense are outlined in this paper and a review on sustainability management issues is provided, related to military policies and their assessment globally. A case-by-case approach, of the above, is examined and based on the results, appropriate recommendations will be presented, which may contribute to the sustainable management system considerations as the most important tool for effective management framework, and most importantly to evaluate its effectiveness as a structure for the Armed Forces activities.



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