Addendum K (Army Sustainability Strategy)
Army Sustainability is a comprehensive, systems approach to planning and decision-making designed to sustain the natural infrastructure, which includes the land, water, air, and energy resources required to conduct our mission.
Advances in technology, ever-increasing global population, and urbanization have effectively made the world smaller. They have placed greater stresses on the world’s interconnected human, economic, and natural systems. Local and regional issues, such as famine, natural disasters, ecological degradation, economic decline, political upheaval, and disputes over precious and sometimes scarce natural resources, are evolving into global issues that influence how the United States must respond and interact—through political, economic, and when necessary, military engagement.
Fielding new weapons systems, adjusting tactics, and consolidating forces through Base Realignment and Closure and global repositioning all impact - as well as are impacted by – our ability to sustain the natural infrastructure, which includes the land, water, air, and energy resources required to conduct our mission.
Traditionally, the DoD has defined sustainability solely in terms of the necessary level and duration of forces, material and consumables necessary to achieve mission objectives. The Army now recognizes that to sustain the mission, we must clearly recognize and consider often non-traditional internal and external aspects that may influence our ability achieve sustainability over time.The Army Strategy for the Environment – Sustain the Mission, Secure the Future expands on the traditional sustainability concept, describing a sustainable Army as simultaneously meeting current as well as future mission requirements worldwide, safeguarding human health, improving quality of life and enhancing the natural environment. The six goals outlined in this strategic document guide how we are integrating sustainability considerations into each of the Army’s four overarching strategies.
Sustainability supports the Army in all its missions and applies to all Army units, organizations, personnel, suppliers, support contractors and partners. Further, our sustainability strategy was developed to strengthen the Army contribution to joint operations.
The six goals of Army Sustainability are:
- Foster a sustainability ethic within the Army that takes us beyond environmental compliance to sustainability.
- Strengthen Army operations: Strengthen Army operational capability by reducing our environmental footprint through more sustainable practices.
- Meet testing, training, and mission requirements: Meet current and future training, testing, and other mission requirements by sustaining land, air, and water resources.
- Minimize impacts and total ownership costs: Minimize impacts and total ownership costs of Army systems, material, facilities, and operations by integrating the principles and practices of sustainability.
- Enhance well-being: Enhance the well-being of our Soldiers, civilians, families, neighbors, and communities through leadership in sustainability.
- Drive innovation: Use innovative technology and the principles of sustainability to meet user needs and anticipate future Army challenges
Sustainable practices directly support our business transformation, because they seek to eliminate waste, drive innovation, and promote collaboration across the Army enterprise. Likewise, sustainable practices provide our operational Army with greater capability. Water conservation, fuel and energy efficiency, will enable us to deploy faster, travel farther and sustain deployed units as long as required. Alternative energy will provide the security buffer to protect our forces from disruption in petroleum supplies from foreign sources. Achieving zero emissions – heat, light, noise, waste – will reduce the operational signature and logistical support tail.
Many of the sustainable practices the Army seeks to institutionalize are modeled from practices adopted by a growing number of corporations achieving competitive advantage by taking a thorough look at how their processes impact not only their financial status, but environmental and social well-being -- the “triple bottom line”. By finding common ground where financial interests merge with the interest of doing what is right by the environment and society, corporations have found tremendous savings, more effective business models and new markets.
To illustrate the concept of sustainability in an Army context, the Army adopted its own “triple bottom line”: Mission, Environment, and Community. As the Army adapts practices that leverage Mission, Community, and Environment, it will begin to achieve “the Triple Bottom Line - Plus.” The “Plus” represents the cost savings, innovation, collaborative solutions and continuous learning that directly link sustainability to Army Business Transformation.
In 2007, the Army will roll out an ambitious strategic action plan that sets objectives and ambitious targets to achieve our sustainability goals. These objectives focus on improving our ability to organize, equip, train, and deploy our Soldiers as part of the Joint Force. They will:
- Improve our ability to deploy rapidly and to transition seamlessly across the full spectrum of operations;
- Develop people, processes, and tools to provide capabilities for a sustainable future;
- Transform business practices by incorporating the “triple bottom line” of mission, environment, and community in all of our processes;
- Reinforce a culture of engagement that enhances collaboration with our stakeholders in neighboring communities, in private industry, in academia, in government at all levels and in non-government organizations; and,
- Accelerate innovation by employing systems thinking and investing in sustainable technologies.
For more information about Army Sustainability, see www.sustainability.army.mil