ADS launches £50,000 aviation sustainability challenge


The AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ADS) Group has launched its inaugural Sustainability Challenge, with up to £50,000 of grant funding available for five SME projects. The Sustainability Challenge is a competition to support ADS SME members in reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

The challenge supports the UK’s ambition to reach net zero by 2050, and highlights the UK aerospace, defence, security and space sectors’ commitment to the target. The launch of the challenge coincided with day one of the Sustainable Skies World Summit, at Farnborough International.

Streamlined energy and carbon targets

It is hoped that the challenge will help SMEs better address some of the current issues of The Streamlined Energy and Carbon Report (SECR) framework.

The SECR Framework requires large UK companies (LLPs and groups) to report their UK energy use and carbon emissions if they exceed at least two of the following thresholds in the financial year: £36 million annual turnover, £18 million balance sheet total and/or 250 employees.

Currently, there is no legal requirement in the UK for SMEs below these thresholds to measure and report their emissions. But, given the UK’s ambition to reach net zero by 2050, it is possible that further requirements will likely be introduced in the future.

The ADS Sustainability Challenge will raise these issues among ADS SMEs members and support them through their reporting journey with grant funding of up to £10,000 for five individual SMEs who meet specific criteria.

ADS SME members have until 24th May to submit proposals, and during Paris Airshow, taking place in June 2023, the five SMEs chosen to receive the funding will be announced.

Further comment

“The ADS Sustainability Challenge is an exciting, one-of-a-kind fund that will really help our ADS SME members approach the biggest carbon reporting challenges as part of the UK’s net zero transformation,” said ADS chief executive, Kevin Craven.

“SMEs make up 97% of the ADS membership base and are instrumental in much of the agile and innovative work needed as we race to net zero by 2050, and it is critical that energy use and greenhouse gas emissions are accurately reported and reduced. I really want all ADS SME members eligible for the challenge to consider sharing their lessons,” added Craven.

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