The Swedish Armed Forces takes   additional steps towards a sustainable defence

In 2020, the Swedish Armed Forces’ sustainability efforts contributed to achieving the UN sustainability goals. The previous environmental report has now been upgraded to a sustainability report in which environmental, social and economic sustainability are accounted for.

Stridspilot cyklar till sitt flygplan.
A pilot rides his bike to the aircraft. The internal sustainability measures within the Swedish Armed Forces form an essential part of the Swedish Armed Forces’ efforts towards more growth. Photo: Joel Thungren

The Swedish Armed Forces is growing in size and strength, in accordance with a decision made by the Swedish parliament and government. Sustainability efforts form a large part of this process.

"Our expansion is to be achieved in an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable way. We have come far in all these areas, which is evident from our sustainability report for 2020”, says Naznoush Habashian, head of the sustainability division of the Swedish Armed Forces.

The internal sustainability measures are a vital part of the Swedish Armed Forces’ growth and efforts are made to contribute to the UN global sustainability goals. Apart from goals linked to the environment, there is also a large number of other goals to be achieved. The heading social sustainability, for instance, deals with gender equality.

In 2020, many senior officials participated in the Swedish Armed Forces’ gender-coach programme, which focuses on the gender equality aspect of Swedish Armed Forces’ activities.  

"Gender equality and social equality are part of the democratic values protected by the Swedish Armed Forces. In line with this, there are long-term goals to increase the number of women at all levels within the organisation” says Naznoush Habashian. 

As concerns economic sustainability, the Swedish Armed Forces is enhancing its sustainable procurement procedures, based on a life-cycle perspective and circular economy. A case in point is the development in the field of textiles. 

“We are reviewing the possibilities to recycle some of the textiles that are currently incinerated or used in energy recovery. This project may be viewed as a natural consequence of the procurement of our light uniforms. Requirements have been made that a certain percentage of the fabric should consist of recycled materials”, says Naznoush Habashian. 

In 2020, climate and vulnerability analyses of the activities have also formed an essential part of the environmental sustainability measures. The purpose has been to identify risks and vulnerabilities. The results have then served as a basis for the implementation of climate adaptation measures in the Swedish Armed Forces’ activities.