Yesterday ADS welcomed a group of future leaders working across all the ADS sectors in sustainability to Meggitt’s new opened state of the art facility in Ansty Park, Coventry.

Following ADS’ successful pre-COP26 event in London last year, specifically the Future Leaders panel, the inaugural event was the brain child of Aerospace Policy Advisory, Andy Phillips who wanted to bring together individuals working in sustainability across the aerospace, defence, space and security sectors to continue the conversation around the implementation of sustainability, sustainable practices and efforts to reach net zero by 2050.

Its undoubted that the timeline and road to sustainability, specifically net zero by 2050 is a long one and it was great to see such an inspiring cross section of the next generation of leaders committed to making their organisation’s sustainable commitments and pledges a reality.

The issue of sustainability was defined as a ‘wicked problem’ having no right or wrong answer and transgressing global boundaries in our increasingly interconnected societies and business models.

A lot was covered in long day including how commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals can have unintended consequences, the importance of driving change through supply chains, sustainable business models and the importance of collaboration including learning from other industries facing similar issues.

The group also got a tour of Meggitt’s new facility which is 440,000 square feet and has 2.5x football pitches worth of roof-mounted PV panels, producing renewable energy used within the Meggitt facility. The tour was certainly eye opening as to how sustainability and the integration of production and office facilities can support the longevity, efficiency, and productivity of a global organisation like Meggitt.

In the afternoon session, Amy Spruce, Engagement Manager Oliver Wyman encouraged attendees to consider what was needed in the main ecosystem to drive change across the different ADS sectors and identify commonalities that would apply to all. Many attendees commented on the importance of Government funding through organisations such as the Aerospace Technology Institute to invest in the Research and Development (R&D) of sustainable projects and technologies, emphasising the importance of the welcomed uplift of £685 million over the next three years.

The session closed with attendees being encouraged to take away one action to explore from the day, actions ranged from encouraging employees of organisations to take responsibility for the sustainable practices of their organisation, implementing short, medium, and long-term sustainability goals and ensuring important achievements towards organisational goals are widely shared and celebrated.

This was the first event of many to come, if you’re interested in participating, or hosting the next Future Leaders event (date and location to be confirmed), please email Andy Phillips. In the meantime, join the conversation around sustainability on ADS’ Sustainable Hub or the New Professionals Forum.