ADS launches Sustainability Challenge for innovative UK SMEs.

Posted on 16 April, 2023 by Joscelyn Turner

  • ADS launches its inaugural Sustainability Challenge with up to £50K of grant funding for five SME projects.
  • The ADS Sustainability Challenge is a competition to support ADS SME Members reduce 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. 

To mark day one of the Sustainable Skies World Summit, taking place at Farnborough International, ADS has launched its inaugural ADS Sustainability Challenge, offering a total of £50K of grant funding for five ADS small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) members. 

The ADS Sustainability Challenge is a competition to support ADS SMEs reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and 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 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 through grant funding of up to £10K for five individual SMEs who meet specific criteria. 

The Sustainability Challenge is designed to encourage the creation and implementation of ideas that will reduce carbon emissions and energy use. 

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

Towards the end of the year, the winners of the grant funding, will be expected to share their progress with other ADS members. 

ADS Chief Executive, Kevin Craven said: 

“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. 

“SMEs make up 97 per cent 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.”



To find out more about the competition, the criteria and application form, please visit the Sustainability Challenge page.