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BAE Sustainability Report: 6% 2010 Drop in Emissions With 2% Sales Rise

BAE Systems cut its CO2 emissions by 6 percent from 2009 to 2010, while its sales increased just over 2 percent in that time period, according to the company’s 2011 integrated annual report.

In 2010, the aerospace and defense products manufacturer produced 1.28 million metric tons of CO2, down from 1.36 million metric tons in 2009.

BAE discloses its environmental performance a year later than its financial figures, meaning that while the 2011 annual report has sales figures from 2011 – sales dropped 14 percent from 2010 to 2011 – data on carbon emissions from 2010 is the most up-to-date available. Most of the company’s environmental performance data is available on the corporate responsibility section of its web site, rather than in the annual report itself.

In 2010, 89 percent of BAE Systems’ emissions came from energy consumed by its manufacturing sites and offices, with the remaining 11 percent from business travel. The vast majority of emissions – 90 percent – come from its sites in the U.K. and U.S., where most of its manufacturing takes place.

In 2010 electricity use accounted for 59 percent of the company’s emissions – just over 764,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent, compared to 60 percent and 830,000 Mt CO2e in 2009. Natural gas and coal combined accounted for 348,000 Mt CO2e – or 26.8 percent – in 2010 up from 333,000 Mt CO2e – or 24.4 percent of emissions – in 2009.

The company’s Electronics, Intelligence & Support division is the most emissions-intensive area of its business, and has been since at least 2008. The division accounted for 40 percent of BAE systems emissions in 2010 – up from around 34 percent in 2009. There have been drops in emissions from all its other operating groups, including a year-on-year decreases of 12 percent from both the Land & Armaments and Programmes & Support divisions (see graph below).

The company’s U.K. munitions factories are undergoing a £206 million ($327 million) investment program to build and refurbish facilities. BAE Systems expects the project to cut 18,000 metric tons of CO2 per year by decreasing energy use.

New facilities will meet the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method “very good” environmental assessment certification standard. They will feature such green tools as automatic lighting, renewable energy generation and rainwater harvesting, the company says.

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