Amey collaborates with defence communities to decarbonise the South Cerney MOD

Amey’s Regional Prime contracts form part of the service we deliver across the Ministry of Defence (MOD) estate, on behalf of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).  We provide a broad range of maintenance and repair services for military infrastructure and assets on sites across the UK – including South Cerney Station. South Cerney is home to 29 Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, which provides movement, postal and courier services to the British Armed Forces worldwide.

What we did

In 2010, Amey worked with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), MOD personnel, Service families and local children to identify spend-to-save projects, supporting work to replace the Station’s fuel oil heating system that had oil tanks positioned above a primary water aquifer (risking pollution) with gas boilers for the district heating system. This removed the pollution risk and delivered annual savings of around £50,000 on oil costs. 

Five years later, our team worked alongside DIO to carry out a survey that identified that Service properties on the estate were connected to the MOD electricity supply and subject to the very high costs of ‘TRIAD’ (tri-annual demand peak) periods in winter. As part of the Stations youth clubs a TRIAD Warrior Group was formed by Pte Lauren Barr who was inspired after attending one of Captain Williams’s sustainability and climate change lectures.  The children took part in an energy-saving awareness campaign that included 58 primary and 30 secondary school children who designed posters and leaflets which were displayed throughout the workplace areas, and delivered to houses on camp to help educate residents on how to conserve energy.  

What impact

Since then, the Station has introduced many more initiatives in their quest for decarbonisation that includes assigned a Building Custodian to monitor energy use in their building and delivering regular briefings to key personnel with a focus on environmental protection.  Annual climate change lectures are delivered to all personnel each year and logistics personnel attend environmental protection courses at RAF Halton to guide them in their sustainability and environmental protection management responsibilities. 

Work is currently taking place to establish a 1.4MW power plant containing 5,200 solar panels that will supply enough power for around 350 homes, representing one-third of the annual consumption.

A further saving of 400 tonnes of CO2 a year is expected, and it will reduce costs by an estimated £109,000 after a year, £1,087,000 after 10 years, and £2,718,000 after 25 years. 

Captain Nigel Williams RAMC, the Army Force Protection Adviser, is the driving force behind the initiative which has been his vision for over 11 years. 

“We began by introducing a management system to monitor, manage and report our sustainability work that is overseen by the Defence Safety and Environmental Committee. In 2010 we installed meters into our top ten most energy-consuming buildings to provide a better picture of site-wide energy use. The site is made up of both new and older buildings so our immediate challenge was ‘How can we manage what we cannot measure?’ Instead we used data from DIO’s utility management system which has shown a 38.7% reduction in our CO2 emissions, from a 2009/10 baseline of 3,819 tonnes, to 2,305 tonnes in 2019/20.” 

To date, the team have collected an impressive eight awards in recognition of their environmental efforts and have even more projects in the pipeline that will provide benefits for the local and wider community for many years to come.