In pursuit of Net Zero – my Sustainability Apprenticeship

Earlier this year, Dave stepped into a new role that would see him leading the development of BAE System’s Air Sector roadmap to Carbon Net Zero.  

As part of the role, Dave became part of the first cohort of BAE Systems employees to embark on a new Masters-level sustainability apprenticeship, developed by Cranfield University. The course is playing an important role in building a network of sustainability champions across the Company to help drive progress towards its net zero target.

“The course is providing us with a wider appreciation and understanding of what sustainability means to businesses like ours. It’s important that we fully consider the impact we have more widely, on our supply chain and on the communities where we operate. We’re building our understanding about how to support our wider environmental & social responsibilities that play a part in creating & maintaining a sustainable business. We recognise that nobody has all of the answers – but through collaboration and by extending our learning, we’re building an informed path and learning from each other in the process.”

Dave, Sustainability Apprentice

The course is one of only two Master’s level studies in the UK specifically designed with a business context. Students completing the programme will achieve a Sustainability Business Specialist Apprenticeship, including a Master’s degree in Sustainability and professional recognition as a Registered Environmental Practitioner and Practitioner Member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.

“All the learning & assignment work is focused at applying it within the workplace – it’s not just theoretical. This is the first cohort with around 50 people from a diverse range of industries and companies. Whilst it’s still early days, I’ve really enjoyed looking at other companies, many of which are leading the way in sustainable practices and getting a view from the other candidates on the challenges in their businesses & sectors.”

Dave, Sustainability Apprentice

Within the Air sector, an ESG Strategy Board has been formed which Dave supports. The Board come together to discuss and explore key activities that have a benefit not just the business, but a wider community of stakeholders too.  

BAE Systems set a target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across its operations by 2030 and across the value chain by 2050.  In order to achieve these goals, the Company is investing in low to zero energy carbon products and renewable energy solutions, supporting supply chains to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pioneering new technologies to help customers move towards net zero.

Dave is enjoying the broad reach that the role offers – working across functions, locations and seeking out support and views from our communities, customers and supply chain as part of that.  

Reflecting BAE Systems’ commitment to continually develop its employees’ skills throughout their careers, the first ten apprentices to undertake the programme are employees from across its UK businesses, including in Scotland as well as the North West and South East of England. They aims to increase the number and level of sustainability apprenticeships, opening them up to new starters in the future, as it continues to attract and recruit new talent.