Implementing POEMS - how will it impact you?

From Jan 2020, every piece of equipment that is released through a MOD contract will need to use POEMS. Not only that, every piece of legacy equipment that will remain in-service beyond July 2021 will also need to retrospectively demonstrate the environmental impacts of equipment in-service use and disposal using POEMS. Are you prepared?

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The environmental impacts of future and legacy defence equipment cannot be downplayed. As the Government makes strides in achieving its sustainability goals, the defence sector must keep pace with developments in the commercial world - ensuring the equipment we develop to keep our nation safe doesn’t adversely affect our planet too.

Project Oriented Environmental Management Systems (POEMS) was originally borne from the need for MOD to standardise the approach to environmental management, much the same as had been achieved with Project Oriented Safety Management Systems (POSMS). Until recently, this system has been used for guidance only, heavily recommended but not mandated. However, MOD has made the decision that from Jan 2020 every piece of equipment that is released through a MOD contract will need to use POEMS. Not only that, every piece of legacy equipment that will remain in-service beyond July 2021 will also need to retrospectively demonstrate the environmental impacts of equipment in-service use and disposal using POEMS.

With thousands of pieces of equipment currently in development or in service, there is a huge amount of work for companies to ensure their environmental compliance.

For complex military programmes, engagement with POEMS at the concept stage has become standard practice, but what if your contract isn’t for a large scale, multi-year programme? What if it’s for infrastructure development, or smaller items of equipment? How do you navigate the path to environmental compliance without adding further costs to the project or impacting the delivery timeline? The answer: by working with a company who are experts in Support Engineering. CDS Defence Support has worked directly with the MOD for over 30 years, ensuring the safe and effective use of its equipment portfolio. We also work with several Tier 1 Primes to deliver safety and environmental cases, technical documentation and systems training. Our team of professionally qualified and experienced environmental managers have unrivalled knowledge of POEMS, using this approach on a number of large-scale land, comms, submarine and missile projects.

We have worked extensively on streamlined life cycle assessment, looking at the proportionality of the Environmental Management Procedure (EMP) applicable to a system, and providing advice on how to argue the case for a simplified POEMS when presenting to the environmental panel and delivery teams. This approach particularly relevant when looking at the environmental impacts of smaller pieces of equipment where the full nine part Environmental Management Procedure (EMP) would be unnecessary. Our teams actively research the impact of emerging national and international legislation, giving our clients forewarning of potential risks in their equipment portfolios. This includes looking at current and future environmental impacts to assess what potential legislative changes may come into force throughout the lifecycle of the project. Identifying these at the concept phase can avoid costly errors further down the line where equipment cannot be brought into service due to stricter limits on negative impacts. Whilst best practice shows the highest level of success is achieved when POEMS is introduced in the concept phase, we understand and appreciate that this isn’t possible for legacy and in-service equipment. In situations like this, we work closely with the delivery team and the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to identify and assess the environmental impacts of such equipment.

For delivery teams who haven’t used the updated POEMS (V3.0 as opposed to V2.3) getting up to speed on the changes and impacts of the updates can be a time-consuming process. CDS DS have worked with several companies to provide guidance and help implement procedures, ensuring teams deliver on time and to tight deadlines. With the right approach, the right level of detail and the right amount of future planning, POEMS can only serve to enhance programme delivery, but it’s all about choosing the right partner.

CDS Defence Support is that partner

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