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Environmental Protection: Home


When searching for information on this topic, potentially useful keywords to use include :

  • Environmental Protection
  • Sustainability
  • Waste Management
  • Contamination
  • Environmental Studies


This LibGuide includes links to content found on the web (e.g. websites, news & blogs, reports, etc.) as well as a select number of articles and books available from the NATO Multimedia Library.

Please note that this is not a comprehensive collection of material on ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION. The selection criteria for the websites and documents included was based on each item's currency and relevancy to this topic.

NATO Websites


Allied Command Operations


Allied Command Transformation


Joint Force Command Brunssum


Joint Force Command Naples

Land Command

Allied Land Command

Allied Air Command

Allied Air Command

Allied Maritime Command

Allied Maritime Comamnd


This Environmental Protection LibGuide serves as an information sharing platform on the topic of environmental protection in the military. 


NATO defines environment as " the surroundings in which an organization operates, including air, water, land, natural resources, flora, fauna, humans, and their interrelations" (NATO agreed 31 Oct 2013).

Military activities often have an adverse effect on the environments in which they occur. Damage to the environment from these activities can threaten livelihoods and habitats, and thus breed instability. Part of NATO's responsibility is to protect the physical and natural environments where operations and training take place.

Since the 1960s environmental experts have argued that the military should adopt measures to protect the physical and natural environment¹ from harmful and detrimental effects of its activities. Environmental degradation can cause social and economic instability and new tensions, whereas the preservation of the environment during a military operation can enhance stabilisation and foster lasting security. Hence, minimising environmental damage during training and military operations is of great importance for the overall success of the mission.

NATO member countries are aware of the environmental challenges during military operations and they have adopted rules and regulations to protect the environment. NATO's measures range from safeguarding hazardous materials (including fuels and oils), treating waste water, reducing fossil fuel consumption and managing waste to putting environmental management systems in place during NATO-led activities. In line with these objectives, NATO has been facilitating the integration of environmental protection measures into all NATO-led military activities.

Policy and standards (including evolution and mechanisms paragraph)

NATO started to develop its environmental protection policy in the late 1970s when NATO expert groups and processes were established to address environmental challenges, resulting in a number of guidelines and standards. At this time, NATO's policy states that NATO-led forces "must strive to respect environmental principles and policies under all conditions".

Currently, two dedicated NATO groups are addressing environmental protection while promoting cooperation and standardization among NATO and partner countries, as well as among different NATO bodies and international organizations that regularly attend as observers:

  • the Environmental Protection Working Group (EPWG) (under the Military Committee Joint Standardization Board that reports to the Military Committee)
  • The Specialist Team on Energy Efficiency and Environmental Protection (STEEEP) (under the Maritime Capability Group "Ship Design and Maritime Mobility" that reports through the NATO Naval Armaments Group to the Conference of National Armament Directors).

The EPWG aims to reduce possible harmful impacts of military activities on the environment by developing NATO policies, standardization documents, guidelines and best practices in the planning and implementation of operations and exercises.

The ST/EEEP aims to integrate environmental protection and energy efficiency regulations into technical requirements and specifications for armaments, equipment and materials on ships, and for the ship to shore interface in the Allied and partner nations' naval forces.