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BAE Systems and Keep Scotland Beautiful extend partnership to continue fight against marine litter

Barry Fisher, CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful, speaks with graduates and apprentices at the launch
BAE Systems has announced that it is extending its partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful to become the primary supporter of the charity’s Upstream Battle® campaign on the River Clyde and its tributaries.
The partnership, which has already seen the creation of two new Community Clean Up Hubs in Scotstoun and Govan, will continue to raise awareness of the problem of marine litter from source to sea and inspire action to improve waterways throughout the Clyde Valley.
 
BAE Systems will provide £100,000 of funding to support the roll out the third phase of the campaign, expanding Keep Scotland Beautiful’s community engagement and education outreach. The charity will work with teachers and young people throughout 2022, building on its successful education programme which reached 20,000 young people in 2019.
 
Upstream Battle® will provide support and resources for teachers as well as launching a number of challenges to excite and inspire young people whilst helping develop their STEM skills and deepen their understanding of the climate emergency and circular economy. 
 
Amongst the activities planned will be a young reporters’ challenge, helping students to develop their research and reporting skills, whilst raising awareness of the dangers of marine litter, and an engineering challenge which will ask students to design new ways to prevent litter entering the Clyde.
 
Barry Fisher, CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful said, “We’re delighted to welcome this significant funding from BAE Systems to support Upstream Battle on the Clyde and its tributaries, at a time when the eyes of the world are on Glasgow and COP26. BAE Systems is a major employer in the area and we have already seen some really positive engagement with staff in our work so far. 
 
“This funding will enable us to engage with employees and their wider communities and schools to tackle marine litter from source to sea.  We look forward to rolling out the next phase of the campaign, with a particular focus on our educational activities – making a strong connection between both terrestrial and marine litter and the climate emergency.”
 
Paul Feely, Academy and Engineering Director, BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: “With all eyes on Glasgow during COP26, it is important that we continue to fly the flag for sustainability within our local communities. That’s why we are so excited to extend our partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful and help local communities understand the impact that litter can have on the environment.
 
“We’re working hard to reduce our impact on the environment, and recently announced a target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across our operations by 2030 and across our value chain by 2050. By supporting the next phase of Keep Scotland Beautiful’s vision, we hope to continue shifting the needle when it comes to climate change.”
 
At an event marking the announcement, Glasgow South West MP Chris Stephens met with BAE Systems apprentices who are already innovating for a cleaner Clyde. He said:
 
“I am deeply impressed by the thinking of apprentices in producing green energy and tidying up our river. It is these ideas and suggestions that will save our planet going forward, and I am delighted that we have innovative thinking from young people in Glasgow developing these ideas.”
 
Each year more than 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enters our oceans, killing wildlife and threatening ecosystems. The goal of Upstream Battle® is to work with communities to stop this flow of waste and tackle the root causes of littering.
 
The Company’s commitment to Upstream Battle will also see it introduce Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Climate Emergency Training to its Naval Ships employees in Govan, gaining accreditation as a Carbon Literate Organisation, and employees have already taken part in community clean ups at the new Govan hub.