The Natural Environment Research Council is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge in the environmental sciences. NERC undertakes some of the world's most exciting research projects, in areas such as climate change, environmental influences on human health and the genetic make-up of life.
Working internationally, NERC operates from many diverse locations throughout the world, runs a fleet of research ships, aircraft and other infrastructure and invests in satellite technology. NERC operates a number of wholly owned research centres, collaborates with a number of other closely related research institutes and also funds some research within UK universities.
NERC recognises the important leadership role it has in managing the impact of its day-to-day operations on the environment and in promoting the principles of sustainability in all of its activities.
1. NERC is committed to:
- being a responsible and environmentally conscientious organisation;
- minimising its impact on the environment when undertaking its operations commensurate with undertaking its important environmental research, having due regard to the cost of such environmental protection measures and, where possible, enhancing the quality of the environment, both for people who work there and for the wider community;
- the prevention of pollution;
- the continual improvement of its environmental management and performance;
- maintenance of recognised Environmental Management Systems with external accreditation and audit at all UK wholly owned centres and
- encouraging our closely related research institutes and research partners to adopt best environmental practice.
2. NERC is committed to achieving environmental best practice throughout its activities by:
- integrating environmental sustainability into strategies, policies and operations;
- complying with and, where appropriate, exceeding applicable legal and other requirements relevant to its operations;
- reducing its carbon footprint and emissions of greenhouse gases;
- promoting the prudent use of natural resources and minimising creation of waste through elimination, reduction and re-use;
- encouraging greater adoption of recycling regimes and final waste disposal methods which minimise impact on the environment;
- implementing a sustainable buildings policy to design, build and maintain world class research facilities;
- following a transport and travel policy that encourages use of the sustainable transport options available;
- working with research partners, other research councils, the wider public sector, the higher education sector, all relevant external authorities, environmental bodies and associations to keep up to date with latest developments and to share best practice;
- adhering to sustainable procurement principles that help ensure, where possible, our suppliers and contractors make the best use of natural resources and minimise the environmental impact of their goods, supplies and services;
- providing appropriate training to staff to ensure they are competent to control the activities for which they are responsible, and so support the delivery of this policy;
- developing awareness of its staff of the impact they have on the environment and helping them to minimise this impact;
- managing our sites and facilities to enhance biodiversity;
- communicating this policy to NERC's community and beyond;
- setting and reviewing targets and objectives which, through allocation of capital and resources, seek to achieve continual environmental improvement.
NERC will regularly review this policy and ensure that it is fit for purpose and reflects the environmental objectives of the organisation.
Approved by NERC Executive Board 24 July 2012
The NERC environmental policy is available as a PDF download.