Complementing our values are our commitments; to the environment, which we strive to protect, to our responsibility as a corporate entity, to keeping our suppliers, partners and employees safe at work and to helping our employees, across all areas, succeed and deliver great work.
The NOC is committed to continual environmental improvement, preventing pollution and being an environmentally conscientious organisation.
The NOC currently maintains an Environmental Management Systems (EMS) covering operations at both Southampton and Liverpool sites, certified to ISO 14001. The scope of our certification is as follows:
All activities at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) main sites as follows:
- NOC Southampton
- NOC Liverpool - Joseph Proudman Building
In Southampton, the scope includes the activities onsite of both the University of Southampton (UoS) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) including the operation of inshore teaching vessels. The scope of the EMS excludes activities on our field sites and of our large research vessels – RRS Discovery and RRS James Cook.
The environmental management of our research vessels is captured by MARPOL requirements and our Ship Energy Efficiency Plans.
Our main significant environmental risks (aspects) are those associated with procurement, business travel and energy use.
Targets for both sites encompass a range of different environmental aspects, from reducing waste generation and energy use to promoting sustainable travel and safe oil storage.
Through the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) the Centre also holds the Carbon Trust Standard. This commits is to making year-on-year carbon reductions. The Carbon Footprint of the NOC estate (excluding ships) is ~5000 tonnes CO2e per annum, equivalent to over ~900 standard UK homes. We recognise that there is a carbon footprint associated with our research and we endeavour to ensure that we operate in the most efficient way possible to minimise this.
Ways in which we aim to minimise our carbon footprint include:
There are over 200 energy meters across Liverpool and Southampton. These meters record and allow analysis of our gas, water and electricity consumption. The monitoring system is used to detect suspect energy/water use and to validate energy savings from our projects.
The NOC has installed a 157kW photo voltaic array in Southampton. The array consists of 594 solar panels. The array generates enough power over the year to meet the electricity demand of our Southampton workshops on which they are situated.
Waste recycling regimes have been established at both Southampton and Liverpool. Staff and students are encouraged to follow the waste hierarchy, ‘eliminate, reduce, reuse, recycle’. Waste audits occur in Liverpool and Southampton annually; this provides the NOC with data on what materials are entering the general waste and helps us forward plan.
Sea water cooling
The NOC has a unique Sea Water Cooling system in Southampton. In the winter months the dock water is used to indirectly cool the building. The system provides the NOC Southampton with approximately 16 weeks of free cooling a year.
Smarter travel options
The NOC actively encourages staff, students and visitors to the Centre to use public or active transport. Good cycling and walking routes can be found to each site in addition to free cycle parking.
At Southampton, the Uni-Link bus service links the Centre directly to the airport, railway stations and city centre. For information on travelling to the NOC sites visit our Contact Us page.
Free air cooling
Server rooms can be found in both Southampton and Liverpool. These house powerful computers and require lots of cooling. Thermal images have been used to ensure cooling is effective therefore reducing energy demand. Thermal containment curtains have been installed in the server rooms in addition to fresh air-cooling systems.
The NOC works closely with its delivery partners, University of Liverpool and University of Southampton, to share best practice. The NOC is also involved with travel forums in both cities and the Energy Partnership in Southampton. The NOC is now also working with local schools in Southampton that are registered on the Eco-Schools scheme.
Electric Vehicle Charging at the NOC
The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) has installed an electric vehicle charging point as part of the government ‘Plugged in Places’ initiative. Two electric vehicles may charge at any one time onsite. The charge point is situated on the Southampton site (SO14 3ZH) but currently unavailable due to refurbishment. Booking Form
Eco-School visits to the NOC are aimed at junior schools (KS2) within the Hampshire area working on the Keep Britain Tidy ‘Eco-Schools’ scheme.
If you would like further information on any of the items above please contact the NOC Energy and Environment Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our approach to Corporate Responsibility is about achieving our mission in a way that reflects our values, connects our decisions to ethical, environmental and social concerns and meet the standards our stakeholders, customers and our own people expect of an organisation that aims to be one of the world’s top three oceanographic research institutions.
The National Oceanography Centre is committed to setting the highest standards for responsible practice and these standards underpin our mission:
- To undertake internationally competitive marine science in an Earth system context and especially with a long term focus – working with others for the effective translation of new and existing knowledge into demonstrably high societal benefit.
- To manage, develop, coordinate and innovate high quality, large research infrastructure, equipment pools, facilities, databases and other science enabling functions for the benefit of the whole UK science community to deliver excellent science with impact.
The National Oceanography Centre will conduct its business to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. We believe that this is the right thing to do, and it in our interests to protect our great name and deserved reputation for being the UK’s leading institution for sea level science, coastal and deep ocean research and technology development.
We have a legal and voluntary duty to consider the impact of our activities on the environment, on people and on our community. We believe that by adopting a responsible approach we can be credible and trustworthy, manage the social and environmental issues that impact on us, win business and use our resources wisely.
In defining the way we work through our approach to corporate responsibility, we set out the standards that the NOC sets of itself, all NOC employees and third parties acting on our behalf. We expect our values and corporate responsibility policy to be adopted by all employees when they are performing their day-to-day duties or where they are representing the NOC and to take personal responsibility for ensuring that our commitment to working ethically is followed.
- provide a safe working environment and promote and embrace a positive health and safety culture
- provide opportunities for all and support diversity in the workplace
- nuture our talent
- respect human rights and treat everyone with dignity
We will not:
- discriminate against employees, or any other individuals we meet while conducting our business
- Focus our work to minimise the impact of activity on the planet and especially the ocean
- Limit our environmental impact and footprint
- Reduce our consumption of resources
- Comply with environmental laws and regulations
- comply with laws and regulations
- reject bribery and corruption
- avoid conflicts of interest
- recognise human rights and reject modern slavery
- manage risks
- have fair contractual practices and be transparent in our operations
- only disclose confidential information with approval or to satisfy a legal obligation
- act in a way which protects and promotes NOC’s good reputation at all times
- conduct research to the highest standards of rigour and integrity
- We will:
- Foster a wider understanding of the ocean
- Engage with local schools and groups
- Encourage staff to engage in their community
- Develop our organisation to enable access to technology and the creation of jobs
We also follow the Seven Principles of Public Life
- Selflessness: Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
- Integrity: Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.
- Objectivity: In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
- Accountability: Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
- Openness: Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
- Honesty: Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
- Leadership: Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.
Ensuring that the National Oceanography Centre is a safe place for staff, students, visitors and tenants is an absolute priority. The NOC Health and Safety Policy sets out the management framework we use to achieve that.
Being a safe organisation ultimately requires everyone to make health and safety their priority, so we ask that everyone associated with the NOC familiarises themselves with the content of this policy.
The Policy will be reviewed periodically by the Health and Safety Committee and published by the NOC Safety Advisor on behalf of the Executive Director.
Our commitment to our people is to make the NOC a great place to be, where our people succeed and deliver great work. This is the goal of our People Strategy, which has been designed to support the achievement of the NOC’s purpose, and the vision of being one of the top three oceanographic institutes in the world.
We know that there are many reasons why our people enjoy working for the NOC, including
- The significance and scale of our mission – ‘to make sense of changing seas, upon which future human wealth and wellbeing depend’
- Our ambition and reputation, supported with high-quality research facilities, equipment and technology
- The opportunity to collaborate with experienced, skilled, renowned and widely-networked colleagues
- Exciting projects and opportunities to make an impact.
In our 2016 Employee Engagement survey 81% said that they were proud to work for the NOC, and we recognise that to make the NOC ‘a great place to be’ also requires support for employees to do their best work. Our commitment is to strive to:
- Have a strong, vibrant culture, with clear leadership, values and expectations, where people are well managed (as reflected in our Investors in People accreditation) and employees are listened to
- Develop talent, through providing a variety of opportunities for learning and development, personal growth and career progression
- Build a positive workplace, with equality of opportunity, diversity and inclusiveness valued; welfare and wellbeing support; flexible working; family friendly policies, and excellent working conditions.
- Provide regular feedback, recognise and reward achievements fairly within the resources available, and offer a benefits package that include competitive pension and annual leave entitlements.