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BAS Environmental Policy

The Environmental Policy of BAS is to carry out a programme of first class science with the minimum of environmental impact.

All activities undertaken in the Antarctic, even scientific research, have some impact on the environment. Therefore there has to be a balance between the sometimes conflicting demands of science and environmental protection. BAS takes all practicable steps to minimise the impact of its operations on the Antarctic environment. All activities are assessed for potential environmental impacts before they are allowed to proceed.

BAS considers that the minor and local environmental impact of its activities in the Antarctic is greatly outweighed by the important scientific investigations that are being undertaken, which are of global relevance.

BAS is also working to minimise the impacts of its Cambridge operations, for instance through energy efficiency and waste minimisation activities, and has gained ISO 14001 accreditation for its Environmental Management System.

BAS is part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). NERC has established an Environmental Management Policy to ensure that programmes of first class scientific research will be undertaken with minimum adverse environmental impact.

The full text of the BAS Environmental Policy policy is below:

BAS Environmental Policy

The BAS mission is to deliver a world class programme of scientific research and to sustain the influence and leadership of the UK in Antarctic affairs. It is a priority for BAS to achieve this mission whilst minimising the effects on the environment. BAS aims to achieve the highest possible standards for its own environmental performance and to be a leader in environmental management and stewardship in its field.

To achieve this, BAS will:

  • Comply with, and where practicable, exceed, all relevant environmental legislation and Antarctic Treaty System requirements.
  • Implement the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System for the Cambridge site, RRS James Clark Ross and RRS Ernest Shackleton whilst continually improving our environmental performance wherever BAS operates.
  • Provide training and guidance to staff, contractors and visitors on environmental management.
  • Minimise negative environmental impacts and risks by appropriate and effective control measures. Including
    • co‐ordinating Environmental Impact Assessments for all projects undertaken in the Antarctic and South Georgia;
    • implementing a comprehensive waste management policy in Cambridge and the Antarctic / South Georgia;
    • ensuring robust oil spill contingency procedures are in place at all sites; and
    • establishing a carbon management plan for all BAS operations.
  • Implement biosecurity techniques to prevent the spread of non‐native species in Antarctica, and enhance biodiversity at BAS Cambridge.
  • Ensure the continued management of protected areas in Antarctica by maintaining appropriate management plans.
  • Provide advice and support on environmental issues to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), other government departments, policy makers, and relevant NGOs to share expertise and maintain an active UK presence in Antarctic affairs.

This policy is to be reviewed annually and made publicly available.

BAS is a component body of the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) and the BAS Environmental Policy is consistent with the NERC Environmental Management Policy Statement


Directors Signature

Prof. Jane Francis, Director

Date: 27 April 2015