The BAS vision is to be a world-leading centre for polar science and polar operations, addressing issues of global importance and helping society adapt to a changing world. To achieve this we will deliver a world class programme of scientific research and sustain the influence and leadership of the UK in Antarctic affairs. It is a priority for BAS to achieve this vision 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 Antarctic Treaty System requirements for BAS operations in Antarctica and relevant UK environmental legislation, everywhere that BAS operates. Where UK environmental legislation/best practice cannot be applied, due to the nature of BAS operations in the Antarctic, our own environmental standards will be implemented and followed.
- Implement the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System for the Cambridge site, BAS Ship (RRS Sir David Attenborough) and Research Stations and field operations in Antarctica and South Georgia including the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme (AIMP) construction projects ensuring that the environmental performance of all BAS activities is continually improved upon.
- Provide environmental management training, guidance and support to staff, contractors and visitors.
- 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;
- establishing a carbon management plan for all BAS operations; and
- committing to achieving Net Zero by 2040 in line with the UKRI Environmental Sustainability Strategy and the BAS Net Zero Carbon Strategy.
- Implement biosecurity techniques to prevent the introduction and spread of non-native species in Antarctica and South Georgia, 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 Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), NERC, 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 NERC is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The BAS Environmental Policy is consistent with the NERC Environmental Policy and UKRI Environmental Sustainability Strategy.
Signed: Prof. Jane Francis, Director
Date: 22nd June 2021