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 UK environmental legislation, everywhere that BAS operates, and Antarctic Treaty System requirements for BAS operations in Antarctica. Where UK environmental legislation/best practice cannot be applied, due to the nature of BAS operations in the Antarctic, BAS own environmental standards will be implemented and followed.
  • Implement the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System for the Cambridge site, BAS Ship[1] (RRS James Clark Ross) and Research Stations and field operations in Antarctica and South Georgia, ensuring that the environmental performance of all BAS activities is continually improved upon.
  • 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 introduction and 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), 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.


Signed:   Prof. Jane Francis, Director

Date:  9 August 2019


[1] The EMS scope will be expanded to include the new BAS ship, the RRS Sir David Attenborough, once it is in full service anticipated in October 2020.