Environmental management structure

Chief executive

Key functions:

  • Chair of NERC Management Board.
  • Address environmental issues.
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NERC Operations Group

  • Chair - chief operations officer & director, ownership & governance.
  • Overall responsibility for managing environmental activity.

Key functions:

  • Sets high-level strategy.
  • Approves environmental accounts.
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Heads of Estate Group

  • Senior managers with responsibility for environment at centre or site.

Key functions:

  • Actively support the Environmental Professionals Group (EPG).
  • Ensure environmental data returns occur in a timely manner.
  • Assesses progress in meeting environmental targets and objectives.

NERC corporate team

  • Health & safety advisor with corporate responsibility for environment.

Key functions:

  • Collate environmental data for carbon reporting.
  • Complete returns for the purposes of central government environmental reporting.
  • Complete returns associated with the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme and Carbon Trust Standard.
  • Submit environmental information into the annual report.
  • Provide administrative support for EPG.
  • Maintain the contract for the Stark Energy monitoring system for those that chose to utilise the service.
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NERC Environmental Professionals Group

  • Environment & energy reporting coordinator.
  • Finance team representative.
  • Designated environmental advisor or manager from each centre.
  • Deputies for the designated environmental advisor or manager.

Key functions:

  • Review and update where required the NERC environmental policy.
  • Collate, review and benchmark environmental performance across NERC, including compliance, audit management & outcomes and major incidents.
  • Collate, validate and report environmental data with regard to centre's environmental performance and targets.
  • Identify opportunities for continual improvement to NERC's environmental performance and scope.
  • Share best practice on and provide cross-centre support for the ISO 14001 accreditations in place.
  • Discuss environmental incidents and issues with a view to sharing learning and expertise.
  • Collaborate on identifying and jointly implementing training for NERC and centre's staff on environmental management.
  • Provide guidance and development for NERC environmental management appointees, competent persons and representatives.
  • Consult and promote environmental issues and initiatives across all of NERC via local centres' EPG members.
  • To set common environmental targets across NERC in line with government sustainability reporting guidelines 14-15 and monitor progress against these targets.
  • Initiate and support programmes to develop and educate on environmental awareness, including a bi-annual workshop to involve Heads of Estates and other research council or centre staff, as appropriate.
  • Prepare and present a summary annual report to the Heads of Estates of the activities and the deliverables of the group.
  • In conjunction with NERC finance, liaise with and monitor UK Shared Business Services on sustainable procurement.
  • Input into the environmental performance submission to the NERC annual report.
  • Prepare and disseminate environmental communication to demonstrate joint working across the organisation.
  • Share best practice in specific relation to the use of the energy monitoring systems.
  • Input into wider government environmental groups, in liaison with Heads of Estates, for example greening groups at BEIS level that set requirements for research councils.

Key roles and responsibilities

Research centre directors

Each research centre director ensures that the NERC environmental policy is implemented within their centre.

This includes setting up committees which monitor, oversee, advise and consult on environmental performance. This also includes ensuring systems are in place to help meet environmental objectives (such as recycling, waste, green travel and biodiversity) and ensuring compliance with the International Standard for Environmental Management Systems, ISO 14001.

NERC chief operations officer & director, ownership & governance

The chief operations officer & director, ownership & governance has overall responsibility for managing corporate level environmental activity. He or she provides the link to the NERC Management Board and controls relevant environment budgets.

Heads of Estate Group

The Heads of Estate Group is responsible for supporting the EPG and ensuring it is adequately resourced, including any agreed budgetary requirements. The group is also responsible for ensuring that environmental data returns from the centre to NERC occur in a timely manner, and that central environmental targets at their respective centres are monitored against and met, working with advice from EPG.

NERC health & safety advisor with corporate responsibility for environment

An executive position supporting day-to-day environmental activities across NERC and managing the secretariat support, providing assistance to EPG and its chair, carrying out operational activities on behalf of director, finance & operations and managing the corporate environmental management budget.

NERC environment & energy reporting coordinator

The energy reporting coordinator is responsible for the collation of data for the NERC environmental accounts. He or she provides energy information to EPG and is responsible for the collation of data for the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme on behalf of NERC. He or she also provides secretarial support to the group.

Finance team representative

A member of the corporate finance team who assists the group with finance related items, such as the environmental accounts and reporting requirements.

Environmental Professionals Group

EPG is made up of designated environmental advisors or managers from each centre with suitable qualifications and competence in general or specific areas of environmental management. They advise on and assist in maintaining and achieving environmental standards and ISO 14001. Each advisor or manager has an allocated deputy if they are unavailable. The group operate on behalf of and report to the NERC centres' heads of estate, who subsequently report to the NERC operations group. The group is tasked with making recommendations to maintain and continually improve environmental performance and efficiency across the NERC estate.


Director, finance & operation provides a central budget held at Head Office to deliver and support the environmental management system. The key points to note are:

  • Provides NERC corporate resource and administrative support for EPG.
  • Travel & subsistence costs associated with EPG activities will be funded centrally.
  • Cost of a bi-annual workshop at a NERC site will be funded.

Staff costs for individual members of EPG and for their involvement in its activities (other than for T&S, etc) will need to be met from within their own research centre budgets.