NERC as a responsible business


As a publicly funded body, we have a responsibility not just to our staff, grant holders and partners, but to society. By acting with the highest standards across all our operations, we build on our public mandate to deliver excellent science.

We recognise and comply with all relevant legislation, including minimising environmental impact and promoting equality and diversity. We aim to go beyond what is required for example NERC abides by:

The NERC Responsible Business Statement (PDF, 462KB) sets out NERC’s approach and commitment to both sustainability and cooperate responsibility; ensuring that through our business operations we have a positive contribution to society and the environment across all NERC investments.

We aspire to embed sustainability across our entire investment portfolio; from within our centres and how we operate our national capability to how we work with the universities and research institutions we fund. This is in line with the core values of our research community who have a strong desire to ensure we deliver our world leading environmental science in a world leading way.

Our sustainability activities are broad ranging as visualised by our Responsibility Framework. This framework includes four pillars under which we prioritise our actions to make the most of opportunities to enhance our performance and to meet the needs of NERC and UKRI:

  • Social responsibility
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Responsible business
  • Responsible research.

NERC are currently reviewing and updating our sustainability targets and objectives. We will report progress against these targets and objectives on this page in future as part of our commitment to transparency.

Historically, a sustainability report on progress and achievements towards our sustainability targets has appeared every year in the NERC Annual Report. NERC sustainability case studies can be explored on the achievements page.

Annual report sustainability performance data is now captured in the UKRI annual report

Alongside its own framework development, NERC lead on the development of the Environmental Sustainability Strategy for UKRI. To find out more about this work please visit the UKRI website - external link

To find out more or to contact the NERC Sustainability Team, please email