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, and to work and act according to NERC's four responsibility commitments:
- living our values in the environment in which we work
- transparent business practices, with partners who share our values
- engaging and supporting our community, internally and locally
- carrying out research to the highest standards, with integrity, and by a diverse, representative and outstanding body of researchers.
More detail is given in our corporate responsibility statement published in May 2016.
We report against our commitments every six months, where work has started. Where two progress ratings are shown, the current rating is to the right of the arrow, the previous rating to the left.
Responsible business commitments summary 2017-2018
- Progress on track
- Partially achieved
Living our values in the environment in which we work
We recognise that we have choices in the way we operate as a business. To reflect our mission, we will choose options that minimise our impact on the environment, particularly in the offices and spaces in which we work.
Though the nature of scientific research may sometimes mean short-term environmental disruption, we will make responsible, far-sighted decisions as long-term custodians of our environment, and share our decision-making processes to foster understanding.
We are committed to continuous improvement in the way we operate through proactive monitoring, comprehensive reporting, and by creating an internal culture that embraces these practices.
Transparent business practices, with partners who share our values
The independence of NERC science is integral to its value. We commit to protecting that independence through democratic systems of governance, and the use of experts on our council and advisory boards.
NERC is a publicly-funded body. Our decision making will be fair and transparent, holding us accountable to the public we serve. We will prioritise clear and timely communication that articulates not only what we are doing, but the aims behind our actions.
Through our transparent business practices, both directly and indirectly through our centres and business partners, we aim to foster public understanding and pride in the work NERC does.
Community and workplace
Engaging and supporting our community, internally and locally
Our people are key to our success; those who work for us create who we are. We will support them in being the best they can be through training and development opportunities, and creating a workplace in which they can prosper.
NERC's responsibility does not end at the office - it extends to the community, both scientific and the public. Through our public engagement strategy, we will support initiatives that develop the skills base of environmental scientists, and increase public awareness of their work. We will support our staff in identifying local organisations with similar values where they can volunteer their time.
Just as we ask our staff to keep developing, we will continue improving our policies and HR practices to create an equal, diverse, and informed workforce who are engaged with our mission to deliver scientific excellence and active in the local community.
Carrying out research to the highest standards, with integrity, and by a diverse, representative and outstanding body of researchers
NERC recognises and embraces its responsibility to promote ethical behaviour and good conduct in research. We will embed this in our funding mechanisms, and exemplify this aim in the way we interact with our research community.
NERC abides by:
- the research councils' Policy & Guidelines on the Governance of Good Research Conduct - external link
- the 2010 Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research - external link
- the 2012 Concordat to Support Research Integrity - external link
- the UKRI Open Access Policy - external link.
We believe in the principle of responsible environmental management, and will act as its advocate with potential partners, grant or contract holders, and throughout our supply chain.
Together with our sister research councils and the UK research community more broadly, we are committed to national leadership in this area, identifying, articulating and implementing best practice.