Environmental Management

The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) has a strong commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, prevent pollution and to be an environmentally conscientious organisation.

The Southampton PV array.NOC currently maintains separate Environmental Management Systems (EMSs) certified to ISO 14001; one at Southampton, and one Liverpool. The ISO 14001 certification means that both sites are committed to continual environmental improvement. Targets for both sites encompass a range of different environmental aspects from waste generation and energy use to travel and oil storage. 

Through the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) the Centre also holds the Carbon Trust Standard. This adds an additional commitment for the Centre to make year-on-year. The Carbon Footprint of NOC estate (excluding ships) is over 5000 Tonnes CO2e. The equivalent to over 900 standard UK homes.

This page highlights some of the key greening activates across NOC. We recognise that there is a carbon footprint associated with our research. We endeavour to ensure that we operate in the most efficient way possible to minimise this.

If you would like further information on any of the items below please contact the NOC Energy and Environment Manager, environ@noc.ac.uk


Solar PV

NOC has installed a 117kWp Photo Voltaic array in Southampton. The array consists of 544 solar panels and in 2011/2012 generated over 100MWh of electricity. The array generates enough power over the year to meet the electricity demand of our  Southampton workshops on which they are situated.


Energy Monitoring

There are over 150 energy meters across Liverpool and Southampton. These meters record and allow analysis of our gas, water and electricity consumption. The monitoring system is used to detect suspect energy/water use and to validate energy savings from our projects. As the saying goes, ‘you can’t manage what you can’t monitor’.


Waste Management

Waste recycling regimes have been established at both Southampton and Liverpool. Staff and students are encouraged to follow the waste hierarchy and ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’. Waste audits occur in Liverpool and Southampton annually. This provides NOC with data on what materials are entering the general waste and helps us forward plan.




Sea Water Cooling

NOC has a unique Sea Water Cooling system in Southampton. In the winter months the dock water is used to indirectly cool the building. The system provides NOC Southampton with approximately 16 weeks of free cooling a year.


Smarter Travel Options

NOC actively encourages staff, students and visitors to the Centre to use public or active transport. Good cycling and walking routes can be found to each site in addition to cycle parking. At Southampton, the Uni-Link bus service links the Centre directly to the airport, railway stations and city centre.

For more information on travel visit the maps and directions page under ‘about us’



Free Air Cooling

Server rooms can be found in both Southampton and Liverpool. These house powerful computers and require lots of cooling. Thermal images have been used to ensure cooling is effective therefore reducing energy demand. In Southampton, thermal containment curtains have been installed in the server room in addition to a fresh air cooling system. Containment Curtains are now also being installed at Liverpool


Partnership Working 

NOC works closely with its delivery partners, University of Liverpool and University of Southampton, to share best practice. NOC is also involved with travel forums in both cities and the Energy Partnership in Southampton. NOC is now also working with local schools in Southampton that are registered on the Eco-Schools scheme.

Recognising Excellence

NOC has been shortlisted for a number of environmental awards including the GreenIT awards and GreenGown Awards. NOC Liverpool is also actively involved in the Green Impact Awards Scheme.

Environmental news



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The outputs of research generate new knowledge about the oceans. Transferring scientific knowledge to support business and industry is an important part of our NOC remit.



Our research is intended to tackle the big environmental issues facing the world. Research priorities will include the oceans' role in climate change, sea level change and the future of the Arctic Ocean.



The University of Southampton and the University of Liverpool both offer a range of highly regarded undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in Ocean and Earth Science.



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Delivery Partners

Delivery Partners helping to provide marine science national capability.


Marine Science Community

The creation of a wider association of Universities and research institutions to support wider engagement of the NOC with the marine science community is now underway.



The National Oceanographic Library is a national resource for the UK marine science community.


Principal scientists

All updated information for cruise participants can be found using the Marine Facilities Planning website: