Complementing our values are our commitments; to the environment, which we strive to protect, to our responsibility as a corporate entity, to keeping our suppliers, partners and employees safe at work and to helping our employees, across all areas, succeed and deliver great work.
Our commitment to our people is to make the NOC a great place to be, where our people succeed and deliver great work. This is the goal of our People Strategy, which has been designed to support the achievement of the NOC’s purpose, and the vision of being one of the top three oceanographic institutes in the world.
We know that there are many reasons why our people enjoy working for the NOC, including
- The significance and scale of our mission – ‘to make sense of changing seas, upon which future human wealth and wellbeing depend’
- Our ambition and reputation, supported with high-quality research facilities, equipment and technology
- The opportunity to collaborate with experienced, skilled, renowned and widely-networked colleagues
- Exciting projects and opportunities to make an impact.
In our 2016 Employee Engagement survey 81% said that they were proud to work for the NOC, and we recognise that to make the NOC ‘a great place to be’ also requires support for employees to do their best work. Our commitment is to strive to:
- Have a strong, vibrant culture, with clear leadership, values and expectations, where people are well managed (as reflected in our Investors in People accreditation) and employees are listened to
- Develop talent, through providing a variety of opportunities for learning and development, personal growth and career progression
- Build a positive workplace, with equality of opportunity, diversity and inclusiveness valued; welfare and wellbeing support; flexible working; family friendly policies, and excellent working conditions.
- Provide regular feedback, recognise and reward achievements fairly within the resources available, and offer a benefits package that include competitive pension and annual leave entitlements.
NOC – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Statement
Our vision at the National Oceanography Centre is to be the world’s most innovative ocean research institution, making sense of changing seas for the benefit of humanity. We recognise that we cannot successfully do this without a strong and shared commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion from our people which underpin all of NOC’s shared values. At NOC we value individual differences and the rich diversity that this brings. We want to ensure that no-one is at a disadvantage or feels excluded because of who they are, what they believe in or the experiences that they bring.
We are committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion across our organisation and in our approach to working with others outside the organisation. As such, we aim to have a diverse workforce with colleagues from all backgrounds. We are committed to equality in the workplace and to unlocking the creative and innovative potential that comes from diversity so all our people feel valued and are able to perform at their best by being able to be themselves at work – so all are included and no one feels left out because of their race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin), age, gender identity, religion and beliefs, disability, sexual orientation, social background, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity. We will actively seek to avoid discrimination on the grounds of the above characteristics. NOC does not, and will not, tolerate racism nor any other forms of prejudice and discrimination, that ultimately undermines the dignity and value either of its colleagues or anyone else.
Our commitments extend beyond our duties and requirements under the Equality Act. They are a very cornerstone of who we are and why we exist. Through a dedicated and inclusive culture, strong human empathy, alongside the strength of our policies, procedures, expectations and ways of working, we continue to create a positive and supportive environment for everyone, allowing them in reaching their full potential and in bringing out their very best self.
Dignity at NOC for all
NOC is committed to protecting the dignity of all its staff, its visitors and its partners, both in their work and their interactions with others. This includes providing a working and learning environment that is free from discrimination, bullying, harassment and victimisation. It should be noted that discrimination, bullying, harassment and victimisation do not only take place face to face. They may also occur in written communications, by email, or by phone.
NOC recognises and takes seriously its duty of care to staff, understanding that inappropriate behaviour can result in stress and stress-related illness. All staff, and especially those who have responsibility for other members of staff, share this duty of care. NOC therefore expects all members of its community to treat each other with respect, courtesy and consideration. All staff have the right to expect professional behaviour from others and have a corresponding responsibility to behave professionally towards others.
In preparation of an equal pay statement, the National Oceanology Centre (The NOC) undertook an Equal Pay Review in February 2021. The review assessed factors of equal pay across gender, race and disability within our four main job families:
- Technical & Specialist
- Management, Professional and Administrative.
As a result of the 2020–2021 NOC Equal Pay Review, the outcomes and analysis demonstrates that there are no significant equal pay gaps (using the Equality and Human Rights Commission definition of that term) by gender, ethnicity or disability within our pay bands (Bands 2–9). Therefore, the NOC believes it can, at an organisational level, demonstrate that it provides equal pay for work of equal value by pay band, in respect to these protected characteristics.
NOC Equal Pay Headlines:
- The mean equal base pay gaps by gender and individual pay level for staff on pay bands 2–9 are all less than 1.2 per cent. 33.9 per cent of the NOC’s employees are women and 66.1 per cent are men.
- The mean pay gap by ethnicity for all employees (as disclosed) irrespective of band and or role is +6.8 per cent (in favour of white employees). This has decreased by 2.5 percentage points since 2019.
- The mean pay gap by disability for all employees (as disclosed) irrespective of band is +12.4 per cent (in favour of non-disabled employees). This represents an increase of 4.1 percentage points since 2019
The NOC recognises the value of an inclusive and supportive workplace culture in helping to improve disclosure of equality data. The NOC is committed to taking visible steps to create a positive culture and promote awareness and understanding, which can make a significant contribution to an individual’s decision to disclose. In addition to providing equality and diversity learning opportunities for all staff, other potential interventions for the charity include:
- Introduction of a Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DE&I) cross-working group, reflecting involvement of staff from different backgrounds and experiences.
- Involving colleagues from our staff networks / forums in feedback to policy-making and other decision-making processes.
- Fostering visible leadership; developing managers who understand the benefits of equality and diversity and have a proactive approach to achieving it.
- Developing a workplace culture that is supportive and respects the individuality and creativity of all its staff.
Conduct in NOC Facilities and Premises
The NOC is a national science facility. In the direct or indirect delivery of its charitable purposes for its beneficiaries, the NOC opens its doors and provides access to its premises and its research ships to a wide range of people who may not be employed by the NOC such as those who use NOC-operated scientific facilities or who are collaborating with NOC staff. The NOC has a policy in place which sets out clear expectations of conduct for all who have access to NOC premises, facilities at its sites in Liverpool and Southampton and on the NOC managed research ships. In addition, it applies to the conduct of those with whom NOC staff are engaging in arranging for the use of NOC premises and facilities. All are expected to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner, respecting the dignity of all they work with.
The NOC also has a Code of Conduct Policy which applies to NOC staff and this policy aims to supplement that policy in respect of conduct involving persons who are not employed by NOC working in or with NOC-operated facilities, premises and research ships.
Who we are
The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) is a truly multi-disciplinary centre encompassing research in Marine Geoscience, Marine Physics and Ocean Climate, Marine Systems Modelling, Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems, and Ocean Technology and Engineering. NOC is home to the nation’s marine data assets; the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC), the British Ocean Sediment Core Research Facility (BOSCORF) and the Discovery Collections.
As an organisation, NOC's vision is to lead as the world’s most innovative oceanographic institution, and to contribute towards global efforts to achieve clean, safe, healthy, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas.
NOC was established in 2018 as a charitable organisation limited by guarantee. Bound by the principles set by the Charity Commission, NOC is committed to being transparent in all business conducted including the disclosure of risks related to Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking. NOC’s suite of policies and procedures include a Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking Policy which outlines expectations for employees related to this matter. Whistleblowing policy and procedures are also available which aim to support and guide employees who want to report organisational wrongdoing where other reporting options are not appropriate.
NOC’s Board of Trustees are supported by an Audit & Risk Committee, an Ethics Committee and a Sustainability & Social Responsibility Committee. All of which are responsible for maintaining NOC’s integrity in matters that could cause risk to NOC, particularly where partnering with third-party organisations. This is a risk area that is taken very seriously so as not to expose NOC to corrupt organisations or those that have links with Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking. As a national and international organisation, NOC is mindful of the additional risk faced with working across the globe and NOC takes appropriate steps to protect its reputation and integrity.
All employees across the organisation at all levels have a duty to manage the risks that arise as NOC pursues its strategic objectives. This helps to ensure that NOC Executive and Board are well informed to make the right decisions and that risk mitigation can be supported at the highest level.
The consideration of risks relating to Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking remains of high importance in all of NOC activities. Risk Management at NOC consists of routine discussions at all levels within the organisation. Additionally, meetings take place on a quarterly basis to review and discuss strategic risks, current controls and required actions for remediation. Currently, NOC’s known areas of risk relating to Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking include procurement of goods and services, recruitment of employees, and working abroad.
- Procurement of goods and services:
NOC has a dedicated procurement team in place to assist employees in making sustainable and ethical choices when purchasing goods and services. The team work across all NOC divisions to provide bespoke services, support employee’s and provide assurance that the suppliers NOC work with are assessed and operate their own Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking prevention measures.
NOC’s sustainable procurement strategy includes:
- Working with suppliers to implement ethical practices aligned to NOC’s social responsibilities;
- Increased use of UK based manufacturers to replace non-UK manufacturers where this results in a lower risk profile for NOC and increases Social Value including the prevention of Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking;
- The prudent use of natural resources.
NOC currently has c.1,500 suppliers registered for use by employees to purchase goods and services. It is believed that reducing this to around 1,000 will be sufficient for NOC’s needs and allow for better supplier management and control. Of the current suppliers, 84% are UK based, 9% are based in Europe and 7% are the Rest of the World.
All suppliers are asked to sign up to the NOC Supplier Code of Conduct. Clauses in this code include:
- Compliance with the Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking Act;
- That sub-contractors adhere to similarly robust terms;
- The notification of any links to Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking as they may occur, particularly where this relates to services provided to NOC;
- The maintenance of relevant documentation as an audit trail and;
- The requirement to declare any prior or current convictions or, connections with companies with prior or current convictions, in regard to Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking at time of signing up to the Code.
NOC is keen to support its supplier network, and in particular, where a supplier is an SME, a proportionate approach is taken so as not to unreasonably disqualify them as a result of unrealistic expectations. NOC also commits to paying fair market prices for goods and making payment within the specified time frame given by the supplier.
The majority of goods are purchased through procurement with only emergency goods or out of hours requirements procured by end users.
- Recruitment of employees:
NOC has a dedicated recruitment team that guide and facilitate the recruitment of new employees across the organisation. From advising on job description content, interview support, and the fair selection processes, NOC operate a recruitment practice that is appropriately thorough and robust. The recruitment process includes important checks to ensure that NOC employment procedures are considering the risk of links to Modern Slavery. This includes ensuring, as much as possible, that all interviews are either in-person or online video calls and the checking of passports and or VISA’s. This aims to ensure that NOC can confirm the candidate’s identity and their right to work in the UK status.
NOC works to ensure the recruitment agencies it uses are vetted and that they have measures in place to prevent Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking.
NOC currently uses two recruitment agencies for placing mariners for ship’s crew, both of which are subject to adherence to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006. This is independently confirmed by the Maritime Coastguard Authority who subjects recruiters of mariners to annual audits. NOC requests and holds copies for completed annual audits as assurance that recruiters meet requirements.
Adherence to the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 affords workers with the rights to fair employment conditions, including wages, working hours, rest and leave, minimum accommodation standards, access to medical care and health and safety measures and the right of complaint where these rights are not being met. The Maritime Labour Convention also requires workers to be of at least 16 years of age and to have verified medical and training certificates. All mariners must carry a Seafarers Employment Agreement which confirms that they are covered under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006.
- Working abroad:
Due to the nature of NOC business, many employee’s at times will travel through the UK and abroad to conduct NOC business. Travel includes by conventional means (train, plane, automobile) or travelling as part of the ship’s crew for a research expedition. Training is provided to all new starters at NOC which covers the signs of Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking and what actions should be taken in order to report a suspected instance. This includes the possibility of witnessing signs of Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking whilst travelling abroad.
Research expeditions will require the use of port agents in countries all over the world and NOC aims to only use reputable port agents when visiting foreign ports. A listing agent is used to ascertain which port agent is suitable for NOC needs and, whenever possible, NOC will use agencies from the Lloyds List of Shipping Agents. Where possible NOC undertakes a thorough, in-person formal Port Appraisal of port facilities by a senior member of the Research Ship Management Team if a port has not been visited by NOC or has not been visited for more than 5 years.
What we achieved during 2022-23
- 99% of all purchases were made through the Procurement team.
- All NOC employees were provided with engagement training related to Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking and c.35% of employees directly attended engagement training that took place online.
- A news story was launched on the NOC intranet site highlighting the risks of Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking and the NOC’s responsibilities towards prevention.
- NOC’s supplier engagement programme has commenced and includes routine meetings with key suppliers, visiting trade shows and supplier sites, hosting supplier engagement activities and an increase in tendering. The intention is to continue and increase this activity into future financial years.
- The use of international suppliers used at NOC is actively being reduced where UK based alternatives are available and found to be appropriate for NOC needs. Within the 22/23 financial year international suppliers were reduced by c.25%.
NOC Commitments for 2023-24
- New online training is being launched so that all employees across the organisation will receive annual training on Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking as standard.
- Awareness campaigns will take place to include news stories being released on NOC’s intranet and posters being displayed in key areas such as on the NOC ships.
- Creating a supplier engagement programme to include support to SME’s and to meet the new procurement bill requirements.
- Review NOC’s risk of links by using the UK Governments Modern Slavery Assessment Tool which was launched in early 2023.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes the slavery and human trafficking statement for NOC (including in respect of its subsidiary National Oceanography Centre Innovations Limited) for the financial year ending 30th September 2023. It was approved by the NOC Board on the 9th November 2023.
Signed: Jeremy Darroch
Chair, Board of Trustees
9th November 2023
Ensuring that the National Oceanography Centre is a safe place for staff, students, visitors and tenants is an absolute priority. The NOC Health and Safety Policy sets out the management framework we use to achieve that.
Being a safe organisation ultimately requires everyone to make health and safety their priority, so we ask that everyone associated with the NOC familiarises themselves with the content of this policy.
The Policy will be reviewed periodically by the Health and Safety Committee and published by the NOC Safety Advisor on behalf of the Executive Director.
The NOC is committed to continual environmental improvement, preventing pollution and being an environmentally conscientious organisation.
The NOC currently maintains an Environmental Management System (EMS) covering operations at both Southampton and Liverpool sites, certified to ISO 14001. The scope of our certification is as follows:
This policy covers the activities of the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) at its research sites in Liverpool and Southampton. In addition, this policy covers the research and teaching activities of the University of Southampton and tenants at the Southampton site.”
The environmental management of our research vessels is captured by MARPOL requirements and our Ship Energy Efficiency Plans.
Our main significant environmental risks (aspects) are those associated with procurement, business travel and energy use.
Targets for both sites encompass a range of different environmental aspects, from reducing waste generation and energy use to promoting sustainable travel and safe oil storage.
Ways in which we aim to minimise our carbon footprint include:
There are over 200 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.
The NOC has installed a 157kW photo voltaic array in Southampton. The array consists of 594 solar panels. The array generates enough power over the year to meet the electricity demand of our Southampton workshops on which they are situated.
Waste recycling regimes have been established at both Southampton and Liverpool. Staff and students are encouraged to follow the waste hierarchy, ‘eliminate, reduce, reuse, recycle’. Waste audits occur in Liverpool and Southampton annually; this provides the NOC with data on what materials are entering the general waste and helps us forward plan
Sea water cooling
The 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 the NOC Southampton with approximately 16 weeks of free cooling a year.
Smarter travel options
The 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 free cycle parking.
At Southampton, the Uni-Link bus service links the Centre directly to the airport, railway stations and city centre. For information on travelling to the NOC sites visit our Contact Us page.
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. Thermal containment curtains have been installed in the server rooms in addition to fresh air-cooling systems
The NOC works closely with its delivery partners, University of Liverpool and University of Southampton, to share best practice. The NOC is also involved with travel forums in both cities and the Energy Partnership in Southampton. The NOC is now also working with local schools in Southampton that are registered on the Eco-Schools scheme.
Eco-School visits to the NOC are aimed at junior schools (KS2) within the Hampshire area working on the Keep Britain Tidy ‘Eco-Schools’ scheme.
If you would like further information on any of the items above please contact Environ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commitment to the Ocean – plastic pollution
Marine plastic pollution is a big challenge facing our global oceans today. More than 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enters the ocean each year and floating plastic has been estimated at 5.25 trillion particles weighing 268,940 tonnes. As a world leading centre in ocean science, technology and business, with a core value of Environmental Responsibility, the National Oceanography Centre is committed to:
- Undertaking fundamental research into the fate and impacts of plastics in the ocean
- Leading by example in ensuring that our own activities result in minimal release of plastics into the ocean
- Supporting education and engagement with the public, government and business on actions to reduce their input of plastics into the ocean
Our approach to Corporate Responsibility is about achieving our mission in a way that reflects our values, connects our decisions to ethical, environmental and social concerns and meet the standards our stakeholders, customers and our own people expect of an organisation that aims to be one of the world’s top three oceanographic research institutions.
The National Oceanography Centre is committed to setting the highest standards for responsible practice and these standards underpin our mission:
- To undertake internationally competitive marine science in an Earth system context and especially with a long term focus – working with others for the effective translation of new and existing knowledge into demonstrably high societal benefit.
- To manage, develop, coordinate and innovate high quality, large research infrastructure, equipment pools, facilities, databases and other science enabling functions for the benefit of the whole UK science community to deliver excellent science with impact.
The National Oceanography Centre will conduct its business to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. We believe that this is the right thing to do, and it in our interests to protect our great name and deserved reputation for being the UK’s leading institution for sea level science, coastal and deep ocean research and technology development.
We have a legal and voluntary duty to consider the impact of our activities on the environment, on people and on our community. We believe that by adopting a responsible approach we can be credible and trustworthy, manage the social and environmental issues that impact on us, win business and use our resources wisely.
In defining the way we work through our approach to corporate responsibility, we set out the standards that the NOC sets of itself, all NOC employees and third parties acting on our behalf. We expect our values and corporate responsibility policy to be adopted by all employees when they are performing their day-to-day duties or where they are representing the NOC and to take personal responsibility for ensuring that our commitment to working ethically is followed.
- provide a safe working environment and promote and embrace a positive health and safety culture
- provide opportunities for all and support diversity in the workplace
- nuture our talent
- respect human rights and treat everyone with dignity
We will not:
- discriminate against employees, or any other individuals we meet while conducting our business
- Focus our work to minimise the impact of activity on the planet and especially the ocean
- Limit our environmental impact and footprint
- Reduce our consumption of resources
- Comply with environmental laws and regulations
- comply with laws and regulations
- reject bribery and corruption
- avoid conflicts of interest
- recognise human rights and reject modern slavery
- manage risks
- have fair contractual practices and be transparent in our operations
- only disclose confidential information with approval or to satisfy a legal obligation
- act in a way which protects and promotes NOC’s good reputation at all times
- conduct research to the highest standards of rigour and integrity
- Foster a wider understanding of the ocean
- Engage with local schools and groups
- Encourage staff to engage in their community
- Develop our organisation to enable access to technology and the creation of jobs
We also follow the Seven Principles of Public Life
- Selflessness: Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
- Integrity: Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.
- Objectivity: In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
- Accountability: Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
- Openness: Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
- Honesty: Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
- Leadership: Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.
The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) is committed to supporting the development of the highest standards in organisational culture, systems and practice required to prevent and tackle all incidents of harm and abuse. We are working collectively, with our partners in the research and development community to strengthen our safeguarding practices and compliance processes. Our Safeguarding Policy is available to read through the following link.
The Purchase Order Terms and Conditions document details information relating to:
- contractor’s obligations,
- invoices and payment terms,
- data protection,
- intellectual property rights,
- termination of contracts,
- general notices and
- compliance with anti-slavery and human trafficking laws.