NOC celebrates first Sustainability and Social Responsibility Strategy successes

Aligned to its established corporate values and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) has launched its first ever Sustainability and Social Responsibility (SSR) Strategy.

With a reputation as the UK’s leading charity for innovative ocean research and technology we are committed to conducting our business to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

Natalie Campbell, NOC’s Associate Director Corporate Business Services, said “We have a great track record with regards to sustainability and so the aim of the new SSR strategy is to reaffirm our commitment in this area, build upon our previous work and take forward a more collective and connected approach across the organisation. By making a strategic commitment to SSR, we will ensure that we are working to the highest standards that not only benefit our community but our organisation.”

“As a charity we bear an extra responsibility to be sensitive to social, cultural and environmental aspects of their operations, with an emphasis on higher moral and ethical standards, beyond mere legal compliance. With this SSR Strategy we are making a considered and deliberate inclusion of employee, stakeholder and public interest into corporate decision making that goes beyond the statutory obligations to comply with legislation. It’s something we’re all very proud of.”

The NOC Executive Committee and Board of Trustees empowers an internal action group to lead on the five deliverable pillars of the strategy: People; Operations; Environment; Community; Research. Their first year of initial scoping work brought together existing targets and projects from divisional roadmaps, delivery plans and staff groups. The final strategy is now a holistic framework uniting the whole organisation behind ambitious internal goals.

Read the NOC SSR Strategy 2021–2024.

“We have already seen great success stories coming out of the NOC even while we were still building baseline data and scoping more ambitious targets. This is testament to the action groups’ passion for their work as well as our collaborative methods of working together throughout the global pandemic”.

On World Ocean’s Day we provided a free digital ‘Open Day’ of educational talks, hot topic discussions and virtual tours to replace the usual on-site event. Taking our event online meant we were able to reach more of our local and international community and champion ocean literacy. Over the month there were 14715 logins, from 41 countries, to our library of videos and resources.

We continued to invest in our people and our online learning management system saw over 400 visits during the pandemic. The newly launched leadership training programme, World Class Managers, has already been delivered across half the organisational departments. Further courses include unconscious bias training, active bystander training and more Equality, Diversity and Inclusion awareness workshops are also planned.


We have introduced new approaches to managing vendors, including a new scorecard and key performance indicators, and have completed a full suite of documentation and guides for staff to ensure compliance, knowledge and understanding. A supplier handbook has been drafted and will be implemented during the next financial year, while we continue to consolidate vendor relationships and further improve due diligence processes.


Approximately 120kg of biofouling was removed from the RRS Discovery’s hull during in-water cleaning. This material was recovered shore side, drained, weighed and then sent in bulk with other collected fouling to Veolia’s plant in Marchwood for use in biogas production. Biogas is an environmentally-friendly, renewable energy source.


A cohort of researchers have successfully completed the first session in a series of new training and development courses. This first course was around communicating with expertise, integrity and honesty to the media and public.