Roadmap to net zero


25 January, 2023


Here at British Antarctic Survey, we recently opened our doors to over 40 companies in science, technology, and green innovation to help us make the next steps in reaching net zero emissions at our headquarters in Cambridge.


We are currently looking at reducing our carbon emissions across the organisation and aim for our Cambridge HQ to be fully decarbonised – or net zero – by 2030. This will require changes to our building infrastructure and decarbonisation of our energy supplies (gas and electricity) to our UK estate.


Paul Dunn, Head of UK facilities at British Antarctic explains:


“Our key aim is to redevelop our headquarters to be fit for a sustainable future by 2030. It is therefore critical to meet with key leaders in industry and potential suppliers to hear their ideas and learn from them.”


So, we invited potential suppliers to a BAS-hosted Industry Day, to show them about this exciting project, our wider operations and how they might be able to support BAS in providing world-class low carbon science facilities. The day was the brainchild of Ben Clarke, our Capital Works Manager in Cambridge, who has previously worked at Rothera and Halley Research Stations.


The industry visitors met with leading biology and climate scientists, and we presented the fantastic job being done by our Ice Core team. Drilling the Antarctic ancient ice provides context on why it is essential we meet our emissions targets to reduce the impact of climate change. Talks were given on a range of subjects from the history of BAS to our current programme to update our research stations through the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme (AIMP) and the associated Sustainability Strategy.


Matthew Samways from INUTI Laboratory workspace said:

“We all want to reach net zero by 2030, but INUTI are slightly behind.  Learning more about but getting your perspective on how it’s being done has inspired me to go back and look at our own targets.  I hope we will get more organisations lighting the beacon.”


Our next steps involve a feasibility study in March this year to point us ahead on our roadmap. Our latest installation of solar panels is now complete for our supply chain logistic building roof, also the building is now thermally insulated. Previous experience has shown the wisdom in this step, for during the height of light in July 2022, we found ourselves completely self-sufficient with our own electricity for the first time. Subject to a business case, the dining facilities and three labs will also be degasified this year.


Reflecting on the day’s results, Ben Clarke, Capital Works Manager at British Antarctic Survey said:

“Building relationships with potential suppliers will be key to the success of the Cambridge Net Zero project and following on from yesterday we have certainly sparked a lot of interest.”

Find out about our plans to reduce our carbon emissions at our BAS Cambridge HQ.