Environmental policy
Environmental policy image

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We recognise the impacts of our business operations and activities on the environment. We also recognise the threat of climate change to prosperity, social justice and quality of life. We are therefore committed to managing and minimising our environmental impact. 

We are committed to meeting UK and international standards for managing our environmental impact. Our six main UK premises are covered by a formal Environmental Management System (EMS) and have achieved ISO14001 certification. The principles of environmental management are managed through our Environmental Framework Tool which has been rolled out to our global network.

We have developed a 5 year Sustainable Action plan with the aim to embed environmental considerations into everything we do. 


  • reviewing, understanding and minimising the range of environmental impacts arising from our activities 
  • ensuring that we comply with UK and international environmental legislation, and with appropriate environmental obligations, requirements or commitments 
  • setting environmental objectives and targets for activities having the most significant impact 
  • openly communicating our progress in reducing our environmental impact to interested internal and external stakeholders 
  • using our procurement policies to deliver more sustainable outcomes through working with suppliers and contractors 
  • monitoring and continually improving the environmental impact of our business travel as a global organisation and explore innovative mechanisms to deliver international work effectively with less travel 
  • using our skills and strengths as an organisation to explore climate and sustainability issues globally through our work. 

We will provide adequate and appropriate resources to implement this policy and will ensure it is communicated and understood.

The British Council will review this policy annually to reflect new legal and regulatory developments and ensure good practice.

The status of this document is British Council policy. It was approved by Martin Davidson, Chief Executive, on 1 November 2011 and is due for review on 1 November 2012.