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What Ordnance Survey is doing to help environmental sustainability

As an organisation we've put measures in place to make a positive impact on environmental sustainability, and have big plans for a sustainable future.

We're committed to being a sustainable organisation. Our aim is to protect the environment by continually improving our products, internal processes, and the management of our supply chain.

Our environmental sustainability principles

1. Transparent reporting on our resource use

We'll collect data and report on the energy, carbon, water, and waste we use and create, to make sure we’re accountable.

2. Engage our employees

Our people are our greatest resource in advancing sustainability, because of their know-how, expertise and passion.

3. Take responsibility for our footprint

We’ll use sustainable practices in managing our workforce operations, building facilities, and supply chain, to ensure we take responsibility for our actions.

4. Show customers how location can empower them

By understanding our customers, we can provide the geospatial solutions to achieve their sustainability goals.

5. Use our influence

We’re using our position as Britain’s national mapping service to showcase how geospatial information can empower any organisation or nation to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

6. Collaborate with other organisations

Recognising the complexity of environmental challenges requires collaboration; we form partnerships to deliver sustainable outcomes for our customers.

Our progress so far

We're already working hard towards our sustainability goals:

  • We've been awarded ISO 14001 Environmental Management System accreditation for our commitment to protecting the environment and reducing harm, pollution and emergency accidents at head office.
  • Our head office is a BREEAM excellent certified building.
  • All our paper maps use paper approved by the Forest Stewardship Council.
  • We're installing solar panels at our head office to  generate renewable energy on site. What can't be generated on site is supplied by a 100% renewable tariff.
  • We're installing LED lighting throughout our head office to reduce our electricity usage from lighting by around 74%.
  • We harvest rain water to reduce our reliance on mains water.
  • We've recently upgraded our electric vehicle charging provision to 30 chargers at head office, the first of three phases.
  • We've aligned our sustainability agenda across our business units.

We're also making good progress in these areas:

  • Operations: We’re taking responsibility for our carbon and waste footprint, and our energy and water consumption. Our building facilities, workforce operations and supply chain will be managed using ISO14001 practices.
  • Products and services: We’re developing new location-based solutions driven by our data, know-how and technology to drive sustainable outcomes.
  • Customers: We help our customers and partners reach their sustainability goals with our services and technology.
  • Government: We have a role to play as the national mapping service to support the UK government deliver on its net zero and environmental commitments.
  • Employees: Our employees are our most valuable resource in advancing sustainability because of their know-how, expertise and passion.
  • Convening global communities: We're bringing together geospatial leaders at two major events:
    • UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties 2026 - also known as COP26
      We’re showcasing the impact geospatial solutions can have on urbanisation, natural resource management, energy, and transport systems.
    • Cambridge Conference
      We’re convening leaders from mapping and geospatial organisations around the world to focus on climate challenges. The Cambridge Conference meets every four years and in 2021-22 we’ll be unpacking how we can support governments to achieve COP26’s four goals and tackle the critical issues every nation faces.

Innovating for our customers - helping them reach their sustainability goals

Mapping the UK's energy network

We've joined together with Britain’s electricity and gas operators to launch a ground-breaking proof of concept project that uses the power of data to support a more efficient path to net zero.

Mapping for sustainable urbanisation

Many nations need to respond to rapid urbanisation and plan better housing, water and sanitation. We’re helping whole nations access affordable maps so they can plan for better quality of life and decrease environmental impacts.

Investing in technology and expertise

We’re investing in faster, powerful tech, so customers can generate insights from their environmental data. By integrating geospatial capabilities with machine learning and AI, and providing know-how and expertise, we enable our customers to react quickly to the pace of environmental change.

Making data easier to access, use and share

Britain’s public services, innovators and businesses are benefitting from new and easier access to valuable OS data and services. This makes it easier for those tackling environment related challenges provide solutions for positive outcomes for nature, society and the economy.

Discover more about how geospatial data can support environmental sustainability: