Environmental policy

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.


  • reviewing, understanding and minimising the range of environmental impacts arising from our activities
  • ensuring that it complies with UK and relevant international environmental legislation and delivers against the Greening Government Commitments
  • improving the environmental performance of its properties globally, reducing energy, water and waste
  • communicating its progress in reducing its environmental impact to internal and external stakeholders
  • taking account of environmental and sustainability factors in its procurement
  • monitoring and reducing the environmental impact of its business travel and exploring new ways of delivering its work sustainably.

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

This global policy statement was approved by Scott McDonald, Chief Executive, in March 2022 and is due for review in March 2023.