As a leading contributor to United Nations climate research the Met Office knows first hand how greenhouse gas emissions are impacting our climate. Moving to Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions is no mean feat for an organisation with huge supercomputing capacity and a workforce who support customers all around the world, but is a challenge worth undertaking.  

The Met Office’s approach to its Net Zero journey will be to reduce the organisation’s operational emissions as much as possible, using sustainable and approved offsetting only where absolutely necessary.  

Chief Executive Penny Endersby, said: “The Met Office is committed to aligning its own activities to the clear scientific message that carbon dioxide emissions, along with other greenhouse gases, need to be reduced. Through the continued support of staff and colleagues we will take the organisation to Net Zero by 2030 and help other organisations follow in our footsteps by offering our science expertise to support their own progress to Net Zero.” 

To fully understand the starting point, a thorough baseline analysis of the Met Office’s carbon emissions was conducted for the financial year 2019/20. This provided a representative, pre-COVID, starting point from which to take action and identified four main areas to focus on: scientific data collection/critical infrastructure, business travel, building management and procurement/supply chain.

Significant steps have already been taken to reduce the emissions of the organisation. By moving to 100% renewable electricity at main operational locations, the Met Office is already saving around 16,000 tonnes of CO2e (CO2 or equivalent) emissions each year, around 50% of the organisation’s baseline emissions. 

By 2030 the Met Office’s emissions will be reduced by 81%, with sustainable offsetting for the residual 19% of emissions which are currently unavoidable due to essential operational activity.  

As well as taking action to move the Met Office to Net Zero, the Met Office will also be supporting other organisations in lowering their emissions to reach the same goal, building on our existing work with leading businesses and organisations to increase energy efficiency and improve resilience with the long-term goal of reducing carbon emissions. 

Detailed weather forecasts for customers are being used to optimise energy usage, improve efficiency of renewable energy sources and even reduce the carbon footprint of air travel, thanks to detailed wind forecasting helping to plan flight paths. 

You can read the full report on the Met Office’s journey to Net Zero webpage