Carbon reduction

Inmarsat supports principles that make best use of the Earth’s resources and we continuously seek to further reduce our global CO2 emissions and energy consumption.

Although the direct activities of the Group are judged to have a low environmental impact, we understand that unless urgent action is taken to limit global temperatures to 2C (35.6F) above pre-industrial levels, climate change presents significant and systemic risks. We support the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and will look to continue to develop transparent reporting around climate-related risks and opportunities for our business.

In our annual CDP response (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) we provide details on Inmarsat’s substantive regulatory, physical and reputational risks and opportunities relating to climate change. For example, rising sea levels as a result of climate change could impact our satellite access stations which are located at strategic points around the world. To manage this risk, we have established site selection due diligence processes which incorporate climatic geographical considerations.

Looking beyond our direct climate impact, we work with our sustainability partner, Carbon Intelligence (formerly known as Carbon Credentials), to quantify emissions from our indirect (Scope 3) activities, engaging with the suppliers and customers in our value chain to set meaningful emissions reduction targets. This work feeds into our ongoing programme to set a science-based emission reduction target in line with the UK’s commitment under the UN Paris Agreement.

Space sustainability

As the world’s leading global, mobile satellite operator, we have adopted the highest industry standards for sustainable space operations and mitigating space debris, including how we plan the disposal of satellites when they reach the end of their commercial life.

Our satellites in geostationary orbit (GEO), approximately 36,000 km above Earth, are engineered to have life spans of at least 15 years, although our longest-serving spacecraft, Inmarsat-2 F2, was in service for nearly 24 years. Deorbiting is conducted in full compliance with the relevant International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards.

Although GEO orbit has significantly less debris than low earth orbit (LEO), approximately 700 km above Earth and where several mobile satellite service operators fly their constellations, we work hard to collaborate with other GEO operators and international institutions to define standards and ensure we adopt the industry best practices to protect the space environment.

We are proud to be:

  • A founding member of the Space Data Association (SDA), along with satellite operators Intelsat, SES and Eutelsat. By sharing critical data on satellite positions we aim to reduce the probability of collisions and the increase of space debris to make space operations safer and more reliable.
  • One of the first members selected for the Commercial Integration Cell (CIC) at the Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC). Together, SDA and CSpOC are the two main sources of information for tracking debris, collision avoidance and space situational awareness.
  • A member of the UK CIC which works with the UK Space Agency to address the needs of civil users of Space Surveillance and Tracking (STT) services through the UK’s national capability.
  • A member of the Space Safety Coalition (SSC), endorsing and adhering to its ‘Best Practice on the Sustainability of Space Operations’.
  • A member of EMEA Satellite Operator’s Association (ESOA), working with the satellite industry to deliver sustainable connectivity solutions.
  • Part of the ISO’s committee for the development of standards for space vehicles and space systems and operations, as well as part of the European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS) Space Debris and Space Traffic Management Working Group.

As we introduce satellites into new orbits, we will ensure that our commitment to a ‘Net Zero’ equivalent in space, space safety and to growing space in a sustainable way remains paramount.

For example, our small, targeted fleet of up to 175 LEO satellites that will form part of our new ORCHESTRA network, incorporating GEO, LEO and terrestrial 5G,will carry Space Situational Beacons to allow for active orbit tracking for collision avoidance.

Quick download

Our full report on Inmarsat’s substantive regulatory, physical and reputational risks and opportunities relating to climate change