SaxaVord Spaceport has always held protection of the environment as one of our founding values. To that end, we are setting up the SaxaZero centre which will oversee the sustainable management of both our ground-based and launch activities. It will focus on five areas:


  1. IDYLLIC: Preserving and enhancing the natural environment

SaxaVord’s construction phase has already navigated the natural beauty of Unst. We have taken measures to monitor and protect the wildlife of the Lamba Ness peninsula while uncovering and preserving new artefacts across this important historical site. As we move into the operational phase, SaxaVord is committed to ongoing monitoring and supervision of its nearby wildlife and heritage, through restoration of peatlands, careful management of coastal grassland habitats and the creation of native riparian broadleaf tree/scrub cover.


  1. IMPACTFUL: A carbon neutral spaceport

SaxaZero will transition the spaceport towards carbon neutral operations. It will produce a detailed strategy which will embed sustainability into decision making and deliver emissions reductions across scope 1, 2 and 3. SaxaZero will be supported by our environmental management system aligned to ISO14001.


  1. INSPIRATIONAL: Developing next generation astronauts and space scientists

At SaxaVord, we have consistently committed to supporting education and community. Locally, we bring together schools and UHI Shetland along with training providers to ensure the area’s young people can access the opportunities the spaceport will provide. More broadly, our working group dedicated to building an education and skills pipeline has identified a range of ways to deliver our education strategy. In 2023, our STEM programme reached 125,000 school children.


  1. INTELLIGENT: Satellite data to boost performance.

Satellite technology can identify more efficient shipping routes and flight paths, spot water and methane leaks, analyse soil quality and much more. It can also help in the conservation of wildlife in remote parts of the globe. SaxaZero will promote the use of satellite data in the fight to combat climate change. It will push to improve understanding of the Earth’s changing climate as well as the use of earth observation data by companies looking to lower their carbon emissions and improve productivity.


  1. INNOVATIVE: Low carbon launch innovation.

As an industry, we need to better understand our true impact both on Earth and in orbit, so that we can identify, drive and embed sustainable solutions. At SaxaVord, our aim is to attract like-minded teams hoping to break new ground in the hunt for low carbon solutions. SaxaZero will also support national efforts such as the Earth Space Sustainability Initiative. By bringing together science and engineering skills, academia, investors, start-ups and government we will experiment to find what works.