Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Who we are

The Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability has a dedicated communications, programmes and engagement team.

Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability

9 Hope Park Square, Edinburgh EH8 9NP Tel: 0131 651 5588

Dave Gorman

Director of Social Responsibility and Sustainability

  • Formerly Head of Environmental Strategy at the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency,
    Dave is the University's first Director of Social Responsibility and Sustainability.

Elizabeth Vander Meer

Climate Policy Manager

Wendy McDonald

Office Manager/PA to Director & Head of Programmes

  • Wendy has 18 years experience in Office Management and Senior PA roles,
    having worked in the International Recruitment and Corporate Hospitality.
    Her past roles include Rangers Football Club, Murrayfield and QMU.

Jane Rooney

Committees and Governance Officer

  • Moving from Estates and Buildings, Jane is responsible for the University's social responsibility and sustainability committees.

David Somervell

Sustainability Adviser

  • With a lifelong interest in social responsibility, David has developed sustainability here for over 25 years - achieving significant results. David has a wealth of knowledge and has played a key role in establishing the department.


Michelle Brown

Head of SRS Programmes

  • Michelle is responsible for the organisation, planning, management and delivery of comprehensive and effective social responsibility and sustainability programmes in line with the publicly expressed ambitions of the University.


Matthew Lawson

Programme Manager

  • Matt joined us while completing his MSc Politics. Now he's responsible for policy implementation,
    reporting, student volunteering and programmes such as the Sustainable Labs.

Andrew Arnott

Programme Facilitator Labs

  • Andrew graduated from University of Aberdeen in 2006 and spent 18 months working in an environmental management role. Moving to Edinburgh at the end of 2007 he took up a role providing energy efficiency and renewable energy advice to businesses on behalf of the Energy Saving Trust. In 2010 he spent 9 months volunteering in Malawi, setting up environmental projects. Returning to the UK in 2011 he took a role in a consultancy firm providing energy efficiency, renewable energy and resource efficiency advice to public and private sector clients.

Claire Martin

Projects Coordinator for Events and Student Engagement

  • Before joining the team in September 2015, Claire was the Events Manager for the UK Green Building Council, a leading sustainability NGO based in London. Prior to that she work at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), where she produced events and conferences on a broad range of policy areas. Claire is responsible for delivering the annual calendar of SRS events and student engagement activities.


Joe Farthing

Communications Manager

  • After open software and community radio, Joe got interested in community carbon saving.
    Specialising in behaviour change communications, he has trained over 200 other practitioners.

Angie Dickson

Communication Coordinator

  • Angie joined from the School of Law where she was Marketing & Communications Officer for a research centre.
    Angie has a wealth of experience in design, communications & branding.

Finn Tessier-Lavigne

Website Technical Facilitator

  • After starting his own e-commerce site, and hitchhiking across Europe, Finn joined the team in late 2012.
    He mostly works on our technical and contact management systems.

Sarah Ford-Hutchinson

Communication Coordinator

  • An alumni of the University, Sarah joined the team in Jan 2015 having spent 3 years as a shooting researcher for the BBC.
    She produces our video content.


Caroline Overy

Engagement Manager

  • Caro joined the team in 2010 as a part of the Transition project.
    She coordinates projects to engage staff and and students in different
    sustainability initiatives across the University.

Alan Peddie

Projects Coordinator

  • Alan joined us from Estates Operations where he helped to achieve a Silver in the Sustainability Awards. He works on resource efficiency and the training that our department offers for staff and students.

Alexis Heeren

Projects Coordinator

  • Alexis became interested in engagement after facilitating a course to help University members cut their carbon footprints. Alexis leads our Office Awards and Sustainable Food programmes.

Chris Litwiniuk

Projects Coordinator

  • Chris joined us from the Waste team, where he undertook data analysis and helped to improve processes. He currently works on sustainable travel and resource efficiency projects.

Ruth Dwyer

Projects Coordinator

  • An experienced energy manager, Ruth joins us from local government and community energy projects.
    She is focusing on the University's energy programmes.

Research and policy

Liz Cooper

Research & Policy Manager

  • Before completing an MSc in Business & Community, Liz worked on fair trade & livelihoods projects in India and Senegal.
    She coordinates research & policy development on a range of social responsibility issues.