Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Special Awards

Within the Department for Social Responsibility & Sustainability’s Sustainability Awards programme, the Special Awards give opportunity to recognise the best staff led sustainable projects of the academic year.

Individuals or groups of staff and staff/student collaborations* are eligible to submit a basic application of 500 words (max) describing action taken and how this contributes to sustainability, along with any other supporting documents and/or images. The deadline for submissions is 1 March 2018.

*Students and student groups are encouraged to apply to our Student Awards.




The Department for Social Responsibility & Sustainability has a strong emphasis on reduction of energy consumption throughout its programmes. As such, we wish to recognise significant action on energy by staff and students across the University, which could include the following:

  • Demonstrable energy savings in operations
  • Demonstrable energy savings in infrastructure
  • Academic endeavour that can be realistically applied to the energy operations of the University to render actual savings
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Sustainability Impact

This category seeks to recognise projects or work carried out that shows demonstrable sustainability impact through means other than energy. This could include the following:

  • Demonstrated carbon saving from business travel, procurement (including reuse), and resource efficiency
  • Demonstrated social sustainability impact e.g. working in partnership with local communities and groups or exceptional volunteering contribution
  • Demonstrated ecological sustainability impact e.g. monitored increase in wildlife and/or biodiversity as a result of a project
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Sustainable labs

Our toolkit based Lab Awards have a regular annual launch date of February but through the Special Awards, we also offer recognition of specific projects demonstrating sustainable lab practices, which could include the following:

  • Inventory and centralisation of chemical ordering
  • Freezer management steps e.g. Review temperatures and freezer contents
  • Increase in frequency of structured engagement around sustainability with lab users e.g. through inductions or sustainability group meetings and outreach events
  • Engagement with suppliers around consolidating deliveries and reducing packaging waste
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Innovation for Sustainability

This category seeks to recognise sustainability projects or work of an operational and/or academic nature carried out that demonstrates an innovative approach to sustainability. This could include the following:

  • Project or work with sustainability impact that brings together academic and operational expertise within the University through a Living Labs approach
  • Practice or project with sustainability impact that does not happen in the rest of the University
  • Project or work with sustainability impact that brings together stakeholders who do not ordinarily work with each other, including work with local communities and other educational institutions in Edinburgh
  • Project or work with sustainability impact that covers an area not covered within other University work on sustainability
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Outstanding Contribution (Individual)

This category seeks to recognise one member of staff and one student who have made a significant contribution to sustainability at the University. The individual should be nominated by another individual or group of people they have worked with in this context. This could include the following:

  • Inspiring others to take action on sustainability as part of a student society or group, or staff team
  • Leading and delivering a significant sustainability project
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Entries to the Awards will be shortlisted and one winner per category will be selected by a panel of senior staff. Winners will be announced and locally and sustainably sourced awards will be given out at a Sustainability Awards ceremony at the end of March 2018.


Application Guidance


Entries should be contained in a Word or PDF document emailed to Chris Litwiniuk and should describe the work you have undertaken and how this contributes to sustainability at the University of Edinburgh in no more than 500 words. We will look for the following:

  • Scope and objectives of the work
  • Quantitative and qualitative impacts of the work
  • Stakeholders involved through consultation, delivery, and outcomes
  • Evidence that the sustainability of the work itself has been considered (e.g. embedding activities), and any planned next steps


The project should fall under one of the following categories (please state which category you’d like your entry to be judged under):

  • Energy
  • Sustainability Impact
  • Sustainable Labs
  • Innovation for Sustainability
  • Outstanding Contribution (individual – please note that you may not nominate yourself for this award)


Applicants should provide additional supporting documents/images and evidence where appropriate and email the complete entry package (Word / PDF document and images) to Chris Litwiniuk with the subject line ‘Special Awards Entry’.


For more information, please contact Chris Litwiniuk.

Chris Litwiniuk

Engagement Manager

Contact details


  • After completing an MSc in Energy and Environmental Management, Chris joined the University in 2013, initially as an intern in the Waste Team, then moving to the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability to work on programmes related to energy, travel and supply chains.

    He coordinates the Engagement Team, working on projects to implement different sustainability initiatives across the University, and also oversees applications to the Sustainable Campus Fund.

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