Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Free water points being installed across University

The University is installing new drinking water points across the University to help students and staff get access to healthy and sustainable hydration.

We are installing drinking water points across the University estate in direct response to student requests for more access to drinking water. We are delighted to be able to encourage our students to adopt healthier habits by drinking more water and reducing the number of plastic water bottles that end up as litter.

Gary JebbDirector of Estates
Reusable bottles

More than thirty drinking water fountains have already been installed. Around two hundred points will be installed or upgraded in total over the next eighteen months.

The project is a partnership between the Estates department, the Edinburgh University Students’ Association and the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability.

The project is the first in a series of measures aimed to cut plastic use and help the University reach it’s Zero by 2040 climate change goal.

Reusable water bottles will be sold in cafés and shops on campus and, starting from the next academic year, a map will help people find the nearest water point. 

“Last year, plastic bottles thrown away in just the Main Library could stretch over the Forth Bridge and back.” said Michelle Brown, Head of Programmes in the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability. “The easiest way to prevent that waste is not to create it in the first place. So, we’re encouraging everyone to carry a bottle and make a difference.”

Official 'first edition' University of Edinburgh reusable water bottles are currently on sale in the David Hume Tower shop and the Main Library Cafe. The award winning reusable water bottle is:

  • Dishwasher safe (up to 65°C)
  • BPA free
  • Cradle-to-cradle certified
  • 5% of the maker’s net turnover is donated to safe drinking water projects and solutions for plastic pollution
  • Convertible – the lid becomes a cup

Find out more about reuse at the University