A major national award has recognised the University’s work on sustainability in its laboratories.
The University was announced as the runner-up in the Guardian’s University Awards’ Sustainability category, won by the Royal Agricultural University.
The accolade was given in recognition of the University’s pioneering work in dealing with the energy, water and waste footprint of its laboratories.
The judges praised innovative measures such as recycling disposable gloves and pipette tips, and a project to recover and recycle helium.
A peer to peer audit system, whereby lab users visit other laboratories and share best practice, has also led to the identification of energy efficiency measures that could save £200,000.
Already regarded as one of the most innovative higher education institutions in the UK, this recognition builds upon the University’s continuing commitment to make a significant, sustainable and socially responsible contribution to Scotland, the UK and the world.
The University has invested over £20 million in combined heat and power energy centres which reduce the University’s carbon emissions by almost 10,000 tonnes annually, and is meeting its public commitments by divesting from the worst fossil fuels as well announcing the recent creation of a conflict minerals policy.
The University is home to several centres of expertise, ground breaking research into renewable energy, and innovative programmes in carbon management.
The School of Engineering’s Institute for Energy Systems has developed world-class test facilities for wave and tidal energy, most notably the FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility.
The recently established Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation has already been successful in bringing together low-carbon leaders with practitioners from business and the public sector to turn good ideas into reality.
Director of Social Responsibility and Sustainability Dave Gorman said: “We were delighted to accept on behalf of our colleagues. As a university we are constantly looking for ways to make our work better for the environment. This recognition highlights the progress we are making and the hard work of staff in laboratories.”