Office and lab staff teams, student residences and groups, individuals and special projects were all recognised at the seventh University of Edinburgh Sustainability Awards
These awards, and all the hard work of the staff and students who receive them, is really important. It is helping to make a difference that will get us closer to zero carbon by 2040.
Staff and students from all over the University were invited to the Playfair Library to collect hand-crafted, reclaimed oak trophies, representing achievements from 2016.
Photographs of the event, award winners and informal photbooth are available to view on Flickr.
Last November the University announced its new Climate Strategy, which outlines our new commitment to become zero carbon by 2040. In the Strategy, the University commits to long-term goals to ensure we are leading the way in tackling climate change, across all of our activities and recognising the core strength of the University as a globally connected, socially committed research and learning organisation. Those goals were to cut our relative emissions in half by 2025, and to become a net zero carbon university by 2040.
The dedicated efforts of staff, students and partnership working are essential to deliver the programmes that will ensure we achieve our new targets.
Hugh Edmiston, Director of Corporate Services, presented the staff focussed awards.
17 teams have received Office Awards for 2016, including seven new teams. 12 teams also carried over their awards from last year as part of the two year accreditation.
To achieve an Office Award, participants must promote sustainable ways of working and follow resource efficient practices. This year’s winners successfully completed criteria across a range of social responsibility and sustainability themes including energy saving, sustainable travel, responsible purchasing and staff wellbeing.
Gold level recognises exemplary teams that designed and implemented a unique project with a demonstrable sustainability impact.
Seven lab teams participated in 2016, including one new team. In addition to this, five other teams carried over their awards from last year as part of the two year accreditation.
To achieve a Lab Award, participating teams demonstrated compliance with a wide range of sustainable lab practices including efficient use of fume cupboards, management of chemicals and samples, and reducing waste, water and energy consumption.
The Special Awards celebrate dedicated people, and innovative projects and ideas that take the University much closer to fulfilling our environmental and ethical objectives in five different categories: Energy, Sustainable Labs, Innovation for Sustainability, Sustainability Impact, and Outstanding Contribution.
Jenna Kelly, Vice President Services for Edinburgh University Students' Association, presented the student awards, which recognise student groups and societies who have promoted social responsibility and sustainability in the University community through their learning and extra-curricular activities.
The residence award is an accreditation scheme that encourages students to work with the University to establish better practices in their halls. Last year, the very first team to participate in this category was awarded; this year, participation increased to nine teams in total. A total of 78 students actively participated in the teams, promoting sustainability and outreaching to over 3,300 student residents in halls.
If you're interested in learning how your area of the University can scoop a Sustainability Award, read our awards pages for all of the information you need.