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Efforts of staff and students celebrated at Sustainability Awards Ceremony

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.

Dave GormanDirector of Social Responsibility and Sustainability
Sustainability Awards Ceremony 2017 Dave Speech
Dave Gorman opens the Awards Ceremony

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.

Office Awards

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.

See full list of Office Awards winners and awards carried over

Lab Awards

Sustainability Awards Ceremony 2017 offices and labs winners
Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility - Office Awards: Silver, Lab Awards: Silver

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.

See full list of Lab Awards winners and awards carried over

Special Awards

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.

  • Energy: QMRI Energy Saving Vented Cupboards
  • Sustainable labs: IGMM Liquid Nitrogen Sample Storage
  • Innovation for sustainability: Easter Bush Polystyrene Reduction and Reuse
  • Sustainability impact: Easter Bush Embedding SRS in Veterinary Medical Education
  • Outstanding contribution: Rab Calder

Student Awards

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 Business Society (‘EdEco Bottle’ campaign )
  • HypED (Hyperloop research: technology concept for mass transportation from Elon Musk)
  • Project Cambodia (development of aquaponics farming with the NGO Community First in Cambodia)
  • Sustainability in Latin America Conference (event to raise awareness of resource management in Latin America)
  • Project Elpis (solar powered mobile phone charging units in refugee camps in Greece)

Student Residence Awards

Sustainability Awards Ceremony 2017 residence awards
Residence Award winners

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.

  • Kincaid’s Court (bronze)
  • Murano (bronze)
  • Ratcliffe Terrace (bronze)
  • Riego Street (bronze)
  • Sciennes and Ascham Court (bronze)
  • Darroch Court and Morgan Court (silver)
  • Deaconess and New Arthur Place (silver)​
  • Holyrood (silver)​
  • Shrubhill (silver)​

Sustainability Awards 2017

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.

Awards pages