Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Responsible Futures

The University and the Edinburgh University Students' Association are participating in the NUS Responsible Futures scheme to encourage a whole-institution approach to embed social responsibility and sustainability within learning and teaching.

Thirteen universities and colleges took part in the UK-wide pilot during 2014-15, and we are pleased to announce that the University of Edinburgh and the Students' Association attained the NUS Responsible Futures Accreditation in June 2015.

Accreditation mark

The aim of NUS Responsible Futures is to develop a desirable, externally assessed accreditation mark, spanning the formal and informal curriculum, applicable to both further and higher education.

NUS have set a defined list of criteria to provide a framework for participants to work through. Some of the criteria are mandatory, with others being optional.

Participants identified opportunities for implementing the criteria by developing action plans which were audited by local students who were trained by NUS.

The University and the Edinburgh University Students' Association will be audited in 2018 to retain the accreditation mark and to ensure that recommendations from the audit have been implemented.

Further information


Please find below the current Action Plan, a Statement of Commitment signed by both Edinburgh University Students' Association and the University, and the Certificate of Accreditation.


If you would like further information, or wish to get involved, please contact Matthew Lawson.

Matthew Lawson

Programme Manager

Contact details


  • Matthew Lawson is currently Programme Manager in the University of Edinburgh’s Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability having previously worked at Transition Edinburgh University. After completing his undergraduate degree in International Relations, Matthew got involved in a variety of community and environmental groups while studying for a Masters in Multi-level and Regional Politics. His research focused on climate change policy in Scotland. His current role includes responsibility for social responsibility and sustainability reporting, benchmarking, developing sector-wide and external partnerships, liaising with academic degree programmes and courses, as well as having oversight of the department’s outreach and student engagement activities. Matthew has worked for the University since 2011.