Fundraise Your Way

Green fundraising

Find out what the University of Edinburgh is doing to become more sustainable and some suggestions to make your own fundraising activities more environmentally friendly.

A pattern of icons related to recycling and green energy

What we do

The University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh aims to become a leading socially responsible and sustainable university and has committed to becoming a zero-carbon organisation by 2040. This commitment can be seen rights across the university, from supply chains to responsible investment.

Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Development and Alumni

Development and Alumni is committed to contributing to social responsibility and sustainability at the University of Edinburgh. This means paperless information sharing wherever possible, enhanced recycling facilities in the office, supporting and encouraging sustainable transport, and much more.

Our Commitment to Sustainability

What you can do

Challenge Events

If you’re taking part in an organised race or challenge, look into the event’s green credentials before signing up. We would encourage you to support events that are, for example, working to find alternatives to single-use plastics.

You can also reduce your own carbon footprint by choosing to take part in local events rather than travelling further afield or by taking public transport to the start line where possible.

Bake Sales

If you’re holding a bake sale or coffee morning, try to avoid using disposable cups, plates and cutlery. Using regular crockery and cutlery can be a great option, or you could encourage attendees to bring their own reusable cups and containers for goodies.

If you do need to provide disposable cups and plates, why not investigate biodegradable options?

Organising Your Own Events

Going paperless

If your event is ticketed, could you use a digital ticket rather than paper ones? Platforms like Eventbrite make it really easy for attendees to show a ticket on their phone rather than printing one out. If printing is unavoidable, try to use recycled paper.

Signage and materials

If you plan to run your event more than once, consider whether you can make any event signage reusable by leaving off the date. If you need to use plastic name badges or lanyards, make sure to collect these from participants at the end of the event for reuse. Think carefully before ordering any ‘goodie bag’ items for your event participants. Things like t-shirts, medals and badges often end up straight in landfill, and the money you save can be added to your fundraising total.


If your event involves catering, there are plenty of steps you can take to improve sustainability. Consider offering free tap water refills rather than bottled water, try to prioritise locally sourced food with minimal packaging, and provide reusable rather than disposable items. In a pinch, biodegradable plates and cutlery can be a good compromise. If you’re working with a catering company or café, don’t be afraid to ask them about their own commitment to sustainability.

Green fundraising ideas

While you can take steps to make any fundraising activity more sustainable, here are some ideas to take your green fundraising to the next level:

  1. Hold a clothes-swap or ‘swishing’ party for friends, family or colleagues.
  2. Organise a bring-and-buy sale to help old treasures find a new home
  3. Take part in a virtual walking or running challenge.

Further Information

Institute of Fundraising – Environmentally-Friendly Fundraising (external link)

ClimateWave – Checklist to a Sustainable Event (external link)