Awards highlight green initiatives

The innovation and achievement of students and staff has been celebrated at the University’s Sustainability Awards.

It was standing room only for the sixth annual awards ceremony, held in the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation.

Eight Special Awards, nine Student Awards and one Student Resident Award were presented at the event.

Special Awards

Sustainability Awards 2016
Hugh Edmiston presents Frank Henzell from the Security Team with a Special Award for their Sustainability Surveys on energy use in buildings

Security staff from the Estates Department, who created a sustainability survey, were the first to receive a Special Award.

Three laboratories received Special Awards for projects that have the potential to be replicated elsewhere on campus.

The first was a gel documentation system for replacing UV lights with LEDs and eliminating 20kg of hazardous waste each year. The second was a light replacement project that will save 2 tonnes of carbon annually.

There was also an award for a chest freezer replacement scheme in the School of GeoSciences that will cut the energy needed to store samples by two thirds.

Two student projects were praised for their innovative approach to sustainability.

Edinburgh Student Food Project identified causes of student food poverty, and brought together stakeholders from across the city to help address the issue.

The Sustainability in Latin America initiative held an event in February that promoted international links and helped introduce high school students to the University.

Elsewhere, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation’s low carbon innovation project, which has supported more than 1,400 low carbon enterprises, also received an award.

Lastly, a Special Award was presented to two students, Ming Wei Low and Priyasha Madavan – two MSc Sustainable Development students who were key in organising the 2015 Sustainability Jam.

The Sustainability Awards are one of the best ways that everyone at the University can make our institution more sustainable, whilst also gaining recognition for their efforts.

Professor Charlie JefferySenior Vice-Principal

Student Awards

Sustainability Awards 2016 students
EUSA President Jonny Ross-Tatum presents students with an award for organising a "Sustainability in Latin America" event which saw school children being invited to Teviot to learn about and present on sustainability issues

EUSA President Jonny Ross-Tatum presented the nine student awards, and highlighted the remarkable ingenuity and enthusiasm that all those involved.

He thanked them for helping to encourage sustainable thinking amongst their peers.

Projects receiving awards included the Fridge Friends initiative, an outdoor education research seminar, the Rootmap project.

There was recognition for research projects into off grid solar energy and sustainability in Latin America and students who carried out thermal audits

There were also Student Awards for the Amnesty International Society, the International Development Society and the Sustainable Development Association and The Social Policy Society’s Take one action film nights.

Some of the Student Awards winners were also recipients of the SRS Project Grant.

The single Student Resident Award went to the first year student residence at Shrubhill and McDonald Road.

Unique trophies

The trophies were made from sycamore trees that were removed to make way for the new Queensferry Crossing.

They were constructed and then etched by hand by the Grassmarket Community Project, a local initiative that helps disadvantaged people to learn woodworking and other skills.

The team names were then laser etched by Edinburgh College of Art’s architecture workshop.

More information

If you would like any more information on the winning projects and people, please contact the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability at

Visit the Sustainability Awards webpage for more information, or to apply for the 2017 awards categories of Office, Lab, Student and Special Awards.

Social Responsibility and Sustainability