International applicants

How to be a sustainable student

The University is committed to having a positive impact on the environment and society. Find out what you can do to save energy, reduce waste and travel sustainably.


Energy illustration by Katie Chappell

Save energy

The University has committed to become zero carbon by 2040. Small actions add up - when you are the last one out of a room, turn off any lighting and if you have control over your heating, use it efficiently.

Go zero carbon by 2040

Travel illustration by Katie Chappell

Travel sustainably

Active travel - for example, cycling or walking - is the often the best way to get around Edinburgh, with plenty of University support available. If you are going further afield, try public transport to help protect the environment.

Find out more about travelling sustainably

Reuse illustration by Katie Chappell

Carry reusable items

There are many incentives at the University to opt for reusable items over disposable ones. You can get a 20p discount on your hot drink when you bring any reusable cup, avoid paying a 5p charge when you bring a reusable bag, and get free water around campus with a reusable water bottle.

Find out more about reusables

Recycling illustration by Katie Chappell

Recycle and put your rubbish in the right bin

Be sure to put paper, clean plastic, cans, tins and cardboard in mixed recycling bins. If it has food or grease on it, clean it first or put it in general waste. There are also special bins for food in cafes.

Find out more about recycling

Supply chain illustration by Katie Chappell

Think about what you buy

What you buy affects workers, animals and the environment around the world. The University has various initiatives around fair trade, modern slavery and conflict minerals, which you can learn more about and get involved in.

Find out more about buying responsibly

Community illustration by Katie Chappell

Be a good neighbour

Be mindful of the people living in the community around you and consider how your behaviour might affect their lives. Try to keep noise to a minimum, especially between 11pm and 8am when people are likely to be trying to sleep. Think about volunteering to have a positive impact on your surrounding community.

Find out more about having a positive effect on the local community

Want to do more?

Social Responsibility and Sustainability mark - white on blue

Browse the student section of the Social Responsibility and Sustainability website to find out more about positive actions you can take while at the University. Take a look at the range of social responsibility and sustainability related opportunities on offer for students including events, volunteering, placements, courses and funding for projects.

Visit the website

Sign up to the newsletter and follow the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability to keep up to date with new developments to help people and the environment at the University.

Sign up to the newsletter Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube LinkedIn

Interested in learning more? Take the 30-minute ‘Be Sustainable’ online training.

Take the training

Contact the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability if you have any questions about the University’s sustainability culture.

Contact the team