Sustainability, Civic & Social Responsibility Committee

The committee provides a focal point for strategic advice to the Principal, Court and University Executive on all matters related to Social & Civic Responsibility and Sustainability. It oversees delivery of the Social & Civic Responsibility Plan and key developments in this area as agreed with University Executive and monitors, reviews and evaluates the plan and progress. It provides a forum for generation of ideas and innovation in responding to key SRS drivers and supports the integration of sustainability, social and civic responsibility across the whole University.



1. Overseeing the progress in implementing the Social & Civic Responsibility Plan and monitoring, reviewing and evaluating the Plan on behalf of the University’s Executive Group.

2. To provide strategic and cross-university advice as required on all matters related to sustainability, social and civic responsibility issues as the key oversight committee

3. To assist the Principal, Court and University Executive in ensuring delivery of the Social & Civic Responsibility objectives which outline that:

  • We will become a net zero carbon and zero waste university. Developing and pioneering approaches to deliver a zero carbon and circular economy and protecting and enhancing biodiversity.
  • We will widen participation in higher education and support inclusion. Increasing opportunities and raising aspirations by making education and employment an achievable goal for more people in Scotland and globally. 
  • We will work together with local communities to contribute to improve the lives of people across the Edinburgh City Region and beyond. 
  • In our operations, research and teaching we will engage critically with, and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals

[These objectives connect with commitments and requirements as detailed in: the Zero by 2040 Climate Strategy; the Waste Strategy; the Community Plan and policies such as the Sustainability Policy; the Good Food Policy; Sustainable Procurement and Community Benefit Policies]

4. To provide the necessary advice, leadership and oversight to progress the embedding and integration of sustainability, climate change, circular economy, the sustainable development goals (SDGs), commitments to community engagement across all aspects of University business – operations, learning and teaching and research, enterprise and commercialisation.  This includes planning and business case development through to implementation and review.

5. To develop, agree, monitor, review, evaluate and report and seek the necessary approvals for the following strategies:

  • Climate Strategy
  • Sustainability Policy
  • Zero waste/waste and resources strategy
  • Biodiversity strategy and policy
  • Good food policy
  • Community strategy
  • Social Enterprise and Social Investment

6. To ensure SRS issues are fully embedded across operations including building design and public realm, energy, waste, biodiversity, water use, land transport, IT and purchasing, international travel and aviation.

7. To ensure the University maintains a coherent and consistent narrative for reporting and communications on our commitments to sustainability, social & civic responsibility.  This includes reviewing annual reporting, communication plans and submissions for impact rankings (e.g. THE SDG ranking).

8. To provide a focal point for strategic review and assessment of impact in relation to our SRS commitments and priorities (e.g. social impact assessment etc.).

9. To provide a forum for the review of current SRS Departmental programmes along with the generation of new ideas, concepts, and programmes in response to SRS current or emerging needs and driversTo engage with the SRS Department to ensure central and local strategic alignment, to articulate college needs and co-create solutions.

10. To ensure the University has a consistent and effective approach to engaging with stakeholders on these issues, including local communities and is responsive to their needs and to align with our commitments to equality and diversity.

11. To oversee priorities and proposals for the embedding of SRS issues across the University in line with Strategy 2030 and to act as a conduit for college and schools to plan and embed SRS issues within their activities, to coordinate and to communicate.


Sandy Tudhope, Convener, University Lead on Climate Responsibility & Sustainability

Lesley McAra, Vice Convener, Assistant Principal Community Relations

Laura Cattell, Head of Widening Participation

Anne-Marie Coriat, College Registrar, MVM

Jamie Cross, Personal Chair of Social and Economic Anthropology

Juan Cruz, ECA Principal

Scott Davidson, Deputy Director SRS & Head of Sustainability

Dave Gorman, Director of SRS

Gemma Gourlay, Head of Social Impact

Claire Graf, Joint Unions Liaison Committee representative

Colm Harmon, Vice Principal (Students)

Pete Higgins, Director, Global Environment & Society Academy

Gary Jebb, Director of Place

Victoria Kulczycki, Director of Procurement

Matthew Lawson, Senior SRS Learning, Teaching and Reporting Manager

Catherine Martin, Vice-Principal Corporate Services

Gavin McLachlan VP and Chief Information Officer

Lynn McMath, Deputy Director, Stakeholder Relations, Communications and Marketing

Theresa Merrick, Director of Communications & Marketing

Anne Payne, CSE Registrar

Rachael Robertson, Deputy Director of Finance

James Saville, Director of HR

Beth Simpson / Isi Williams, Students’ Association VP Community

James Smith, Vice Principal International

Rona Smith, Director of Strategic Planning and Insight

Meetings and papers

Meetings and papers