The University of Edinburgh aims to make a significant, sustainable and socially responsible contribution to Scotland, the UK and the world promoting health, economic growth and cultural wellbeing.

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Climate change

Zero by 2040 flag
The United Kingdom, along with more than 170 other countries, officially signed the Paris Agreement in 2016. The agreement sets out a global target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and a decisive call to action to mitigate dangerous climate change caused by human activity.

Sustainable estates

Sign for Good Food Festival
A number of programmes have been delivered to support positive behaviours on campus.

Sustainable procurement

Computer lab
In 2016, the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015) came into force, which requires commercial organisations with a turnover of over £36 million to publish a statement detailing what actions they are taking to combat any risks of modern slavery in their own operations and in their supply chains.

Responsible investment

Power up Scotland event
The University continues to review its approach to responsible investment including engagement strategies with companies it invests in.

Fair employer

Fay Holmes: Domestic Assistant worked for the University since 1985 in one of the University’s accommodation residences
A new Human Resources Strategy had been developed and published to support the University’s vision and mission.

Community engagement

Edinburgh Local flyer
In October 2016, the University was one of the first in Scotland to sign the Social Impact Pledge. This Scottish Government initiative encourages public bodies to deliver projects that will benefit the public.

Widening participation

Children looking at artwork
The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, established in 2016, provides young people who have demonstrated academic talent with access to quality education.

Research and public engagement

Cabaret of Dangerous ideas at the Science Festival
A new Global Academy was launched in 2017, bringing experts together to find solutions to the world's key food issues.

Learning and teaching

ESSA group photo
A new online course on sustainability and social responsibility was launched this year and was made available to all students.