Approach to reporting and governance

The University’s Social Responsibility and Sustainability Strategy 2010-2020 sets out a whole institution approach.

This is based on:

  • Learning and teaching
  • Research and knowledge exchange
  • People, services and infrastructure

A review of this strategy is currently taking place and a revised version will be published in 2019.


Overall governance responsibilities sits with the Social Responsibility and Sustainability (SRS) Committee which succeeded the former Sustainability and Environment Advisory Group (SEAG) in 2015.

The scope and remit for the SRS Committee includes sustainability and environmental topics, as well as fair employment, equality and diversity issues, access to education, widening participation issues, community relations and public engagement. Through engagement with both the University and local communities, government relations and partnerships, we seek to understand the social responsibility and sustainability issues that are important to our stakeholders and to the long term success of the University.

The remit and name of the Sustainability Operations Advisory Group was revised in 2017, becoming the Sustainability Strategy Advisory Group. It will provide advice on the development of integrated strategies, plans and programmes for operational sustainability across all of the University functions, including broader social aspects where relevant. The Group will report directly to the SRS Committee.

The University is a founding member of the Universities and Colleges Climate Commitment for Scotland.

Social Responsibility and Sustainability Committees


In 2017-18, we have continued to improve our approach to social responsibility and sustainability reporting, ensuring we report on those issues that are of most importance to our stakeholders.

Over the last year we have supported the University’s efforts to further align the Annual Report and Accounts to the International Integrated Reporting Framework.

Social responsibility and sustainability issues are reported throughout the Annual Report and Accounts, including in the Principal’s Foreword and Operational Review sections. This is the fifth year that we have reported progress on social responsibility and sustainability issues in this report.

We have continued for this year to produce a more detailed stand-alone online report and a four page highlights report supporting efforts to engage with our diverse range of stakeholders.

As a world leading university with a mission to facilitate the creation, dissemination and curation of knowledge we will have some different issues to report on in relation to social responsibility and sustainability than organisations outside of the higher education sector.

Annual Report and Accounts 2017/18