Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Metrics

Strategic metrics for sustainability, social and civic responsibility issues.

Progress for each metric is indicated by either a tick with a green background, an eye with a amber background or an exclamation mark with a red background. The tick indicates that the metric has been achieved or good progress has been made. The eye indicates that further work is required. The exclamation mark indicates concern around progress.

Objective 1

We will become a zero carbon and zero waste university. Developing and pioneering approaches to deliver a low carbon and circular economy and protecting and enhancing biodiversity

Performance Indicator Target Details Key Strategies  Baseline 2019-20 Progress Notes Progress
We will reduce our emissions of carbon per £ million turnover by 50% from a 2007/8 baseline year by 2025. 78 tCO2e per £M turnover. Climate Change Strategy 2016-2026 156.2 tCO2e per £M turnover 65.5 tCO2e per £M turnover Relative emissions of carbon per £ million turnover were 65.5 for 2019-20, compared to 156 in the baseline year. 
Green tick
Carbon emissions returned to 2007/08 baseline year levels. Carbon emissions returned to 2007/08 baseline year levels. Climate Change Strategy 2016-2026 86707 tCO2e 73347 tCO2e To date, the University has reduced its carbon emissions by 15 per cent since 2007-08. Carbon emissions for 2019-20 were 73,347 tonnes CO₂e, compared to 86,707 tonnes CO₂e in 2007-08. 
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We will be on track for sequestering the carbon we cannot eliminate. In progress Climate Strategy 2016- 2026 In progres In progress In progress.
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We will be on track to becoming a net zero carbon university by 2040. 0 tCO2e Climate Change Strategy 2016-2026 86707 tCO2e 73347 tCO2e To date, the University has reduced its carbon emissions by 15 per cent since 2007-08. Carbon emissions for 2019-20 were 73,347 tonnes CO₂e, compared to 86,707 tonnes CO₂e in 2007-08. 
Green tick
10% reduction in waste arising per student. By 22/23 59kg (University managed accommodation – Pollock Halls). Waste Strategy 2018/19 – 2022/23 66kg 57kg A total of 2,300 tonnes of waste was produced in the academic estate this year, compared to 3,100 tonnes in 2018-19. Managed student accommodation at Pollock Halls generated 100 tonnes of waste, a reduction of over 50 tonnes compared with the previous year. Waste from student managed catering at Pollock Halls came to 113 tonnes, a reduction from 170 tonnes in 2018-19. 
Green tick
10% reduction in waste arising per capita. By 22/23 66kg (University Academic Estate). Waste Strategy 2018/19 – 2022/23 73kg 47kg A total of 2,300 tonnes of waste was produced in the academic estate this year, compared to 3,100 tonnes in 2018-19. Managed student accommodation at Pollock Halls generated 100 tonnes of waste, a reduction of over 50 tonnes compared with the previous year. Waste from student managed catering at Pollock Halls came to 113 tonnes, a reduction from 170 tonnes in 2018-19. 
Green tick
No single use plastic items (non-clinical / in offices and catering). No single use plastic items (non-clinical / in offices and catering). Waste Strategy 2018/19 – 2022/23 No single use plastic items In progress There is a potential negative perception of reusables from Covid-19 resulting in an increase of single-use coffee cups, water bottles. Due to Covid-19 there had been an Increase in single-use items such as face coverings, gloves, paper towels and wipes.
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We will be a zero waste university by 2030.  We will be a zero waste university by 2030.  Waste Strategy 2018/19 – 2022/23 Waste Strategy 2018/19 – 2022/26 3500 tonnes A total of 2,300 tonnes of waste was produced in the academic estate this year, compared to 3,100 tonnes in 2018-19. 
Green tick
Increase the proportion of electric vehicles in the University fleet BY 2021. 30% of University vehicle fleet. Integrated Transport Plan 4% 10% A new Integrated Transport Plan will be published in 2021, reflecting the impact of Covid-19.
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Increase the proportion of students and staff cycling to University by 2021. 15% of students and staff. Integrated Transport Plan 13% 11.6% A new Integrated Transport Plan will be published in 2021, reflecting the impact of Covid-19 on staff and students travel habits. 
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Climate Conscious Travel (Business Aviation Travel). Establish University-wide Business Travel Policy. Business Travel Policy In progress In progress In progress.
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Biodiversity action plans for all campuses.  Establish baseline. Biodiversity Strategy Establish baseline In progress To enhance the biodiversity of our campus and the city, the University has collaborated with the City of Edinburgh Council and other local partners on ‘The Thriving Green Spaces’ project which will shape an ambitious new vision for Edinburgh’s natural environment and produce a 30-year strategy and action plan to deliver that vision. The University was awarded bronze accreditation from the Hedgehog Friendly Campus.
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Sustainable Estates Guidance. New sustainable guidance for estates development. Climate Strategy 2016-2026  In progress In progress In progress
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Objective 2

We will widen participation in higher education and support inclusive growth. Increasing opportunities and raising aspirations by making education and employment an achievable goal for more people in Scotland and across the world

Performance Indicator Target Details  Key Strategies  Baseline  2019-20 Progress Notes Progress
Increased number of young people aged 16 to 24 working at the University. In progress Human Resources Strategy In progress In progress In progress.
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Provide more work and study away opportunities for less represented groups and those requiring financial assistance and from WP backgrounds.  Edinburgh Global. Edinburgh Global Plan N/A In progress The University has won £600,000 of scholarship funding to enable 35 students from low-income countries to study for a part-time, online master’s qualification. Applicants to the Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships programme, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), come from low and middle-income countries around the world, including Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.
Green tick
Expand educational support to young people aged 7-18 in the most disadvantaged communities. N/A Widening Participation Strategy N/A In progress Work with local partners, IntoUniversity and the University of Glasgow to establish a new learning centre in Craigmillar in 2021.
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 Invest in social enterprises delivering positive financial performance and positive impact on poverty, social housing, rural development and young people. Develop training and support for student social enterprises, and invest up to £8 million by 2023 in social investments that help tackle social and environmental challenges, as part of our Social Enterprise and Social Investment Strategy. Social Investment Strategy N/A In progress The University has committed £3.75m of the fund.
Green tick
Number of new entrants to the university from the most deprived areas in Scotland, increased.10 %  of new entrants coming from the 20% most deprived areas by 2021. Target - MD20 at least 10% of entrants by 2020-21 (2016/17: 7.1%), rising to 10% of population by 2023/24. Social Investment Strategy MD20: 7.1% in 2016-17 MD20: 11.4% Met the Commission for Widening Access targets of 10% of our intake to come from the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland 3 years ahead of schedule. Our students from SIMD20 areas represent 11.4% of this year’s UG intake (19/20 cycle).
Green tick
Working with University suppliers, and supply chains to promote decent work locally and globally. Community benefit leveraged to support disadvantaged communities and promote local youth employment and training. Create positive community benefit through our procurement processes. Community Plan 2020-25 N/A In progress This has resulted in the University working with organisations such as Balfour Beatty to provide surplus IT equipment to local charities, donate to families involved in the Syrian Futures Project and co-fund a learning programme at Castlebrae High School which aims to create and inspire the next generation of Built Environment professionals.
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We will provide access to data skills to at least 700,000 individuals, and create new companies and solutions for global challenges (City Deal DDI). In progress DDI / City Region Deal In progress In progress In progress
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Objective 3

Working together with local communities, sharing appropriate knowledge and skills, we will contribute to improving the lives of people across the Edinburgh City Region

Performance Indicator Target Details  Key Strategies  Baseline  2019-20 Progress Notes Progress
Sustain and grow activities related to our social impact pledges. Social Impact Pledges. Community Plan 2020-25 N/A In progress In 2020, the University renewed its commitment to increasing our social impact for the third year. Working with community partners, we have made three sets of pledges so far on the themes of literacy, digital skills, homeless health and inclusion, and student social enterprise.
Green tick
Community engagement and service will be part of an Edinburgh university student experience. Continue to support the Edinburgh University Students’ Association in their work running the Student Volunteering Service and recognise students for their voluntary efforts. Community Plan 2020-25 N/A In progress Student have been provided with advice and guidance on volunteering during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Green tick
We will continue to be Living Wage accredited. Continue to pay employees the Living Wage and maintain accreditation.  Human Resources Strategy N/A In progress In progress.
Green tick
Encourage staff to take part in the University’s ‘Day to Make a Difference’ scheme. Increase staff uptake of 'Day to Make a Difference' scheme. Community Plan 2020-25 N/A In progress The University's Community Plan provides all staff with the opportunity to take one day paid leave each year to volunteer.
Green tick
We will invest (at least) £50,000 annually to support the development of community activities through the Edinburgh Local Community Grants scheme by 2030. £50,000 annually. Community Plan 2020-25  and SCR Plan N/A Since 2017, we have given out over £300,000 to 79 local organisationsthrough our Community Grants scheme. Since 2017 we've provided more than £300,000 to 79 incredibly worthwhile community projects across the Edinburgh City Region.
Green tick
Continue to support and grow student social enterprise in partnership with the Students’ Association, Edinburgh Innovations and local networks. Increase student-led social enterprises on campus. Community Plan 2020-25 N/A In progress The University launched a Student Enterprise Hub, which provides a space for students to meet and work on their enterprises, as well as a venue for to deliver events and services, such as one-to-one business adviser meetings.
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Cross Cutting Theme

In our operations, research and teaching we will engage critically with, and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals including the promotion, protection and respect for human rights.

Performance Indicator Target Details Key Strategies Baseline 2019-20 Progress Notes Progress
We will map the academic curriculum and based on the SDGs. Complete mapping across 21 academic schools. SCR Plan 0 schools 2 schools In 2019, a working group of academic, professional staff and students was established to share good practice and identify opportunities to embed the Sustainable Development Goals into the academic curriculum and student experience. The group has supporting the mapping of the Sustainable Development Goals in the curriculum, by working with students, projects have been completed in the Business School and the School of Geosciences.
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We will map academic research outputs based on the SDGs. Maintain % of all UK academic publications. SCR Plan 2.16% - 3.49% range 2.16% - 3.49% range The University has started work in 2019 to map the Sustainable Development Goals across its academic research. Based on a key word search of the Sustainable Development Goals of academic publications in the Scopus abstract and citation database from the last five years, the University contributes to every one of the Sustainable Development Goals. The findings have also highlighted that the University accounts for over 4 per cent of the United Kingdom’s research relating to Climate Action. 
Green tick
We will improve our annual reporting on social responsibility and sustainability, incorporating the SDGs. We will measure and communicate our social impact linked to the SDGS. Increase and maintain score of 94 in THE Impact Rankings. SCR Plan 91.8 91.8 Edinburgh ranked 30th in the world in Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. Evidence submitted for 11 out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Green tick
We will see integrated reporting of our whole organisational impact against the SDGs. Fully integrated reporting by 2030. Strategy 2030 In progress. In progress. The University has started to integrate sustainability, social responsibility in our Annual Report and Accounts. With the Strategy 2030 commitments to Social & Civic Responsibility we will continue to develop our approach to integrated reporting.
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We will be using our leverage with suppliers and others to promote SDGs and human rights. Embed social and civic responsibility into procurement processes. Procurement Strategy N/A In progress The University has been working to identify potential social and environmental impacts of its supply chains, throughout the lifecycle of products and services it procures, from the stage of extracting raw materials all the way up to disposal. This included University procurement policies and practices being benchmarked against the ISO 20400 Sustainable Procurement guidance.  
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Increase our engagement around humanitarian assistance and support. N/A Edinburgh Global Plan  N/A In progress The University is proud to provide sanctuary for academics and young people and was the first UK University to be awarded University of Sanctuary status in June 2017. Our University of Sanctuary status was renewed in July 2020. In June 2020, the University hosted an online Refugee Week showcasing Edinburgh’s support of refugee projects, centring around World Refugee Day on 20 June, which included the creation of a story book showcasing Edinburgh’s involvement in refugee projects told by refugees, to highlight experiences of those in our community.
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We will provide opportunities for all staff, students and alunmi, through professional development, the curriculum, and co-curricular initiatives, to critically engage with the SDGS. % of staff (via SRS survey). Social and Civic Responsibility Plan In progress In progress All staff can undertake the Be Sustainable Online course, as well as participating the Be Sustainable Advanced Course. 
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% of students (via SRS survey). Social and Civic Responsibility Plan In progress In progress All students can undertake the Be Sustainable Online course, as well as taking elective courses, such as Our Changing World, Currents and the online Sustainability and Social Responsibility course.
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We will develop partnership at both a local and global level to support the delivery of the SDGs. International Networks and Institutional partnerships. Edinburgh Global Plan and Community Engagement Strategy In progress In progress Through membership of UNA Europa and the U7 Alliance, the University is working with partner universities, such as the University of Toronto, on collaborative research and joint degree programmes and courses. The University joined the the COP26 Universities Network, which is a growing group of more than 40 UK-based universities working together to raise ambition for tangible outcomes from the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference.
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Every student will be learning about sustainability, social and civic responsibility in their discipline and curriculum. % of undergraduate and postgraduate courses that cover at least one issue related to the SDGs. SCR Plan  N/A In progress The Students as Change Agents project aims provides an opportunity for students to work with community partners. A ‘living lab’ approach for students, staff, and external partners to tackle real-life challenges and generate fresh thinking. The Edinburgh Futures Institute is developing a new multi-disciplinary elective course for undergraduate students. Currents: Understanding and Addressing Global Challenges will be the first undergraduate course launched by the Edinburgh Futures Institute in September 2020. 
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