2019 news

Social responsibility and sustainability news from 2019.

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 View the Social Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2018-19


Q1 highlights for 2019/20

Quarter 1 of 2019-20 lasted from August to October 2019, and was one of our busiest quarters since the department first formed in 2014.

Survey results: 95% of University of Edinburgh students are interested in climate change

Survey article stats
In our latest survey of University students and staff, we found high levels of interest in climate change, sustainability, and social responsibility.

University of Edinburgh wins three Green Gown Awards for commitment to sustainability

Dave Gorman Green Gown Awards 2019
The UK and Ireland Green Gown Awards celebrate initiatives in universities and colleges that make them more socially responsible and sustainable. In November 2019, the University of Edinburgh won three awards for Campus Health, Food and Drink, Total Reporting and Money for Good.

Student social enterprise "Lilypads" chosen for global showcase

Lilypads - a student social enterprise that developed a reusable sanitary pad - have been chosen for the RISE Showcase 2019-20, giving them expert support and international exposure to upscale their project.

University is founding member in new Responsible Investment Network

The University of Edinburgh is a founding member of a new Responsible Investment Network within higher education that will explore how universities can invest ethically.

University of Edinburgh recognised for responsible investment excellence

The University of Edinburgh's commitment to responsible investment has been recognised by the institution being included in the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment's 2019 Leaders' Group.

Q4 highlights for 2018/19

18-19 Q4 Social Responsibility and Sustainability Highlights
The Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability (SRS) facilitates programmes to catalyse action and collaboration across campus for impact. Our infographic summarises some of the highlights over the year and provides our fourth-quarter report for the 2018/19 academic year.

University launches new Sustainability Champions network

Sustainability Champions banner - two hands either side of earth, with Sustainable Development Goal colours
The network is open to all staff and students interested in learning how to live and work in a more sustainable way.

University scores "straight As" in 2019 Responsible Investment report

The University of Edinburgh received an overall score of A in an annual assessment by the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment, the world's leading proponent of responsible investment.

Disposable cup charge raised from 25p to 30p on campus

To encourage more students and staff to use reusable cups, University and Students' Association cafés will raise the charge on disposable cups from 25p to 30p in August and September 2019.

University "Highly Commended" in International Green Gown Awards

The University of Edinburgh has received a "Highly Commended" recognition in the "Sustainability Institution of the Year" category at the International Green Gown Awards.

University establishes Palm Oil Policy

Palm oil fresh fruit bunches
The University has passed a Palm Oil Policy setting out actions it will take to combat the negative impacts of unsustainable palm oil production. Central to this policy is a commitment to source food and cleaning products that contain certified sustainable palm oil.

University finalist in seven Green Gown Award categories

The University of Edinburgh - including members of staff and students - have been named finalists in seven categories in the 2019 Green Gown Awards, administered by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC).

#BeatAirPollution this World Environment Day, Wednesday 5 June

World environment day
Worldwide, 91% of people live in areas where air quality exceeds the recommended limit in the World Health Organisation's guidelines. Find out what actions you can take at the University of Edinburgh for World Environment Day.

Staff help University to save over £720,000 by reusing items

Warp It logo
By reusing over 550,000kg of items, University staff and PhD students have saved over 760,000kg of CO2e, equivalent to having 331 fewer cars on the road in the UK.

University unveils new Adaptation Framework to become more climate-resilient

Aerial photo of central area
The Framework builds on the foundation laid out in the University of Edinburgh's Zero by 2040 Climate Strategy. It was presented at the European Climate Change Adaptation conference in May 2019.

Q3 highlights for 2018/19

2019 Q3 highlights
Find out what the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability has been working on in quarter 3 by exploring the numbers and stories we have collected and summarised in our quarterly infographic.

Take our survey to help us reduce plastic waste in labs

Lab plastic pipette
Win a prize for completing a quick survey on your use and recycling habits for plastics in laboratory settings!

Prizes up for grabs for completing 2019 survey

Social Responsibility and Sustainability survey 2019
Be in with the chance of winning one of ten socially-conscious gift boxes from Social Stories Club by taking our short Social Responsibility and Sustainability survey.

Q2 highlights for 2018/19

2019 Q2 Social Responsibility and Sustainability highlights
Last week we celebrated the achievements of staff and students around the University who take action on social responsibility and sustainability. We are also celebrating the 5th year anniversary of our Department.

The Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability is five years old!

Social Responsibility and Sustainability staff in front of the Boilerhouse, High School Yards
In April 2019, the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability celebrates its fifth birthday. Discover our key achievements from the last 5 years and take part in our online celebrations with #SRSchangemakers.

TerraCycle recycling points established across the University

Staff across the University establish drop off points for hard-to-recycle items such as crisp packets, biscuit wrappers and pens to enable other staff and students to reduce waste going to incineration and landfill.

The University establishes international network to address business travel emissions

The Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability are leading a network of over 55 global institutions in a bid to address the growing emissions from business travel within higher education.

Congratulations to winners of the Sustainability Awards 2018

Sustainability awards logo
The Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability is delighted to announce the recipients of our 2018 Sustainability Awards in five different categories.

Student Project Grant: 2018 recipients

We are delighted to announce the winners of the Student Project Grant 2018.

Living Lab dissertation ideas for students: fair trade perceptions and the impact of robotics on workers

SRS research - magnifying glass
Did you know the University seeks to solve social responsibility and sustainability issues relating to our infrastructure and practices using student research? This is known as the 'living lab' approach.

University receives 2:1 rating in 2019 People and Planet rankings

The University has been ranked 2nd in Scotland and 38th in the UK in the People & Planet University League table.