Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Local oat milk start-up invites student research

Are you interested or already doing a dissertation in the circular economy and plant based milk? We have an exciting Living Lab research project available.

Untitled Oats are inviting students to work with them on two questions to explore through a dissertation or case study. This is a great opportunity for the work you are doing towards your degree to make a real-world difference.

Untitled Oats

Created by two University of Edinburgh students, Untitled Oats is an Edinburgh based oat milk start-up company.

Untitled Oats website [external link]

With the serious environmental impacts of cow’s milk increasingly accepted, Untitled Oats was started to provide not only an alternative to dairy but an alternative to other plant milk companies. With sustainability at it's core, our processes have been carefully considered to minimise their environmental impacts.

Untitled Oats

Research questions

Untitled Oats plant based milk in glass bottle on grass
Untitled Oats plant based milk in glass bottle

1. Is a glass bottle return scheme the most sustainable packaging option for oat milk?

Objectives

  • To explore the fate of non returned bottles- are they recycled, landfilled or reused?
  • To examine whether this may impact the sustainability of creating larger scale bottle return schemes as the company grows, weighing up the larger carbon footprint of glass with the plastic pollution associated with other packaging options. 
  • To explore the practicality of upscaling the bottle return scheme- is it a feasible option as the business expands to different locations.
  • To examine the social impacts of operating a bottle return scheme. 

Read the full brief for research question 1 [PDF document]

2. Does the positioning of plant-based products in a retail setting influence pro-environmental behaviour?

SDG 12 and SDG 13 (Responsible Consumption and Production, and Climate Action)
SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and SDG 13 (Climate Action) are addressed by these projects

Objectives

  • To examine if positioning of plant-based products influences the pro-environmental behaviour of plant-based diets.
  • To analyse the impact of additional refrigeration has for plant-based products that have historically been UHT, ambient, products.
  • To weigh up this potential additional impact of refrigeration against the possibility of increased switching behaviour to plant-based products, specifically plant-based milks. 

Read the full brief for research question 2 [PDF document]

Living Labs

For us, treating the University as a Living Lab means using our own academic and student research capabilities to solve social responsibility and sustainability issues relating to our infrastructure and practices.

Each Living Lab works towards at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals so you can have direct impact and will be attractive to employers looking to embed sustainable practices in their places of work.

The University as a Living Lab

Get in touch

Please contact Matthew.Lawson@ed.ac.uk to discuss this project further.