University of Edinburgh shortlisted for four Green Gown Awards

The University of Edinburgh has achieved a significant milestone in its commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility this year, after being shortlisted for four prestigious Green Gown Awards.

The Green Gown Awards, organised by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), recognise the exceptional efforts and innovations of educational institutions to address environmental and sustainability challenges.

The programmes shortlisted are: 

IT reuse – The circular economy in action 

The University of Edinburgh's initiative on IT Reuse has been nominated under the Digital Futures category. Through this programme, the University has implemented innovative practices to: 

  • extend the lifespan of electronic equipment 

  • reduce electronic waste 

  • and promote a circular economy on campus. 

By refurbishing and repurposing electronic devices, the University has significantly decreased its electronic waste footprint while advancing sustainable practices in the digital realm. Since 2015 the University has reused over 2,000 PCs and 2,000 items like keyboards, mice, and monitors. 

IT Reuse 

Bees pollinating flowers on campus
Bees at the University of Edinburgh

Building nature positive communities, campuses, and cities 

In recognition of its efforts to cultivate natural spaces and biodiversity, the University of Edinburgh has been shortlisted under the Nature Positive category. The University has been actively involved in restoring and conserving biodiversity on its campuses and surrounding communities. By integrating green infrastructure, promoting sustainable landscaping, and engaging with local ecosystems, the University has contributed to building nature positive environments. 


Biodiversity Plan  

Students stand in green landscape in Isle of Eigg
Case Studies in Sustainable Development students enjoy field trip to Isle of Eigg

Case Studies in Sustainable Development  

Under the Next Generation Learning and Skills category, the University of Edinburgh's efforts to develop and implement case studies on sustainable development have gained recognition from EAUC.

The postgraduate course Case Studies in Sustainable Development offers students an opportunity to engage with real-world sustainability challenges and develop practical solutions through a combination of lectures, applied sustainability projects within the University of Edinburgh, and field-based experiential learning on the Isle of Eigg.

The University's commitment to empowering its students with the knowledge and skills to tackle complex sustainability issues has earned it a well-deserved spot among the finalists. 

Edinburgh Earth Initiative stand on steps outside ECCI
Edinburgh Earth Initiative staff and Earth Fellows

Edinburgh Earth Fellows: Student power in urgent climate research 

In a second nomination under the Next Generation Learning and Skills category, the Edinburgh Earth Initiative’s cross-university Earth Fellows programme has been recognised for its exceptional impact on urgent climate research. The programme has empowered students through paid, part-time work to lead and influence projects that focus on: 

  • climate change 

  • energy 

  • health 

  • ecosystems 

  • justice 

Students work in collaboration with academics and professional services departments at the University of Edinburgh, as well as local and global partners. Earth Fellows also benefit from a community-building and skills development package, creating personal and professional connections with students and staff across the institution. They also take part in tailored skills sessions designed to equip dynamic future leaders with the knowledge and skills to tackle the urgent climate crisis.  

Earth Fellows  

These four nominations reflect the University of Edinburgh's continuing dedication to sustainability, environmental stewardship, and empowering its community to drive positive change.  

About the Green Gown Awards 

As the climate crisis is increasingly recognised as the most pressing issue our world faces, the Green Gown Awards put a spotlight on the innovative and inspiring sustainability work taking place in universities and colleges to create a brighter future for their students. 

Established in 2004, the Green Gown Awards UK and Ireland recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities, colleges and the learning and skills sectors across the UK and Ireland as the education sector leads a path to efficiency, employability and better quality of life all. 

The University of Edinburgh has been honoured with numerous Green Gown Awards. Notable wins include the 2030 Climate Action, Campus Health, Food and Drink, and Sustainability Institution of the Year. The University has also been recognised for its research impact and achievements in promoting social responsibility and student-led initiatives.  

The Green Gown Awards ceremony is scheduled to take place in November. 

Green Gown Awards Ceremony 

2023 Green Gown Awards Finalists [External] 

Past Recognition