Staff and students recognised at Sustainability Awards 2015/2016

The innovation and achievement of both staff and students was celebrated at the sixth annual Edinburgh University Sustainability Awards.

Frank Henzell picks up a Special Award for the Security team from Hugh Edmiston
Frank Henzell picks up a Special Award for the Security team from Hugh Edmiston

It was standing room only for the annual Sustainability Awards Ceremony at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation on Wednesday afternoon, where we celebrated the achievements of staff and students from around the University.

"The Sustainability Awards are one of the best ways that everyone at the University can make our institution more sustainable, whilst also gaining recognition for their efforts” said Professor Charlie Jeffery, Senior Vice-Principal, as he opened the ceremony.

Three categories featured in this year’s awards: Special, Student Awards and Student Residences Awards. Office and Lab award teams are working towards their accreditation at present, and will be recognised at an awards ceremony in 2017.


Special Awards

The Special Awards celebrate dedicated people, and innovative projects and ideas that take the University much closer to fulfilling our environmental and ethical objectives in 5 different categories: Energy, Sustainable Labs, Innovation for Sustainability, Sustainability Impact, and Outstanding Contribution.

  • Energy: Security Office for their Sustainability Surveys
  • Sustainable labs:
    • Gel documentation system for replacing UV lights with LEDs and eliminating 20kg of hazardous waste per year
    • Dissection light replacement project for their own LED light replacement project that will save 2 tonnes of carbon per year
    • School of Geosciences chest freezer replacement which will cut the energy needed to store their samples by two thirds.
  • Innovation for sustainability:
    • Edinburgh Student Food Project which identified the real issue of student food poverty, and brought together stakeholders from across the city to help address it
    • Sustainability in Latin America whose event in February promoted international links and helped introduce high school students to the University
  • Sustainability impact: Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation’s low carbon innovation project, which supported more than 1,400 low carbon enterprises.
  • Outstanding contribution: Ming Wei Low and Priyasha Madavan, two MSc Sustainable Development students who were key in organising the 2015 Sustainability Jam.


Student Awards

EUSA President Jonny Ross-Tatum presented the student awards, and highlighted the remarkable ingenuity and enthusiasm that all those involved had shown in the last year by creating projects and encouraging sustainable thinking amongst their peers.

Student Awards

  • Fridge Friends
  • Outdoor education research seminar
  • Rootmap
  • Social research on off grid solar
  • Sustainability in Latin America
  • Take one action film nights (Social Policy Society)
  • Thermal audits
  • Edinburgh University Amnesty International Society
  • Edinburgh University International Development Society
  • Edinburgh University Sustainable Development Association


Some of the Student Awards winners were also recipients of the SRS Project Grant.


Student Resident Awards

  • Shrubhill and McDonald Road


Local materials and skills

The trophies were made from sycamore trees that were removed to make way for the new Forth road bridge, and were constructed and then etched by hand for us by the Grassmarket Community Project, a local initiative that helps disadvantaged people to learn woodworking and other skills. The team names were then laser etched by Edinburgh College of Art’s architecture workshop in an effort to use local skills and resources.


More Information

If you would like any more information on the winning projects and people, please contact the department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability on 0131 651 5588 / .

Visit the Sustainability Awards webpage for more information or to apply for the 2016 awards categories of Office, Lab, Student and Special awards.