Quarter 2 highlights
A lot happened in the last quarter. Working with staff and students across the University, the Department for Social Responsibility & Sustainability continued to progress work against priorities: carbon and energy savings; resource efficiency; supply chain social responsibility and sustainability; responsible investment; community engagement and links to learning and teaching. We review our outcomes, outputs and inputs on a quarterly basis.
The University annual Social Responsibility and Sustainability report is now live.
11 office and 5 laboratories completed their sustainability awards criteria with an additional 20 still holding accreditation from the year before. The awards teams have reached an estimated 30 percent of staff. We are recruiting for a researcher to work with us on an evaluation and review of the awards programme.
Find out more about the awards
Our team has worked closely with Estates colleagues to deliver 10 percent savings. £1.73 million of potential energy savings opportunities have been identified over the 2 years. Through the Sustainable Campus Fund, 40 projects have now been approved, with an average return on investment of over 350 percent.
A network of Energy Coordinators are driving practical action across the University in support of the Zero by 2040 Climate Strategy and working in their work units to identify savings opportunities. As of the end of April, there were 155 Energy Coordinators (75 percent active). Additional investment has been raised to support other low carbon and energy savings – further announcements on some of these exciting projects to follow.
Find out more about Energy
On Resource Efficiency and a vision of a Circular Economy, working with Waste colleagues and through a network of over 150 coordinators (68 percent active) across the University, we have continued to promote reuse. Through the Waste and Reuse Portal (Warp It), over £350,000 has been saved and over 30,000kg of waste avoided. The PC reuse project continues with close to 700 PCs reused to date. The research carried out by the Business School on PC reuse has also been completed.
Find out more about Resource Efficiency
A sector leading carbon reporting tool was developed which will enable school and unit specific engagement. A pilot Business Travel Communications Project is underway.
Find out more about Sustainable Travel
We continue to progress work understanding risks and opportunities in priority categories. The Conflict Minerals policy was updated as well as the Modern Slavery Statement. An innovative research project ‘Make ICT Fair’ kicked off with SRS and the School of Social and Political Sciences collaborating with numerous groups on electronics supply chain research and action. We are participating in piloting a new Fairtrade Universities accreditation with the Students Association and the National Union of Students.
Find out more about Supply Chains
We have worked to support the launch of the Edinburgh Local website of the University and a new community grants scheme. Six grants were initially awarded for projects ranging from digital skills for all, a women’s respite project, youth projects and a drop in centre with more to be confirmed. Projects such as the Digital Ambassadors volunteering continued and a new Social Impact Pledge was announced.
We have been delighted to appoint Chris Litwiniuk as the SRS Engagement Manager and Alexis Heeren as the new SRS and Supply Chains coordinator and to welcome Sion Pickering as a Communications Coordinator.
Please join us on 29th March to celebrate the efforts of students and staff across the University at the Sustainability Awards ceremony. We will host a staff and student workshop to share ideas for the University’s SRS Strategy as well as practical approaches to sustainability across the University.
The Department continues to share its own learning about our work and about the University as a Living Laboratory for social responsibility and sustainability.
We look forward to working with you in the months ahead.