Social Responsibility and Sustainability

About the Sustainability Awards

The Sustainability Awards offer an opportunity for staff and students to make a difference and contribute towards our University becoming more socially responsible and sustainable.

Everyone at the University can take part in the Sustainability Awards.

We have six different types of Sustainability Award spanning the breadth of the University so that everyone can get involved.

Staff awards

Office Award winners 2018
Office Award winners 2018

Office and lab awards

Each staff award category comes with its own toolkit containing a set of specially designed criteria to encourage action in social responsibility and sustainability themes. Teams work together to complete the toolkit and track progress using our simple online platform.

At the end of the staff Sustainability Awards trained student auditors or staff peer auditors in the Lab Awards, meet with teams to review efforts made and give feedback on the team’s performance.

Support from the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability is available throughout the process.

Office Awards Lab Awards

Residence award winners 2018
Residence Award winners 2018

Working from Home awards

Please note that submissions received after 17:00 on Tuesday 30 March will not be included in this year's Sustainability Awards Celebration, however we encourage you to submit any time throughout the year for inclusion in the 2022 Celebration.

If you are continuing to work remotely but want to continue making a positive impact, the Working from Home Awards are for you. Whether you are working from home entirely, or are split between home and the campus, the Working from Home Awards are designed to support your sustainability journey where-ever you are working.

Featuring an accessible range of actions open to both individuals and groups from across the whole University, the Working from Home Awards can be completed at your own pace.

Using the new framework and guide below, you will choose and complete 10 criteria of your choice. You can choose a range of actions or focus on areas where you want to make the biggest impact. Once completed, use the short Working from Home checklist to tell us what you did and you'll receive recognition for your achievement.

Take part in the Working from Home Awards today.

Complete the Working from Home Awards checklist

SRS Changemakers' Award

Sharon Boyd, SRS Changemaker 2018
Sharon Boyd, SRS Changemaker 2018

The SRS Changemakers’ Award recognises current students and staff who have made a noticeable positive impact by: 

  • undertaking a successful socially responsible or sustainable project; 
  • or by inspiring others to act in a more socially responsible or sustainable way. 

Individuals or groups will have undertaken this either within the University (for the benefit of fellow students and staff); within the Edinburgh and Lothians region (the local community), or somewhere else entirely (other communities worldwide). The activity will have occurred between March 2020 and February 2021, and may have been a one-off activity or may be ongoing. 

Examples could be: 

  • Going above and beyond the expectations of a task to incorporate sustainability into a project or assignment 
  • Organising a team sustainability challenge that improved the environment and brought people together 
  • Volunteering in the local community to tackle social inequality or improve wellbeing  
  • Embedding climate awareness into teaching  
  • Organising a successful online event to raise awareness of a particular SDG or related issue 
  • Supporting a community elsewhere in the world to become more sustainable 
  • Successfully encouraging friends, classmates or colleagues to make sustainable changes to their daily lives  

The individual’s or group’s actions should be in addition to activities they are expected to undertake as part of their programme of study or job role. Individuals and groups are welcome to nominate themselves or others. 

Submissions that can demonstrate a measurable positive impact, that have shared or communicated their actions to others and that align with the University's Social and Civic Responsibility Plan and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are more likely be successful.  

Nomination form: SRS Changemakers' Award 2021 

Nominations will open on Wednesday 10 February 2021 and close on Friday 12 March 2021 at 5pm

The University Website Programme team would wholeheartedly recommend taking part in the Sustainability Awards. The tasks are fun and easy to complete and the process helped pull the team closer together.

Bruce DarbyProject Manager, University Website Programme

Student Residence Awards

The Student Residence Awards allow students to work with their neighbours and Resident Assistant to transform their residence into a shining example of social responsibility and sustainability. 

Student Residence Awards

Awards for Community partnerships

Community partnership award winners 2018
Community Partnership Award winners 2018

Community Partnership Awards

This award is paused for 2021.

Social Responsibility and Sustainability Community Partnership Awards recognise University staff and students who have partnered with local communities on initiatives that have had a positive social impact for the community partners. For the purposes of the Awards, ‘local’ counts as the City of Edinburgh, plus neighbouring council areas.



Previous winners

Sustainability Awards Past Winners Section Image - trophies
The Sustainability Awards, running since 2010, offer an opportunity for staff and students to make a difference and contribute towards the University becoming more socially responsible and sustainable.

Our partners

NUS Green Impact


2018 review

In 2018, a review was conducted of the office, residence, and lab Sustainability Awards at multiple levels by Alistair Soutter. Read the review below.