2022 Award winners: Edinburgh

This series features our 2022 Award winners. This month, we hear from The University of Edinburgh.

What does it mean to you to win the award?

The International Sustainable Campus Award is a fantastic reflection of the hard work and determination of the University of Edinburgh’s community to address the climate and environmental crisis, one of many complex and urgent challenges that the world faces. Students, staff and alumni, contribute towards the University’s vision to make the world a better place, by continuing to innovative, lead and deliver positive environmental and social change, both locally and globally, through our academic research, education, operations and partnerships.

What’s next for your project: “Whole Institution Approach to Addressing the Climate Crisis”?

The climate and environmental crisis is a key part of the University’s social and civic responsibility commitment. We are widening our climate focus to include more action on biodiversity, resources and the circular economy. We will continue to work to embed these issues further in the curriculum and experience of both staff and students, to create the tools, information and skills for the whole University community to innovate for social good, and to examine creative ways to use our buildings, our knowledge and skills, our procurements, our investments, and our reputation to support the Edinburgh city and wider region deliver positive environmental and social change.

We are committed to tackling climate change across all of our activities – this includes how we operate our estate, what we buy and invest in, the teaching and research we undertake and our partnerships. Our commitments include our confirmed plans to sequester more than one million tonnes of carbon dioxide, our continued funding of socially positive investments and the launch of the Edinburgh Earth Initiative in 2021.

Do you have any advice for those working on a “Whole Systems Approach”?

A successful “Whole Systems Approach” requires a clear vision and shared ownership across the University community and partners. A shared purpose will help embed commitments across all of University life as much as possible and deliver multiple benefits for colleagues and the institution. It is important to provide staff and students with the skills and understanding of climate and environmental issues, empowering them to embed these issues in decision making and to take action to deliver positive impact.

For more information on The University of Edinburgh’s work see their Social and Civic Responsibility Report 2020-21.