The United Nations’ annual Climate Change Conference – this year called COP 25 – takes place in Madrid from 2nd – 13th December 2019. During it, governments will hear about the impacts of climate change, propose crucial next steps to reduce their carbon emissions, and discuss how the entire human population can transition to a low carbon society in a fair and just way.
Find out how staff, students, alumni and affiliates of the University of Edinburgh are contributing to the conference… and in doing so, making the world a better place.
Continue reading The University of Edinburgh at COP25
It’s the most wonderful – and wasteful – time of the year. We asked student Laura Anderson (MSc Science Communication and Public Engagement) for her top tips on how to make Christmas 2019 your most sustainable yet.
Continue reading How to have a sustainable Christmas
Anya Hart Dyke graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2002 with an MA in Social Anthropology with Development and worked in the University’s Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability from 2012 – 2015.
Conscious of the waste created and items accrued at Christmas, Anya explains why she’s encouraging people to give the gift of time this Christmas.
Continue reading Anya Hart Dyke: give time – not stuff – this Christmas
In September 2019, the University appointed Sandy Tudhope – a Professor of Climate Studies – as its Lead on Climate Responsibility and Sustainability. We caught up with Sandy to ask him what this new role involves and to tell us more about the University’s response to the climate crisis.
Continue reading Interview: Professor Sandy Tudhope, University Lead on Climate
Responsibility and Sustainability
As Oxfam’s #SecondHandSeptember comes to an end, concerns about the environment are greater than ever. Third-year Sustainable Development student and charity shop volunteer, Elizabeth Simpson, discusses how you can avoid fast fashion and reduce your impact upon the planet.
Continue reading Second-hand September forever
In the second of two new blogs on climate conscious travel, SRS Projects Coordinator Siôn Pickering shares some top tips for becoming a “climate conscious traveller”.
In the first of two new blogs on climate conscious travel, SRS Projects Coordinator Siôn Pickering asks why travel is an environmental problem, uncovers the scale of business travel at the University of Edinburgh, and discusses how the University is reducing its business travel emissions to lessen its impact on the environment.
For National Marine Week, our Communications Manager Sarah Ford-Hutchinson – a surfer, snorkeler and freediver – explains what the sea means to her and why reducing harm to the ocean can be a private act.
Continue reading Me and the sea: it’s a personal thing
Recently we’ve seen more and more celebrities and those in the public eye start to use their platform to highlight social justice and environmental issues.
Jenna Kelly is a recent International Business graduate and former VP Services at Edinburgh University Students’ Association and explores how pop culture has helped the normalisation of sustainable behaviours.
Continue reading How pop culture became environmentally-conscious
The University of Edinburgh has just launched its Adaptation Framework based on a whole institution approach as part of commitments in our Climate Change Strategy, Zero by 2040. Liz Vander Meer, Climate Policy Manager, talks through the Framework.
Continue reading Adaptation Framework for the University of Edinburgh
Projects Coordinator for Energy, Aisling O’Reilly, discusses the necessity of transitioning to renewables and the societal changes required to become zero carbon.
Continue reading Time for change: transitioning to a zero carbon economy
Between the latest extreme weather event, a damning report on future temperature projections or news of another species going extinct, climate change in the headlines has become standard.
Greater awareness of climate change is unarguably a positive (a lack of this is partially what got us into this mess, after all) but what toll does this have on our mental health?
Communications Coordinator, Meg McGrath contributes to our series on eco-anxiety for #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.
Continue reading The rise of eco-anxiety
In our next blog in a series on mental health and climate change for #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, we hear from Esther Duncan who has just finished her undergraduate degree in Sustainable Development with Social Anthropology.
Esther recently took part in the course in “Eco-Spirituality” at the University’s Chaplaincy and discusses how a community of like-minded people can help remedy eco-anxiety. Continue reading How spirituality helped my eco-anxiety
Peter Higgins, Professor of Outdoor & Environmental Education, Director of the Global Environment & Society Academy and Director of Learning for Sustainability Scotland shares his views on education and the recent school climate strikes.
Continue reading ‘Citizens in waiting’ – climate strikes and caring for our planet
A 2015 report by Georgetown University stated “Climate change is a global challenge that burdens all of humanity, but not equally.”
Meg McGrath, Communications Coordinator, discusses why climate change is a feminist issue this International Women’s Day.
Continue reading Why climate change is a feminist issue
We hear from Aaron de Verés, a current 3rd year Ecology student and the Joint Coordinator of the activist group People and Planet Edinburgh, about why he believes sustainability should be embedded across the curriculum.
Continue reading Let’s talk about sustainability: where in the curriculum is it?
We hear from Morven MacEwen, a Global Environment, Politics and Society MSc student on why she believes the action of school students striking to be so necessary.
Continue reading Student voice: Why I support the school strikes
School children striking over inaction on climate change originated in Sweden, with 15 year old Greta Thunberg protesting outside her Government’s buildings. Today, similar demonstrations are being held in 60 towns and cities across the UK as students express their concerns over the worsening impacts of climate change.
We hear from University of Edinburgh academics that recently signed an open letter of support for the British climate change school strikes about their motivations for signing.
Continue reading The Edinburgh academics supporting the Youth Strikes for Climate
Lan Wang reports back from the 24th annual Conference of the Parties (COP), a meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to address climate change globally.
Continue reading Lan Wang: Reflections from COP24
Meg McGrath, Communications Coordinator, provides ideas for New Year’s Resolutions that make a difference. Continue reading 28 ways to make 2019 your most sustainable year yet
Kerry Cheek shares findings and recommendations from her work with the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability researching sustainability in the Festival Fringe.
Continue reading Sustainability at the Fringe
You’ve seen and heard of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and perhaps Scotland’s new National Performance Framework (NPF)… but do you really know what they mean for the University or for you?
We asked guest blogger Paul Bradley to explain how some zeitgeist acronyms and colourful graphics are helping to create a better world.
Continue reading Can pretty graphics help create a better world?
She is Sustainable began in London in 2016 as a two day event for women working in the Sustainability sector. Since then a number of events have taken place in other cities, with Edinburgh’s first event taking place this year on the 20th April. SRS Projects Coordinators Aisling O’Reilly and Rachael Barton reflect on the day.
Continue reading Career confidence for women working in sustainability
Vanessa McCorquodale is the Committees & Projects Officer in the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability and is also currently studying for an MSc in Carbon Management. This blog is a personal reflection on how climate change mitigation could be improved, submitted as part of her degree.
Continue reading Are we psychologically primed for inaction in climate change
Martin Samson, a 3rd year Economics and Psychology student, reflects on his recent participation in the Responsible Futures Auditing Programme which gave students the opportunity to audit the University’s social responsibility and sustainability practices.
Continue reading Demand drives change: conducting a social responsibility audit at
the University of Edinburgh
Dave Gorman, Director of Social Responsibility & Sustainability, reflects on progress made since the University announced its climate strategy – Zero by 2040 – in November 2016.
Continue reading The road to net zero carbon
MSc Carbon Management Alumnus Kitty Dutton reflects on her time at COP23 with the 2050 Climate Group, and why now in the time for intergovernmental – and crucially, individual – action.
Continue reading COP23: we are still in
Biotechnology student Grace Ferris explains what Climate Week is and shares her personal perspective on living sustainably.
Continue reading Student perspective: Grace Ferris on Climate Week
We have scoured this year’s Fringe programme for some of the best socially responsible and sustainable events on offer. That being said, as all well-seasoned Fringe-goers know, you never know for sure what a show is going to be like until you give it a try.
Continue reading Top five picks of the Fringe 2017
Energy Programme Assistant Mairi Kemp discusses her internship looking at the role of Energy Coordinators at the University.
Continue reading Energy Coordinator internship: Mairi Kemp
Feeling overwhelmed by all of the events on offer as part of the Science Festival? Don’t worry, we’ve done the leg work for you and compiled our top 10 picks related to social responsibility and sustainability.
Time to get inspired about science…
Continue reading Our top 10 Science Festival picks
Dr Heid Jerstad is a GCRF Post-doctoral research fellow in Social Anthropology, and is interested in how changing weather patterns impact human lives. Here she discusses her past research and the Weather Matters hub – an online space for scholars to debate weather and climate change-related research.
Continue reading Weather and housing research in the Indian Himalayas
Ahead of the International Sustainable Campus Network conference, Michelle Brown (Head of Programmes) shares her thoughts on the Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2015, world leaders committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UN member states will be expected to use the SDGs to frame their agendas and political policies over the next 15 years. Continue reading The Sustainable Development Goals: a lens for Social Responsibility
Aida and James joined us from the MSc Science Communication and Public Engagement course, and were tasked with collating research at the University specifically to do with climate change.
Continue reading Work based placement: Aida De Heras Olivares and James Tooze
Programme Manager Matthew Lawson reflects on a very special lecture from John Robinson, Former Associate Provost of Sustainability at the University of British Columbia, which took place at the University of Edinburgh on the 4th March 2016.
Continue reading Regenerative Sustainability at University of British Columbia
Andrew Arnott, our Labs Sustainability Coordinator, reflects on the S-Lab Scotland event on Monday 1st March Continue reading S-lab Scotland event: the Effective Laboratory
Research and Policy Manager Liz Cooper summarises the Learning for Sustainability Scotland AGM on Tuesday 8th December 2015.
Continue reading Learning for Sustainability Scotland AGM
Associate Chaplain Ali Newell reflects on recent interfaith efforts to highlight sustainability and equality for all within the context of the refugee crisis, Paris Attacks, and Scotland’s Climate March.
Continue reading Chaplaincy promotes social responsibility and sustainability during Interfaith Week
Graduates Célia Nyssens and Chris Palmer presented the student Carbon Railcard project at the Global University Climate Forum, running in Paris during COP21. Continue reading Alumni at COP21: Célia Nyssens and Chris Palmer at the Global University Climate Forum
Graduate Shona Rawlings reflects on her experience at COP21 as part of the 2050 Climate Group.
Continue reading Alumni at COP21: Shona Rawlings
In the first of a series of blogs from Edinburgh alumni attending COP21 in Paris, 09/10 Carbon Management graduate Gautam Jindal reports on why he’s at the conference.
Continue reading Alumni at COP21: Keeping fingers crossed at the negotiations
Our Changing World Enlightenment lecture by Julia Marton Lefévre on 24th November 2015; summary by Marlena Segar, 1st year student in Social and Economic History with Environmental Studies
Continue reading Our Changing World Enlightenment Lecture: Promise of 2015: hopes for a new enlightenment
Communications Facilitator Sarah Ford-Hutchinson reflects on attending her first sustainability conference in tertiary education – EAUC Scotland’s “A Shared Responsibility” conference – hosted by the University of Edinburgh in November 2015.
Continue reading EAUC Scotland Conference 2015
Our Changing World lecture by Andy Kerr on 27th October 2015; summary by Marlena Segar, 1st year student in Social and Economic History with Environmental Studies
Continue reading Our Changing World: Reshaping our world with New Energy Systems
Three MSc students at the University of Edinburgh have been invited to attend a global climate action workshop during the UN climate negotiations in Paris this December. Here, they tell us about their idea on how to lower the University’s CO2 emissions and about the “Carbon Railcard” – the project that will be taking them to Paris.
Continue reading Masters students invited to attend workshop during UN Climate Change Conference in Paris
On the 16th of January 2015, the updated Planetary Boundaries framework was published in Science. But what is this Planetary Boundaries framework and why is it important? How could it help the University of Edinburgh in becoming more sustainable?
Inske Groenen finds out more.
Continue reading What does the Planetary Boundaries framework tell us?
Our student reporters, Chloe Neal and Rebecka Sondell, attended the Rio Group’s half-day event: ‘Sustainable Development Goals in Scotland: Reframing Sustainable Development’. Read their thoughts on the path of Scotland’s sustainable development and what actions we need to take for a brighter future.
Continue reading Student Reporters reflect on Rio Group event