By Eilidh Morrison
As is the case for most university students, April is often one of the busier and more stressful months of the year. Essay deadlines are looming, exams are fast approaching and master’s students are frantically planning their dissertation research. I am on the Environment and Development MSc, which means I belong to the School of Geosciences. Many of my colleagues are abroad doing field research, whilst some others have decided to complete desk-based research in Edinburgh. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to complete a Work Based Placement in the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability within the University of Edinburgh looking into garment supply chains. Upon completion of the placement, I will write a report for the Department, the findings of which I can then use towards my MSc Dissertation.
Continue reading Work-based placement: garment supply chains
In May 2015 I presented a paper at the Fair Trade International Symposium, held at the Politecnico di Milano, entitled ‘How can universities better contribute to the fair trade agenda? Developing collaboration between researchers and practitioners in a university for social impact’. My paper focused on the case of the University of Edinburgh and its approach to fair trade.
Continue reading Sharing fair trade experiences and research – Fair Trade International Symposium, Milan, May 2015
Laboratory Programme Facilitator Andrew Arnott reflects on the recent Energy Reduction Workshop that aimed to share best practice about energy reduction in laboratories.
Continue reading Reflections on the Energy Reduction Workshop, April 2015
Staff in the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability have competed in both the Edinburgh Marathon relay and the Step Count Challenge to promote fitness, encourage active travel and raise money for local charities.
Continue reading Department staff get active and raise £1,724.17 for charities
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?
Last month Eve Livingstone, EUSA Vice President Societies and Activities, took part in the Ethics Forum event ‘Has the University eradicated sexism’. She reflects on the event and shares her thoughts about the subject.
Continue reading Has the University eradicated sexism?
Professor Charlie Jeffery, Senior Vice Principal at the University of Edinburgh delivered an engaging lecture on constitutional change within the United Kingdom in light of the recent Scottish Referendum. Continue reading Constitutional change within the United Kingdom in light of the recent Scottish Referendum
The University is reviewing its Social Responsibility and Sustainability Strategy. Feedback has shown that people would like the strategy to set out more explicit definitions of the terms, and make it clearer how they relate to the University.
Continue reading Can you help us define “Social Responsibility” and “Sustainability”?
Programme Manager, Matthew Lawson reflects on the thought-provoking public lecture from the Our Changing World lecture series on air pollution and heart attacks.
Continue reading Air Pollution Fuels Concern
In the most recent Our Changing World lecture, Dr Alice Street, Chancellor’s Fellow and writer of the recently released ‘Biomedicine in an Unstable Place: Infrastructure and Personhood in a Papua New Guinean Hospital (Experimental Futures)’, outlined the value of anthropology in thinking about and planning infrastructure for health.
Continue reading Our Changing World Lecture – Dr Alice Street
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
Our student reporter, Franziska Schmidt, reflects on ‘Rewilding the World: with George Monbiot and Alan Watson Featherstone.
Continue reading Visions of a Wilder World: Thoughts from Franziska Schmidt
Our student reporter Maria shares her thoughts on ‘Rewilding the World: with George Monbiot and Alan Featherstone’.
Hope. It’s a depleted resource these days. With constantly growing concerns over the fate of the economy, society and the environment, it seems that there’s little to keep our sagging chins up for. We’re doomed: I’ve even heard it passed off as a statement of resigned fact in lectures. By and large, you’re meant to accept what you hear in lectures, or at least consider it an educated opinion. Surely, if the educated opinion is foretelling the imminent downfall of the Earth, then something needs to be done, and fast. Continue reading Rewilding the World: Thoughts from Maria Bateson
Professor Chris Speed, Chair in Design Informatics at Edinburgh College of Art, delivered an inspiring and forward thinking lecture on how design is adapting to the rapidly increasing availability of big data.
Continue reading Dancing With Data
In this lecture, we heard from Professor Michèle Belot (School of Economics) about her research relating to behavioural economics, which is the study of why and how people make economic decisions, and how this plays out in health behaviours.
Continue reading Behavioural Economics and Health Behaviours
Secretary of University charity society ‘Engineers Without Borders’, Thomas Findlay dismisses the wasteful culture of mass flyering during Freshers’ Week by advocating a more sustainable approach to printing and publicity.
Continue reading Spotlight on Sustainability: Engineers without Borders
The University of Edinburgh has been committed to fair trade for ten years, responding to student concerns. Like the fair trade movement, the university recognises that trade justice – a trading environment that promotes fair trading rather than exploitation of weaker actors, is crucial, rather than just relying on consumers switching to products that display fair trade labels and claims. With this in mind, I attended a Fair Trade Advocacy Marathon organised by the Fair Trade Advocacy (FTAO) in Brussels on 7th and 8th October 2014.
Continue reading A fair trade advocacy marathon in Brussels
Rewiliding the World put George Monbiot, environmental and political journalist, alongside Alan Featherstone, the founder and Executive Director of conservation charity Trees For Life. They provided a balance of persuasive and engaging rhetoric, and, importantly, sound empirical evidence to back it up.
Continue reading Rewilding the World
Last night I had the chance to listen to George Monbiot (the well-known journalist and author of Feral and Alan Watson Featherstone of Trees for Life speak on the fascinating issue of rewilding at our event “Rewilding the World”.
Continue reading 4 thoughts and one picture from Rewilding the World
Head of Programmes, Michelle Brown reflects on this semester’s first thought-provoking offering from the Our Changing World lecture series.
Continue reading Antibiotics in a Changing World
Our Engagement Manager, Caro Overy, attended this years World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities.
Continue reading 2nd World Symposium on Sustainable Development in Universities
Our summer Student Assistant, Tara Richards has been working with the Department to make sense of the University’s current commitment to biodiversity and green infrastructure. Here’s a look at the progress she’s made so far.
Continue reading Reviewing the University’s commitment to biodiversity & green infrastructure
Director of Social Responsibility and Sustainability, Dave Gorman reflects on his trip to the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) conference in Boston this month.
Continue reading What does world-class social responsibility look like?
Liz Cooper, our Research and Policy Manager, reflects upon recent research on fair trade.
Continue reading Is Fairtrade failing the poorest farmers?
Recently appointed Head of Social Responsibility and Sustainability Programmes, Michelle Brown, reflects on the challenges of what it means to be a truly socially responsible and sustainable University and shares her thoughts on this years EAUC Conference.
Continue reading Making sense of social responsibility: How do we put theory into action?
Liz Cooper, our Fair trade and Policy Manager, attended the 2014 Global Sustainability Standards Conference in London this May. Here she reflects on the day and the issues surrounding sustainability standards.
Continue reading Sustainability standards: trends, challenges and future potential
Our student volunteer, Elizabeth Tiffany, shares her thoughts on working for the Department on the Sustainability Awards.
Continue reading Student Auditor for the Sustainability Awards
On the morning of 22nd April 2014, the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability, together with EUSA and NUS Green Impact, convened a workshop before the annual Sustainability Awards ceremony to review the successful outcomes associated with the Awards and to look at opportunities for improvement.
Continue reading What happened at the Strategy Development Workshop
We bid a fond farewell to our recent interns Nia and Angus. For the past two months they spent time with our Programmes, Communications and Engagement team. Here they reflect on their time and what they took away from the experience.
Continue reading On placement with the Department for Social Responsibility & Sustainability
The latest news this week, compiled by Nia.
Continue reading In the News: 20th March
On 17th March 2014 a group of representatives of the University of Edinburgh visited HMP Shotts near Glasgow, to learn more about the type of work activities prisoners undertake in Scottish prisons.
Continue reading Behind bars: Issues of prison labour and a visit to Shotts
During my time as a student working in research labs in the US and the Netherlands, I was constantly impressed with the amount of materials and energy that went into our experiments and facilities, and wondered if anything could be done to curb that usage. Continue reading Sharing best practice: Learning from labs on my trip to the U.S
Student volunteer Pascale Robinson reports on a fair trade campaigner training session she attended in February 2014, organised by the Scottish Fair Trade Forum.
Continue reading Fair trade campaign training report
Student volunteer Rachel Kaplan reports on the University’s public lecture on 25th February 2014 entitled ‘does fair trade make a difference?
Continue reading Does fair trade make a difference?’ lecture report
Another look at what’s in the news this week, compiled by Nia. Continue reading In the news: 13th February 2014
Student volunteer Chloe Neal examines child labour in the cocoa industry and fair trade alternatives.
Continue reading Child labour in the cocoa industry
Welcome to the first in a series of, what we hope will be, thought provoking blogs exploring our contribution to social responsibility and sustainability at the University and beyond. Continue reading Principles and investment: the balancing act
Here’s a look at what’s in the news this week by Nia and Angus, two MSc Science Communication students who are currently doing a voluntary placement in our office. Continue reading In the news: 6th February 2014
Student reporter Callum Aitken explores what it means for Scotland to be a Fair Trade Nation, and what you can do to be part of it.
Continue reading Scotland as a Fair Trade Nation
Student reporter Chloe Neal explores student reactions to poor working conditions in garment factories in developing countries, and proposes fair trade as an alternative.
Continue reading Generation Y fair trade clothing?