University of Edinburgh People & Planet University League 2017 Scorecard

Award class badge: 2:1

Section Score
1. Environmental Sustainability; Policy and Strategy 70
2. Human Resources for Sustainability 90
3. Environmental Auditing & Management Systems 30
4. Ethical Investment 40
5. Carbon Management 45
6. Workers Rights 55
7. Sustainable Food 65
8. Staff and Student Engagement 40
9. Education for Sustainable Development 100
10. Energy Sources 69.2
11. Waste and Recycling 37.5
12. Carbon Reduction 42.5
13. Water Reduction 16.8

Section 1. Environmental Sustainability; Policy and Strategy

70%

The full methodology for this section can be found here.

We looked at University of Edinburgh's publicly available environmental policy - you can read it here if we found one:

www.ed.ac.uk/files/imports/fileManager/UoE-SRS-Strategy2010-20.pdf

We wanted to see that the policy wasn't just sitting in a dusty desktop year after year and we needed to know that the policy meant something to staff, students and decision makers at the university. So to score 50% here, the policy needed to have been published within the last 5 years and demonstrate that it was reviewed regularly by someone sitting in a senior position at the university (because if the university is failing to uphold their policy, then someone should know about it ..... and be able to do something about it).

1) University of Edinburgh scored: 50 / 50% for their environmental policy

Next we looked at whether the policy was accompanied with a plan for action or Sustainability Strategy, you can read it here if we one found one:

www.ed.ac.uk/about/sustainability/themes/recycling

The university could only score 50% if they had set SMART targets in all 8 of key areas below, and if we could see that the strategy had been reviewed in the last 5 years, (much like the environmental policy, a strategy only works if people are using it), and we didn't give credit for strategies that were out of date:

  • Construction & Refurbishment
  • Emissions & Discharges
  • Community involvement
  • Biodiversity
  • Waste management
  • Travel and Transport
  • Sustainable procurement
  • Water

We found that University of Edinburgh is working towards targets in the following areas:

Waste management, Transport, Sustainable Procurement, Construction and Refurbishment and Community involvement

Therefore...

2) University of Edinburgh scored 20 / 50% for their sustainability strategy.

90% Section 2. Human Resources for Sustainability

90%

The full methodology for how we score this section here.

Having a policy on environment and ethics is a good start - working out how to meet the policy with a strategy is a great start - next we wanted to see how well University of Edinburgh resource their policy and strategy. You can't meet your targets without dedicated staff to do all the hard work!

We looked to see whether environmental sustainability if someone in the university senior management team has responsibility for sustainability. It really helps when climate and social justice issues are the responsibility of someone who can make decisions about how the action can be resourced. If we found that someone, you can read about them here: www.ed.ac.uk/principals-office/vice-principals-smgt/thematic-vice-principals/jeffery

1) University of Edinburgh scored 20/20% for senior responsibility for sustainability

We also wanted to see how many staff were currently employed to work on sustainability issues, and whether students and staff could find them easily online and contact them. We thought the number of sustainability staff should also be shown in relation to the number of staff and students at the university.

University of Edinburgh has 24960 students,1000 - 2000 staff and 22 sustainability staff

When assessing the number of dedicated sustainability staff at University of Edinburgh - we looked for the following info:

  • job title / role
  • contact info
  • specific area of sustainability

If we found that information, here's the link: www.ed.ac.uk/about/sustainability/about/contact/team

2) University of Edinburgh scored 55/55% for numbers of sustainability staff

Once a university has employed staff, it can be hard for them to do their job without money available. People & Planet looked for evidence that the sustainability strategy was resourced with a budget and that costs were included as part of the commitment.

3) University of Edinburgh scored 0/10% for evidence of a budget to fund the sustainability strategy.

It isn't just the job of sustainability staff ... the whole university community is key to the culture of sustainable development, and when properly supported, they can make all the difference!
We looked at whether the university supported a staff engagement scheme (like Eco-Champions or inter-departmental green team competitions) to engage all staff across the university in environmental and ethical practice through training, workshops and projects.

4) University of Edinburgh scored 15/15% for supporting a staff engagement scheme.

30% Section 3. Environmental Auditing & Management Systems

30%

The full methodology for this section is here.

We looked at how well University of Edinburgh manages and audit their environmental performance and progress. If you can't measure it, you can't improve it!

is not accredited to an externally verified environmental management system (EMS) so we scored it according to it's own management systems as described on their website (or not). We looked for regular auditing in 8 key areas. The audits needed to have established a baseline (i.e. measured where progress was at in that moment in time), and to have been undertaken or updated in the last 5 years.

scored /40% for auditing in the following areas:

 

40% Section 4. Ethical Investment

40%

Want more? The full methodology for this section is here.

Investments in the fossil fuel industry or arms trade can be contradictory to an institutions broader sustainability aims and goals. A strong ethical investment policy ensures an institution’s investments and banking practices are conducted transparently and in an economically-viable, socially-responsible manner.

1a) University of Edinburgh scored 10/10% for having a publicly available ethical investment policy. The policy is here if we found one: www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/responsible_investment_policy_statement.pdf

1b) and  25/60% for including specifics within the policy, including: Students on committee 10, Public investments 5, Screen - Fossil Fuels Partial 5 and Screen - Arms Partial 5

2) University of Edinburgh scored 0/10% for reviewing and making progress on the policy's objectives - which is here is we found it: (N/A)

3) 5/20% for making a public announcement that it won't invest in fossil fuels and or arms, and if they have, you'll find it here: www.ed.ac.uk/about/sustainability/themes/responsible-investment/responsible-investment-policy

When looking at our Fossil Free university campaign aims, here's University of Edinburgh's own Fossil Free outlook:

Divestment Commitment full
Divested from all fossil fuels

Fossil Free Scorecard: University of Edinburgh

Investments

£6,382,029
▼ Down
Invested in fossil fuels. Including:
  • £1,483,470 Total
  • £1,286,451 Atlas Copco
  • £1,266,721 BG Group
That’s 2.0% of total endowment fund of £322,000,000
Fossil fuel investments have decresed by 35,481,291 between 2012 and 2013. Data direct from FoI

Research funding

£3,721,201 Research funding from fossil fuel industry, including: Total, Statoil, Shell

£646,103 Public-funded research into fossil fuel industry.

£6,605,066 Research funding into renewables industry since 2001.

Note: Public grants for oils and gas research not fully represented. Data will be available soon.
University has specific policy exclusions.

45% Section 5. Carbon Management

45%How well is University of Edinburgh managing its carbon emissions?

Want more? The full methodology for this section is here.

As it's a funding requirement, there aren't many universities that don't have a plan for managing and reducing carbon emissions, here's what we found: www.ed.ac.uk/files/imports/fileManager/UoE-CAP-2010.pdf

1) University of Edinburgh scored 25/25% for having a publicly available carbon management plan that meets set standards

Jargon buster: the following are examples of greenhouse gas emissions called 'scope 3' emissions: business travel, student and staff commute travel, student end of term travel home, supply chain (stuff the university buys) and waste (i.e. rubbish).

2a) 5/5% for including scope 3 emissions within the university Carbon Management Plan.

2b) 5/5% for reporting the university's scope 3 emissions to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). 

In the most recent year, University of Edinburgh reported emissions from: waste, business travel , staff commute, student commute and supply chain to HESA.

It's important that universities aren't forgetting their halls of residences or other student and staff accommodation when thinking about carbon emissions. If we found info on this, it will be here: (N/A)

2c) University of Edinburgh scored 0/5% for publishing carbon emission data related to both in-house and externally provided student accommodation.

3) University of Edinburgh scored 10/30% for including baseline figures for scope 3 carbon emissions  in the following: Waste and Water .

University of Edinburgh  scored 0/30% for including targets to reduce scope 3 carbon emissions including (N/A).

55% Section 6. Workers Rights

55%Is University of Edinburgh behaving responsibly to those it employs and those who work in its supply chains?

Want more? The full methodology for this section is here.

1) University of Edinburgh scores 0/25% for being a Living Wage accredited employer.

2) University of Edinburgh scores 15/15% for being a Fairtrade status University

3) University of Edinburgh scores 40/40% for improving workers rights in the university's ITC supply chain by working with Electronics Watch

4) University of Edinburgh scores 0/20% for improving workers rights in an area of the university supply chain other than electronics

65% Section 7. Sustainable Food

65%How sustainable is the food and catering at University of Edinburgh?

Want more? The full methodology for this section is here.

1) University of Edinburgh scores 0/10% for having a publicly available sustainable food policy meeting set standards

If we found one, it should be here: www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/good_food_policy_0.pdf

2) University of Edinburgh scores 35/50% for continual improvement in sustainable food across the university catering outlets and conference services through a sustainable food framework and for the level reached on that framework OR for sustainable food activities

3) University of Edinburgh scores 10/10% for specifying that contract caterers and suppliers meet the requirements of the university sustainable food policy

4a) University of Edinburgh scores 0/5% for being certified to the Marine Stewardship Council standards - ensuring traceability of sustainable fish all the way to your plate

4b) University of Edinburgh scores 0/5% for using local food in university catering or campus to kitchen food projects

4c) University of Edinburgh scores 0/5% for providing free access to drinking water across the university and for highlighting where this can be found on the university website (here if we found it): www.ed.ac.uk/about/sustainability/themes/food/governance

5) University of Edinburgh scores 15/15% for providing space or other resources for university community food projects

If they are, you can find out more here: www.ed.ac.uk/about/sustainability/themes/food/get-involved

40% Section 8. Staff and Student Engagement

40%

How well is University of Edinburgh engaging its staff and students in sustainability?

Need more? The full methodology for this section is here.

1) University of Edinburgh scores 20/60% for having a strategy in place for student and staff engagement that includes a framework to track progress against smart targets and for including the following engagement actions:

a carbon management plan, b sustainability policy and strategy, e climate or sustainability or social change campaigns reaching the whole university community and f providing resources or funding for student or staff led sustainability projects

  • Oversight and involvement of students and staff in the development and ongoing monitoring of the university Carbon Management Plan.
  • Oversight and involvement of students and staff in the development and ongoing monitoring of the university environment or sustainability policy / plan / strategy.
  • Engagement opportunities for sustainability are a component of student induction processes.
  • University actively supports an annual Go Green Week or environment / sustainability week.
  • The university runs environmental sustainability campaigns that reach all students and staff.
  • Availability of university funds and / or resources /support for student or staff-led practical sustainability projects

2) University of Edinburgh scores 0/10% for evidence that the university sustainability policy is included in staff inductions, and if it is, you can see more here: (N/A)

3) University of Edinburgh scores 10/10% for Trades Union representation on the membership of sustainability strategy committees

4) University of Edinburgh scores 10/10% for student representation on university committees concerned with estates, planning, finance and strategic decision making. 

5) University of Edinburgh scores 0/10% for students' union progress towards environmental sustainability.

100% Section 9. Education for Sustainable Development

100%

How well is University of Edinburgh including sustainability in its education?

Need more? The full methodology for this section is here.

1) University of Edinburgh scores 20/20% for its public commit to education for sustainable development (ESD)

2a) University of Edinburgh scores50/50% for having a framework or strategy for ESD

2b)

3) University of Edinburgh scores 10/10% for providing suitable support and training for ESD

4) University of Edinburgh scores 10/10% for evidence of student coursework linked to sustainability projects to improve the environmental manegement of the university (often called the Living Lab)

5) 10/10% for supporting or highlighting School, Faculty or Research team projects for Sustainability, including the pedgagogy of sustainability

69.2% Section 10. Energy Sources

69.2%Where does University of Edinburgh get its energy from?

Need more? The full methodology for this section is here.

1) University of Edinburgh scores 45/45% for using combined heat and power (CHP) energy.

2) University of Edinburgh scores 17.5/35% for generating some its own electricity (the more it generates the higher the score).

3) University of Edinburgh scores 6.7/20% for buying some or all of its electricity from renewable sources. 

37.5% Section 11. Waste and Recycling

37.5%

How does University of Edinburgh perform on waste, as compared to other universities?

Need more? The full methodology for this section is here.

1) University of Edinburgh scores 25.0/50% for recycling 50.55% of its waste.

2) University of Edinburgh scores 12.5/50% for the amount of waste per head (staff and students) compared to the rest of the sector.

42.5% Section 12. Carbon Reduction

42.5%

How well is University of Edinburgh reducing its carbon emissions?

Need more? The full methodology for this section is here.

1) 30.0/50% for carbon intensity change over the last 12 months (since the last University League).

2) 12.5/50% for achieving a 3.47% reduction in its carbon emissions since a 2005 baseline.

16.8% Section 13. Water Reduction

16.8%How responsibly is University of Edinburgh using water?

Need more? The full methodology for this section is here.

1) 16.8/67% for its use of water per head (staff and students) compared to other universities

2) 0.0/33% for use of grey water (like rain water harvesting)

Through the efforts of staff, students and alumni the University of Edinburgh has continued to further its commitment to social responsibility and sustainability in 2015-16. As a truly global university, Edinburgh aims to benefit society through the research and learning that takes place. In line with this commitment the University seeks to tackle climate change through its campus operations, investments, high quality research and learning opportunities. Our new conflict minerals policy is a UK first, continuing to build on the University’s Sustainable Procurement Strategy that works with partners to create socially responsible supply chains. Community relations have been strengthened through staff volunteering, external partnerships and a record breaking number of bursaries being awarded to undergraduate students from low income households. Edinburgh’s expertise in climate change and its effects are world-leading. Researchers have secured more than £50 million over the past seven years to fund work on climate science, emissions mitigation and sustainable solutions. To accelerate efforts to improve its own carbon footprint, the University established a Sustainable Campus Fund in 2016. Staff and students are able to apply to the £2.75 million over the next three years to gain support for carbon reduction projects. A further £11 million has been committed to develop a new combined heat and power energy centre and network at the University’s Easter Bush campus. The scheme will provide low carbon electricity and heat, and will reduce annual carbon emission by over 2,000 tonnes when it opens in 2017. Further information is available at www.ed.ac.uk/sustainability

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