SCP-CH Sustainability Champions

This project is to develop a network of staff and students making the University of Edinburgh more sustainable by developing skills to lead positive change in their area of work, study or residence. 



As set out in the SRS Department’s Strategy (2017 to 2020), we have sought to support and promote staff networks of energy and waste coordinators.  These networks pre-existed the establishment of the department and we continued to integrate these (and other activities) into our services. 

The Energy Engagement and Communications Programme set out goals to ensure staff and students have access to information and tools to reduce their energy impact at the University, contributing to an overall reduction in energy spend of 10 percent from business as usual by 2018 and associated carbon targets. The programme aimed to have 300 Energy Coordinators active by 2020.

The Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency Programme set out the goals to contribute in practical ways towards increasing reuse and decreasing contamination and through links with research, innovation and outreach.  The programme aimed to have 150 Coordinators active by 2020.

Following a manager’s review, recommendations were made to continue to raise awareness and support staff to take practical action on energy and waste but that efficiencies could be found and further opportunities seized by relaunching a broader ‘sustainability’ staff network (linking in previous work on both networks in terms of events, newsletters, etc…). 

At the same time, it was recommended to combine a reconfiguration of a staff network with a student network for wider opportunities, shared learning and engagement.  This reflects the growing interest from students in practical opportunities outside of their degree programme on SRS issues.

While the previous supported sustainability networks focussed on staff, our new network will include both staff and students. 


Goal: Students and Staff supported and empowered to take action on sustainability and social responsibility to support the strategic ambitions of the University.


Outcomes: Difficult to attribute network action to impact.  Anticipated outcomes would be

  • Environmental and Social: positive changes in relation to energy savings, reuse and recycling, community involvement.  CO2e avoided or saved.
  • Staff and Students: Professional development and skills development for network participants. Enhanced knowledge of sustainability issues. Breaking down silos by encouraging cross department engagement, collaboration between different generations (staff and students).
  • University:  More coordinated engagement channels with both students and staff keen on sustainability. Staff and student capacity improved on sustainability issues. Pipeline of projects and opportunities for Campus Fund.  More cohesive and coordinated programme.  Greater awareness of SRS programmes. Risks and opportunities assessed. 


Outputs:   Sustainability skills developed (communication, business case development, auditing and reviewing, carbon literacy).  Two way dialogue on issues arising and feeding into policy consultations which go on to committees. More locations participate in the office, lab, resident awards.


Activities: Quarterly workshops held.  Training facilitated (including opportunity to gain accreditation through Carbon Literacy Training; behaviour change communications). Calendar of events open to participants.


Resource Implications

  • Engagement Manager staff time for overall programme management
  • SRS Projects Coordinator time for project management, engaging with Sustainability Champions and arrange quarterly workshops and newsletters
  • Small budget for catering at meetings/events
  • Communications team time for materials production and maintenance, newsletters, and promotion of the network

Current project status

Report Date RAG Budget Effort Completed Effort to complete
August 2020 GREEN 0.0 days 0.0 days 0.0

Project Info

Sustainability Champions
SRS - Energy Engagement and Communications (EEC)
Project Manager
Chris Litwiniuk
Project Sponsor
Michelle Brown
Current Stage
In Progress
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date
Overall Priority


Not available.

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