Edinburgh University Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability Strategy Review

The team reviewed the University’s existing policies around social responsibility and sustainability. The review included a comparative study of other British and American universities' and companies' policies. The team highlighted the gaps within Edinburgh University’s policies and the potential for improvement.
In the following semester, the research team was awarded by the Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability for their work at the SRS Sustainability Awards.



University of Edinburgh, Sustainability


Jasper Stanley

Emma Thomson

Connor Hounslow

Directed by Matthew Lawson (SRS Programme Manager) and Connor Hounslow (Buchanan Institute Research Director)

Executive Summary

In 2010, the Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability launched its ten-year strategy. The strategy highlights the growing salience and complexity of global issues such as human well-being and climate change. In turn, the ‘need of governments, businesses, and other organizations to respond to these challenges creates significant opportunities for the University of Edinburgh community’. The Department goes on to outline how it can leverage its resources and practices to assist in addressing these issues.

The current review is intended to update the initial strategy. It will identify specific sectors and communities that the University can work with, using its resources and network, to move towards the implementation of objectives outlined in the strategy. The Buchanan Institute’s report contributes to this review. It explores survey data on student and staff awareness of SRS activities and practices. It then highlights models set by other universities and companies within the United Kingdom. The report ends with a set of action items for the Department which, if implemented, will advance the SRS mission.