As part of the University of Edinburgh's Social Responsibility and Sustainability Strategy the School of Chemistry is committed to the S-labs model promoted by the higher education environmental performance improvement (HEEPI) programme.
Sustainability at the School of Chemistry (Feb 2021 Update)


The University of Edinburgh has committed to become zero carbon by 2040. The University's Climate Strategy 2016 lays out a comprehensive whole institution approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation in order to achieve its ambitious targets.

What is the Department for Social Responsibility & Sustainability?

The Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability (SRS) also deliver high quality and impactful programmes to catalyse action and collaboration across campus and support the University in achieving its strategy and related commitments. Find out more here:

Labs use many times more energy and water per square metre than office spaces and can produce large quantities of waste including hazardous, clinical and single-use plastics. As such, it’s vital that the School of Chemistry is mindful of its obligations. Therefore, we are active in two SRS initiatives: the SRS Lab Awards and the Sustainable Campus fund.

The School of Chemistry has taken part in the awards process since 2011 and have achieved silver status since 2013.

Making your lab more sustainable

Being conscious of your resource and energy use can make a big difference.  As such SRS have provided various guides which you can utilise via their sustainable Labs webpage.

    Every two years the School of Chemistry takes part in the Awards process which are based upon the nine themes in the graphic below, as well as Awareness and Training.  Please keep an eye on the SRS website and social media or join their mailing list to be kept abreast of what opportunities are available to increase your knowledge.

    Lab awards logo

    Latest Initiatives


    The school is always investigating and putting into place improved methods of working of which you can view a selection of here. 

    • Nitrile glove recycling (contact Tim Calder in Stores)
    • Avoid single use plastics (contact Tim Calder in Stores)
    • Air condensers (contact David Brown in Room 246)
    • Recirculating chillers (funding available via the Campus Fund)
    • Auto-columns (funding available via the Campus Fund)
    • Replacement of glass drying ovens (funding available via the Campus Fund)


    At university wide level, you can view SRS’s latest and ongoing projects towards zero carbon by 2040 here.

    • Climate conscious travel
    • Meat-free catering
    • Promoting the circular economy
    • Community engagement and widening participation
    • Working from home awards

    More Information

    For school sustainability updates, please check our noticeboard (start of main central corridor) and the school’s web-page. If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback, please email us at the addresses below.

    Please also contact and/or in the first instance to discuss any campus fund applications. You can also request an audit of your lab if you’d like to check your area’s compliance.

    Relevant Links