Edinburgh College Students’ Association

Highly Commended

Edinburgh College Students’ Association Go Green

In 2020 Edinburgh College Students’ Association (ECSA) embarked on a two-year sustainability project. Now completed, more than 2,800 students participated in our Go Green project – 187% of our target. The project centred around reducing waste on at college campuses and raising awareness of the circular economy and the need to reduce waste and unnecessary production and procurement of items among the student community.

This led to the development of Community Fridges and Swap Shops on all four College campuses which significantly reduced food, clothing, textiles, and accessories waste from college campuses.

In addition, the project saw the delivery of Climate Change and Sustainability Workshops designed to increase students’ climate literacy and supporting students to travel more sustainably.

In total, 298 tCO2e was saved (105% of our target) throughout the project.

Annual carbon savings achieved with the initiative:

What the Judges Thought

This student led project, 'Go Green' directly addresses key challenges around sustainability: consumption and waste versus poverty and need, developing knowledge and awareness of sustainability challenges.

The project engaged 2,800 students, had significant social benefits and increased carbon literacy. The team have also done a great job of disseminating findings and sharing their learning. We hope they can secure funding to continue this important project.

What it Means to Win

“It means a great deal to Edinburgh College for ECSA to win this award. Our College is committed to becoming net-zero, as stated in our Environmental Sustainability strategy. ECSA’s work has played a key role in helping us to achieve that aim and is deserving of this recognition.”

Audrey Cumberford MBE, Principal & Chief Executive 

Top 3 Learnings

  1. Collaborative and remote working systems enabled our small team to manage multi-campus projects.
  2. Continuously reviewing student feedback allowed us to create services that were well used, loved, and needed.
  3. We drew on relevant social and environmental factors to encourage use of our services.
1- No Poverty 4 - Quality Education 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production 13 - Climate Action
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