Edinburgh Napier: Embedding and enabling place-based action

Fri, 09/17/2021 - 10:22

At Edinburgh Napier our success and progress to date, covering all aspects of environmental sustainability, is principally because of and due to collaborative working. 

Both within our University community of 14,000 students and staff based in Edinburgh but equally in partnership with a comprehensive and diverse array of peer organisations throughout the city and beyond.

Our work and expertise has developed over a number of years.  However, we reinforced our environmental sustainability commitments in 2020 when we published our University Strategy ‘Shaping our Future: Driving Distinctiveness’. 

Sustainability in action at Edinburgh Napier

The Strategy outlines the key priority areas below to further embed our work and further enable and support our community to lead. 

All commitments require collaborative working.

We will take “progressive action to achieve net zero carbon in our operations by 2030 at the latest.  We will also seek to minimise both our wider and legacy carbon footprint and influence sustainable practices within and beyond our campuses”.  This includes procurement and the impact of our community commuting day-to-day and also at the start and end of our trimesters.

We will “combine the expertise and motivation of our community to enhance environmental sustainability within and beyond the University through our curriculum, research, operations, partnerships and engagement”

Also, we will “align and build academic excellence focused on Wellbeing & Sustainability, underpinned by the themes of: Health; Environment; AI & Technologies; and Culture & Communities”.  We will lead as who we are.  A community of people aspiring towards academic, professional and personal development and change.

Last but not least, “our success and academic reputation will be measured by our societal impact”.  We will measure impact through Scotland’s National Performance Framework and the Unite Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).

We will play our part to help Edinburgh reach net zero

We have signed the Edinburgh Climate Compact to ensure we play our part within Edinburgh, to meet the net zero by 2030 target and wider aspirations set within the city.  We have also signed so that we engage and learn from best practice led and developed by other organisations.  By signing, we expect all Compact members to drive and lead place-based working and project opportunities.

Writing this blog during Climate Week 2021, and ahead of the COP26 conference to be held in Glasgow in November, we are acutely aware of the need for action now. 

We are also acutely aware that our goals and targets are not and cannot be purely based on carbon and must fully encapsulate the holistic nature of environmental sustainability through biodiversity, health and adaptation.

To engage with and read more about work and achievements to date please visit www.napier.ac.uk/environment  Also, keep an eye on @SustainableENU for regular updates and snippets of work led by our community.