As a proud member of Europe’s number 1 Sustainable University (QS World Sustainability Rankings 2024), we are committed to climate-positive action and socially responsible management. At the University of Edinburgh Business School, we promote sustainability in research, teaching and operations under the oversight of the Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability Committee and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which report to the executive team.
We offer a range of training courses, learning opportunities, research and resources that enable our staff and students to improve their sustainability skillsets and empower them to take action.
Encouraging sustainable thinking is essential to our mission of developing conscientious leaders with an awareness of the world around them. Our sustainability culture also contributes to our vision of being progressive and pioneering on the international business stage. On our taught degree and executive education programmes, for example, we offer:
- Climate Change Risk in Finance (Executive Education programme)
- MSc Climate Change Finance and Investment
- MSc Global Strategy and Sustainability
- Since 2022, a climate education programme to all 16,000 NatWest Group employees, delivered by our Centre for Business, Climate Change and Sustainability (B-CCaS).
Our sustainability-focused course offerings and learning opportunities draw on conceptual and empirical research on environmental and social sustainability. For almost 15 years the University of Edinburgh Business School has had faculty dedicated to researching and teaching issues related to social and environmental sustainability. We have been engaging with businesses, policy makers, non-governmental organisations and we have provided research, advice, consultancy, executive education on climate change and environmental sustainability. With the rapid growth of this area in terms of faculty, students, and societal impact, we have established B-CCaS to integrate these areas. At the same time, academic staff have conducted world leading research focusing on the social sphere of sustainability, including financial wellbeing, employee wellbeing and work-life-balance, job quality and the real living wage, later-life employment, gender issues including transgender identities, colonialism, professional ethics, AI’s societal implications, and flexible work among others, driving positive societal change. For example, externally funded projects on environmental and social sustainability include the:
- Edinburgh and the Living Wage. Funded by the ESRC Economic and Social Research Council. Investigator: Ishbel McWha-Hermann
- More than peanuts: Supporting indigenous community cooperatives in rural Ecuador by creating sustainable chocolate product innovations from muru inchi jungle peanuts. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. Investigator: Florian Koehne, Sarah Ivory
- Socioeconomic based metrics in disaster management to put vulnerable people first. Funded by British Academy. Investigator: Douglas Alem
- Development of a Carbon Calculator Tool for Public Sector Catering. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. Investigator: Angela Tregear
We also work closely with the University's Social Responsibility and Sustainability Department (SRS) to ensure we align with wider University strategy, and we take pride in the inspirational and responsible engagement we have with our staff and students. Teams within our School are encouraged to take part in a day’s paid volunteer leave each year (tracked within our HR portal to contribute to the University’s annual SRS target) to help with local sustainability initiatives. We have also worked closely with SRS to develop an award-winning, accredited Carbon Literacy Training course that has upskilled University of Edinburgh colleagues across the board in this area of expertise.
Awarded Sustainability in operations
We hold the 2018 Silver Office Sustainability Award from the University of Edinburgh's Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability.
Participating in the Sustainability Awards enabled us to share the sustainability activity already taking place in the School, further develop sustainability working activity, and promote staff and student collaboration towards a common goal of embedding sustainable working practices.
Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME)
The Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) is a United Nations supported initiative founded in 2007 to raise the profile of sustainability in schools around the world. As a voluntary initiative with over 800 signatories worldwide, PRME has become the largest organised relationship between the United Nations and management-related higher education institutions.
The University of Edinburgh Business School received an honourable mention from the United Nations for our most recent Sharing of Information on Progress (SIP) from our 2020-22 Report.
Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability Committee
The aim of the ERSC is to drive forward the ethics, responsibility and sustainability activity at the Business School through operations, curriculum, research and accreditation.Meet Our Team