Sustainability at Heriot-Watt

Environmental sustainability is a huge challenge facing not just universities, but all of us.

Heriot-Watt is committed to continuously improving its sustainability, working with students, staff, visitors and partners, and supported by Transition Heriot-Watt’s work to engage people in the university community.

You can read more about Heriot-Watt’s approach to sustainability in the documents below:

Environmental Policy Statement

Sustainable Procurement Policy

Heriot-Watt’s sustainability highlights

  • Heriot-Watt has an impressive 67% recycling rate. Paper, metals, textiles, cardboard, unused lab equipment and many other items can all be recycled on campus
  • The University has one of the longest-established university office furniture reuse schemes in the UK and this is now available online for staff.
  • The university installed LED street lights around campus in 2015, cutting street lighting electricity consumption by around 75%, and saving 130 tonnes of CO2 a year – equivalent to taking almost 30 cars off the road annually. The scheme was a finalist in the 2015 Environmental Association of Universities & Colleges (EAUC) Green Gown Awards.
  • All waste from maintaining the campus is reused or composted. That includes 60 acres of grass cut weekly, and waste from maintaining 80 acres of woodland and 4.5 miles of hedgerows.
  • All tea and coffee served by Hospitality Services on campus is Fairtrade or from Rainforest Alliance approved sources.

For any questions about Heriot-Watt University’s approach to sustainability, please contact Environment and Energy Manager Chris Larkins on or call the estates services helpdesk on 0131 451 4023.

Transition Heriot-Watt’s achievements

Transition Heriot-Watt has been delivering behaviour change initiatives and supporting the development of a sustainability culture at Heriot-Watt University since 2011.

Alongside championing the highlights above, we’ve been instrumental in:

  • Helping students and staff travel more sustainably, including creating a bike loan scheme and repair bothy, with almost 40 bikes available for hire for students and staff in Edinburgh.
  • Working with the estates department to install more cycle parking and cycle signage for the University’s expanding cycling community, and setting up cycle hire schemes on Heriot-Watt’s Galashiels and Orkney campuses. We’ve won a Cycle Friendly Campus award, with distinction, for our efforts.
  • Supporting students and staff to source and grow their own food, by establishing a vibrant and growing local suppliers market on campus, and providing student-led growing spaces, a poly tunnel and outdoor raised beds.
  • Getting students and staff involved in sustainability by creating and supporting the student-led Sustainability Society and Community Gardening Society.
  • Encouraging students and staff to dispose of waste responsibly by supporting the development of a food waste composting scheme at the Edinburgh campus, due to be installed later in 2017.

Find out more

Find out more about Heriot-Watt’s efforts on: