Reducing resources, waste and water

Understanding and managing our use of resources is a crucial part of improving Heriot-Watt University’s sustainability performance, and is an area where opportunities will continue to arise with progress towards a circular economy and away from traditional linear “make, use, dispose” models of resource use.

Some of our efforts in this area include:

Sustainable procurement

Through operating sustainable procurement practices we aim to minimise sustainability impacts associated with the goods and services we buy – an important step in managing lifecycle impacts. The University has a Sustainable Procurement Policy and implements associated good practice to ensure that sustainability considerations are appropriately integrated into the procurement process.

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Waste and recycling

Recycling is a straightforward way we can all do our bit to be green. The University operates many recycling systems. During 2016/17 we are rolling out revised and improved recycling facilities to provide a more visible recycling system and further improve recycling rates at the Edinburgh Campus – watch out for updates on the roll-out on these pages in the coming weeks.


Use of water results in environmental impacts associated with its supply and disposal, including energy impacts from pumping and treatment processes. The University aims to reduce water consumption by tackling wastage (including identifying and rectifying leaks in our own distribution systems) and by the use of water efficient technologies and devices.

Examples of these include sensor or low flow taps and waterless urinals which are routinely fitted during refurbishment of our facilities.

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