Changing for the better

Edinburgh Global has made a commitment to help improve society globally and locally.

By Samantha Allan

 

The two new policies, our Environmental Sustainability Commitment and A Day to Make a Difference, encourage staff to engage with social and civic responsibility, and make an impact on a local and global level. They’re both in line with the University’s Strategy 2030.

Helping the wider world

Committed to the University’s aim to be carbon zero by 2040, Edinburgh Global have created a policy to help staff work, travel, and live more sustainably. Our Environmental Sustainability Commitment sets out a range of ways in which the office will become more sustainable

As a global office with many staff members travelling internationally, Edinburgh Global has now committed to using road or rail for any journeys which are less than 1,000km from Edinburgh, only using air travel for these trips in exceptional circumstances. Each year we will produce a report of our travel data to help generate more awareness of our emissions. Any flights that we do have to take will have a financial levy with the funds being used for carbon offsetting measures.

We have also invested in our IT infrastructure with an aim of being digital first to support virtual meetings, conferences and events as well as aiming to reduce 100% of our waste by following the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle.

When in-person events start to take place again, our new guidelines commit to sustainable and ethical catering which includes, using plant-based food, prohibiting the use of plastic and we will aim where possible to use suppliers who use locally sourced foods and Fairtrade products.

As far as we are aware, we will be one of the first, if not the first, international unit to introduce a commitment to environmental sustainability in the UK.

A Day to Make a Difference

Our Global Community team recently launched A Day to Make a Difference. This scheme will see the team organising group volunteering activities for Edinburgh Global staff twice a year.

In line with the University’s Special Leave Policy you can take up to one day’s leave per year to volunteer at a charity or organisation of your choice.

To encourage staff to participate, Global Community team are co-operatively selecting a set of diverse, team-spirited, 1-day volunteering experiences throughout the year which will challenge staff to work together and help others. The team plan to hold two group volunteer days during the year to give every staff member a chance to join one.

The University recognises the benefits of volunteering, including it within the Social and Civic Responsibility theme in the University Strategy 2030.

“Our vision is to make the world a better place, so we will ensure that our actions and activities deliver positive change, locally, regionally and globally…We are going to support volunteering, build public engagement, and be a good and welcoming neighbour”

University Strategy 2030

Volunteering has a huge number of positive benefits for society and personal wellbeing. We hope this scheme will help staff feel they have made a positive contribution and build a strong team spirit.

Volunteering for environmental causes

As part of the Day to Make a Difference scheme, Edinburgh Global will be supporting environmental causes and will celebrate World Earth Day which takes place on 22 April each year.

 

Read our Environmental Sustainability Commitment

Read the commitment