Looking back on the year

It’s that time of year again when a I’ll be handing over the role to a new Sustainability Officer. The nature of the 1 year graduate role means I’ll be moving on to greener pastures…

I’ve hugely enjoyed my time spend this year working on a wide range of sustainability projects here in St Andrews. There is so much going on and so many enthusiastic people doing impressive things it’s hard not to feel optomistic about the future. While rereading my predecessor’s final post, she mentions:

“The staff and students I have met during the year have been great and there are clearly many people at St Andrews who share our vision in the Environment Team for a carbon neutral future.”

One year on and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

So… what has changed? How far have we come in the past year? To answer these questions I’ve arranged a sample of happenings from this past year (along with a hint or two at things to come). I hope this shows just how much is going on and how achieving sustainable ways of living and working involves all of us.

For those interested, you can view my recent final report in full detail here: End of Year Report

Greening traditions

Sometimes we do things for no other reason than because we’ve always done it that way. I’m thinking of some of the famous St Andrews traditions we love so much. This year we made a stab at making one such tradition – Raisin Weekend – a touch more sustainable by encouraging students to make ‘greener’, less-wasteful receipts and costumes… a good try, but can we do better next year?

Long time in waiting

After years of planning, project proposals and appeals, the LOGO- smallerUniversity was glad to receive the go-ahead for the Kenly Windfarm project which represent a huge step towards powering the University from renewable energy sources. Be sure to keep an eye out in the year(s) to come as the next project phases get underway.

A shove in the right direction

Behavioural change theory suggests that in order to achieve largescale changes, sometimes a ‘shove’ is required. This is percisely what happened in January when the Scottish Government introduced new food waste legislation. And we’re glad they did so as this was a good push for expanding or recycling facilities and increasing recycling rates to 73%! How our food waste is recycled is fascinating – learn more about the process here.

A Celebration

This year saw one of the  busiest St Andrews Green Weeks 10273105_303446916477434_7205161890721196243_owith over 35 events and 750 participants taking part. What better way to celebrate sustainable living than to share ideas, food, films and activities with friends? To see what activities were offered and updates for next year’s events visit the Green Week homepage.

Exciting future

The future of a sustianble St Andrews is something to get excited about! Transition is putting this to the test by developing new and bolder projects for their next round of funding in 2015/16 and are looking for your input – why not get involved and be a part of the future?

And finally, for those who read this far – thanks for your patience. As a reward here’s a sneak peak of the new Guardbridge Energy Centre website which I’ve been developing over the past couple weeks. Keep an eye out for the launch of the website in the coming month!

GB website sneak peak

Until next time –



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