Further Green Award Successes in 2016

Following the successes of the annual Green Sports Award, an award introduced to recognise and reward sustainable behaviour change within our sports clubs, the Environment Team have introduced a second award – the Green Society Award -to bestow upon the greenest societies of the Students’ Asssociation.

The Green Sports Award, now celebrating its third year, was won by the St Andrews University Canoe Club (STAUCC) for their wholehearted efforts to reduce their environmental impact as a club and to improve the local area. This year they undertook a recycling project with other sports clubs, to collect bras for the charity ‘Against Breast Cancer’ (ABC) which helped to avoid unnecessary landfill waste whilst fundraising for ABC. Their members also undertook a beach clean and clean-up of the Kinnessburn and helped improve biodiversity at Cambo Estate by purchasing bird boxes.


Hugo Fairclough from STAUCC picks up the Green Sports Award from Mark Simpson, Director of Estates at the Sports Awards Ceremony

STAAG bike

STAAG’s 24-hour cycle ride outside the Students’ Association

For the inaugural Green Society Award, the St Andrews Adventure Group (STAAG) were announced winners for their use of sustainable transport on their

expeditions and by encouraging their members to think carefully about travel. For their Canoe Across Scotland challenge participants canoed from Fort William to Inverness and made sure to only use electric vehicles in the process, renting from the local E-Car club. Nearer to home, they run micro-adventures which support local hiking and camping without the need for transport at all and recently hosted a 24-hour cycle event to raise money for the charity Fauna and Flora International, who seek to protect and conserve threatened ecosystems worldwide.


Stephanie Haywood of STAAG talks about their green activities at the Societies Award

Green Raisin Competition Huge Success

The Environment Team have partnered with outdoor adventure group Blown Away Experiences, to deliver a hugely successful Green Raisin Competition, which seeks to promote and reward environmentally-friendly behaviour amongst students.

Modern ‘raisin receipts’ have made a departure from traditional Latin parchment once given to academic children and have since gained a reputation for being oversized, unwanted items instead. This has become a problem when it comes to their disposal as they are hard to recycle and contribute to landfill waste.

To combat this waste, students are being encouraged to think about the environmental impact of their receipt and costume efforts. Now in its third year, the Green Raisin Competition encourages academic parents to design their children’s costumes and receipts so that they are made from 12122578_10207943469213463_2715722554013700019_nreused materials, which are light and easily recyclable.

Congratulations to this year’s winning entry which was both creative and gave consideration to its environmental impact. Their ‘dragon’ costume was made entirely of unwanted cardboard boxes gathered from shops around St Andrews, bed sheets from local charity shops and old bamboo canes from their garden. As a reward, the winning family were treated to a kayaking and SUP-ing (stand up paddle boarding) session, courtesy of Blown Away Experiences.

blown away prize croppedThese efforts to engage students with waste reduction were acknowledged at the Public Sector Sustainability Awards, where St Andrews were ‘Highly Commended’ in the Best Waste and Recycling category.

raisin award

Beautiful St Andrews Awards Judging!

If you haven’t noticed the arrangements around town made by the St Andrews in Bloom volunteer team, have a look out because they are fantastic!


We hope the Beautiful Fife and Beautiful Scotland judges who have just finished their second round of judging this Wednesday agree. Last year St Andrews won a Gold Award and Best Coastal Town in Fife Award for its floral displays and community outreach initiatives all coordinated by the group of dedicated St Andrews in Bloom volunteers.

Among other improvements, this year the group has continued to set out new bespoke planters in multiple locations around town. Designed with repurposed materials by a local Fife artist these planters are unique and impressive contributions to the natural aesthetic that makes St Andrews such a great place to visit and live in!

This week’s judging route takes the judges from the impressive “glass-class” and alpine houses of the Botanic gardens, along to the container plantings at the West Port gate, through to St Mary’s quad, along down the Harbour to the new student community garden at Albany Park, and eventually ending up in Kinburn park to have a taste of the edible container plantings adjacent to the tennis courts.


Stay tuned for the results of the judging expected in early September…

To find out more about the fantastic work of the St Andrews in Bloom group visit http://bloom.standrews.co.uk/.
To learn how to get involved with student community gardens visit the Transition group’s webpages http://www.st-andrews-botanic.org/.
To learn more about the incredible heritage of the Botanic gardens visit http://www.st-andrews-botanic.org/.

BSRC Building Receives A Energy Rating

The New Biomedical Sciences Research Centre (BSRC) has been awarded an A-rated energy performance certificate.

The BSRC, on which construction was recently completed, is a world-class research facility. This means that is it an energy intensive building, and so the achievement of an A-rating energy performance certificate is very unusual and a great achievement. The A-rating is the University’s first energy award of this level.

The construction of the BSRC followed strict environmental guidelines, and as a result is highly energy efficient, built with recycled materials, and houses a combined heat and power system (CHP).

At the University of St Andrews, every new build that has been constructed since 2010 follows a very high environmental standard in accordance with our Sustainable Design Guide (here). All new buildings are built to the specifications of BREEAM Excellent, a national green building classification.

Gold Green Tourism Award to New Hall and DRA

After the Green Tourism re-assessment was completed in August, we at the Environment Team have been waiting with baited breath to hear the result. And the news is finally in….. GOLD Awards for both New Hall and David Russell Apartments (DRA)!


Both halls of residence have previously been awarded Gold GTBS certificates, but this year they scored 90%, putting both New Hall and DRA in the running for the GTBS annual Best Performer Award.

This is a great achievement that recognizes the exemplary environmental commitment and practice both at a hall and campus-wide scale.



GTBS is a national sustainable tourism certification that is a Visit Scotland venture. It recognizes:

  • environmental management
  • infrastructure
  • energy and water consumption
  • sustainable purchasing
  • waste management
  • low impact transport
  • engagement
  • attention to natural and cultural heritage
These Gold GTBS awards add to the growing list of impressive and high-standing green awards that the University of St Andrews is accruing, such as a 1st Class People and Planet Green League 2011 Award and funding from the Climate Challenge Fund for Transition University of St Andrews. As such, the University of St Andrews is receiving national recognition for the innovative and progressive environmental practices of the organization and is emerging as a national leader in green practice in the Higher Education Sector.

The Environment Team was very excited to receive this news of the Gold GTBS Awards. It is always rewarding to be recognized for your hard work… we hope that this achievement helps to inspire more halls of residences at St Andrews to become certified!

 To learn more about GTBS please click here