Award winning sustainability and social responsibility projects

University Sport & Exercise has been awarded a 2023 University of Edinburgh Sustainability and Social Responsibility Changemaker Award

The Changemaker Award recognises University of Edinburgh students, staff or departments who have made a noticeable positive impact by undertaking an impactful socially responsible or sustainable project or by inspiring others to act in a more socially responsible or sustainable way.

As well as the work, in partnership with the University Estates team, to improve the energy efficiency of our Outdoor Centre, Firbush, the award recognises the work that has been undertaken this year to reduce environmentally harmful chemical use for cleaning, the installation of a Salt Hyprolyser System to replace the HTH (Chlorine) system at the St Leonard’s Land swimming Pool, and efforts to widen participation within our community.

Cleaning materials and recycling:

Although we have used non-hazardous cleaning products for a number of years we have now moved to a new product range.  All plastic containers and packaging from the new products are now collected by the supplier and fully recycled. The new product range is now used extensively throughout all Sport & Exercise sites.

Swimming Pool Chemical Change:

We have recently installed a Salt Hyprolyser System to replace the HTH Chlorine system at the St Leonard’s Land swimming Pool. This new system is far more sustainable, the salt needed for the hyprolyser is produced in England and comes in recyclable bags, compared to HTH which mainly comes from USA or Germany and in large plastic tubs, which need to be disposed of and are difficult to recycle. There is also reduced chemical risk with the new system. The HTH system had a number of associated chemical risks, particularly with the handling and dosing of the product. Salt, however, has very little and the Sodium Hyperchloride (disinfectant) produced in the hyprolyser is contained within the system.

Widening Participation

The award also recognises a number of initiatives undertaken in the past year to widen participation in our community. As well as a programme that gave University students the opportunity to coach and engage with young people from areas of deprivation. We also ran a number of free climbing sessions for the local charity Edinburgh Young Carers.

Chris McIntosh, sustainability lead at Sport & Exercise, said;

“We are committed to ensuring we operate as sustainably as we can across all our sites and to contributing to the delivery of Commitment 24 of the University’s Community Plan, improving the University’s provision of services for community sports groups, governing bodies and members of our local communities. We are delighted to have been nominated, and successfully awarded, a Social Responsibility and Sustainability Changemaker Award for our efforts this year."

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