Sustainability in St Andrews: A Guide

Thursday 22 April 2021

Coming to study at St Andrews and interested in sustainability? Keep reading to find out about exciting initiatives to get involved with around town!

St Andrews is a buzzing, community focused space for social and environmental causes. The University’s vision is to be net zero by 2035 and its environmental sustainability strategy recognises the importance of other environmental issues such as loss of biodiversity, water use and waste minimisation. The University is commited to teach sustainability across the whole curriculum, starting with the compulsory student-created Training in Environmental and Sustainable Action. You can take this further by studying courses in the subject of Sustainable Development as part of your degree.

Whether its through your academic school, the Students’ Association or local projects, there are plenty of ways for you personally to engage with a range of sustainability topics.

Become a student representative

If you would like to be directly involved with the promotion and implementation of sustainability at the University, consider applying for a student sustainability representative position for your academic school or hall of residence, or joining the environment subcommittee.

Join a society

One of the easiest ways to get involved and meet new people is by going to events put on by societies. The Students’ Association has a number of societies that address sustainability issues, ranging from academic groups like the Sustainable Development Society, to interest-based groups such as the Wildlife and Conservation Society, to charity-focused groups such as One for the World. If you are interested in holding more responsibility, you can also run for a position on committee!

Get involved with transition

Transition is the hub for sustainability in St Andrews. Tackling a number of themes such as local food, zero waste, smarter travel and sustainable spaces, this is a great initiative to get involved with on a practical level. Whether it is learning new skills through the skillshare programme, helping out at the Edible Campus community gardens or going litter picking with the Plastic Free campaign, there are plenty of ways to join in on the action.

Inbound study abroad students might be particularly interested in the following initiatives:

St And Reuse

This project has collected tonnes of unwanted items donated by students every year as they leave town. If you are in need of some extra stuff, such as a duvet, kitchenware or some stationary, head to a Giveaway event.

Rent a Bike

This scheme allows you to rent a refurbished bike at low cost for up to 12 months. There are over a hundred bikes to choose from including fold-up, mountain, hybrid and road types. So if you are looking for quicker ways to make your way around town, definitely check this out!

Coming up: COP26

This year, from the 1st to 12th November 2021, the 26th session of the United Nations Climate Change Summit will be held in Glasgow. This is a unique opportunity to make your voice heard and push for climate action at the University – so get involved!


Find out more about sustainability at the University of St Andrews here.

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