University joins sustainable energy talks for Capital city

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(l-r) Environment Convener Lesley Hinds and Professor Gill Hogg

Heriot-Watt representatives have joined talks about the first City of Edinburgh Council-led Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP),aiming to transform the Capital’s energy use by reducing demand and encouraging local generation. 

The proposed partnership would allow our staff and students to share that expertise and hopefully offer them practical opportunities to contribute towards the wider aims of the project.
Professor Gill Hogg

As a signatory to the Covenant of Mayors, Edinburgh joins thousands of European towns and cities in a commitment to reducing carbon. But the capital is going beyond the required 20% target with the most ambitious pledge in the UK, to reduce emissions by 42% by 2020. Edinburgh is already on track to meet this and can already account for a 34% reduction and is still working on further actions. 

This meeting of eight of the city’s largest organisations (NHS Lothian, RBS, Standard Life, BT Scotland, Heriot-Watt University, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University and Edinburgh College) is the first step in creating a collaborative partnership to find solutions to individual and shared energy challenges across the city. 

Environment Convener, Lesley Hinds said, “The SEAP is a city wide plan, not just a Council initiative. Everyone who lives and works in the city can play their part in reducing carbon emissions and the SEAP target is only achievable with city wide support. The SEAP will seek to develop that and therefore be constantly evolving to reflect this involvement with as many stakeholders as possible.

“The eight organisations who pledged today have a large sphere of influence throughout the city and our combined efforts to find innovative solutions to energy requirements and to reduce our carbon emissions, has the potential to make a much larger impact through this partnership.”

Professor Gill Hogg, Deputy Principal (External Relations) at Heriot-Watt University, said she hoped the development of a collaborative partnership which would include the Council and key partners would offer benefits and opportunities all round, especially to the environment.

“This is a practical step towards an ambitious goal. Heriot-Watt can offer the knowledge and expertise of our Energy Academy, which works to improve the understanding all elements of energy in transport, buildings, industry and the wider economy. 

“The proposed partnership would allow our staff and students to share that expertise and hopefully offer them practical opportunities to contribute towards the wider aims of the project.”