Heriot-Watt students launch sustainability drive with Global Sustainability Week



Global Sustainability Week graphic

Students at Heriot-Watt University are leading a series of events throughout November to celebrate and promote sustainability.

The initiative spans the University’s five campuses in Edinburgh, Galashiels, Orkney, Malaysia and Dubai and includes workshops, talks, outdoor events and tips on how to live more sustainably.

Our students are very involved in sustainability and very passionate about it.

Sebi Merino, Heriot-Watt Student Union

The activities kick off on Monday 30th October with Global Sustainability Week on the University’s Edinburgh campus at Riccarton, led by Heriot-Watt University Student Union.

Sebi Merino, Vice President Community at Heriot-Watt Student Union, said: “Our students are very involved in sustainability and very passionate about it, so Global Sustainability Week is about celebrating and raising awareness of sustainability and getting students engaged in that.”

Global Sustainability Week will help to promote a number of student societies at Heriot-Watt who are actively involved in trying to tackle the climate crisis, Sebi said. These include the Heriot-Watt NetZero Society, Heriot Watt Eco Society and the Ocean Conservation Society. Students will also discuss Heriot-Watt University’s focus on global sustainability as an institution and the University’s Net-Zero Plan, which outlines actions the University needs to take to address its own carbon footprint.

Events on Heriot-Watt’s Edinburgh campus during Global Sustainability Week include:

  • A conference on the theme of Engineering Net Zero by the NetZero and Chemical Engineering societies, with leading industry speakers, a research & innovation session and networking dinner. Book free tickets for the Friday 3rd November event here.
  • A repair workshop where students can learn about mending their own clothes, run by the Zero Waste Hub on Bread Street in Edinburgh.
  • A painting workshop where students will paint reusable tote bags, run by Heriot-Watt's Art Society.
  • A scavenger hunt on the theme of sustainability, where students find and complete tasks around the campus, run by the University’s Eco Society.
  • A keep cup giveaway.

Heriot-Watt’s Orkney campus is taking part in the Engineering Net Zero conference, including delivery of the keynote address by Heriot-Watt energy transition expert Professor Susan Krumdieck. Students at the University’s School of Textiles and Design at Galashiels in the Scottish Borders will also be leading sustainability events including:

  • A vintage clothing fair in Galashiels on Tuesday 31st of October.
  • The official launch of an outdoor mural painted by students and inspired by the natural environment and sustainability.
  • A knitting and crochet workshop in Galashiels, run by the Gala Knit and Crochet Society.

Heriot-Watt’s campuses in Dubai and Malaysia will host their own programmes of student sustainability events during November.

Events in Dubai will include:

  • Beach Clean-up Drive: An initiative to keep our shores pristine.
  • Thrift Store Rerun: Students can bring in their old clothes, get them valued, and swap them for equally valued items from our participating thrift store.
  • Sustainability Trivia: Test and expand your knowledge on eco-friendly topics.

Events in Malaysia will include:

  • A ‘Seeds of Hope and Action’ exhibition showcasing initiatives and actions for a sustainable future.
  • A series of interactive booths focusing on sustainable practices and a Net-Zero Carbon Campaign.
  • A dedicated initiative encouraging waste recycling and educating the campus community about proper recycling practices.

Heriot-Watt’s student sustainability events will take place ahead of COP28, the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which is being hosted in Dubai.

Heriot-Watt’s Dubai campus on Dubai Knowledge Park has transformed its 5th and 6th floors into a fringe venue for COP28 and will be hosting a programme of events a including panel discussions on climate change and an exhibition of clean tech.

Lindsay Wilson, Global Sustainability Strategic Programme Lead at Heriot-Watt University, said: “Engaging with our students on sustainability themes is a key goal for us at Heriot-Watt, so we’re really pleased that our Student Union in Edinburgh, Student Association in Malaysia and Student Council in Dubai have taken the initiative to lead these activities – especially as COP28 sharpens our focus on the climate crisis.”


Victoria Masterson