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Environmental Sustainability Board

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‌Line in the Sand Video

Taking on our future

The University of St Andrews recognises climate change as the defining issue of our time. The Scottish and UK Governments and Fife Council have declared a climate emergency, and the University is actively responding to this crisis. To address the scale of the challenge and accelerate work already ongoing at the University, we formed the Environmental Sustainability Board (ESB) in February 2020. The ESB is chaired by Professor Sir Ian Boyd. Sir Ian was Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government on Food and the Environment based at DEFRA and is professor of marine biology at our Scottish Oceans Institute.

The Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone, shares her ambitions for the ESB and Sir Ian’s work here:

Engage with the University’s new Environmental Strategy

Creating a future that’s sustainable will need us all to work together – and take bold steps. To enable this the ESB has supported the University to draft a new Environmental Strategy. So far over a hundred people from across our community have contributed to the draft, championing a vision for the University to be ‘net zero by 2035’, that’s 10 years ahead of the Scottish Government’s target, an achievement we think we’ve a responsibility to commit to as an institution championing research and education.

Between 2 November and 4 December you are invited to add your ideas and opinions to the draft.  You can read the draft here: Draft Environment Strategy (PDF, 289 KB), and give your feedback here.

It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to read the draft and give your feedback, and you can use work time. All responses will be treated as anonymous. We will share a summary of responses in December.

Thank you for making the time to contribute.

The ESB’s role

The ESB provides institutional leadership on the environment. The immediate responsibility of the ESB is to create a new Environmental Sustainability Strategy for the University, incorporating a Carbon Management Plan and a Climate Adaptation Plan. It will then enable the roll out of this strategy and provide leadership on options for developing St Andrews in a sustainable manner, as well as producing environmental accounts.

Working with our University community

We want to put the University community – students and staff – at the heart of the ESB. To achieve this nine ESB board members were recruited from across the University community in an open application process. These members are:


Deanna Coleman, undergraduate

Noah Herfort, undergraduate

Abi Whitefield, postgraduate

Staff: Academic

Dr Michael Byrne, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Dr Catriona Harris, School of Biology

Dr Mette High, School of Philosophy, Anthropology, and Film Studies

Dr Louise Reid, School of Geography and Sustainable Development

Staff: Professional Services

Dr Sneh Jain, Business Development Manager, School of Chemistry

Simon Watkins, Director of Operations, Estates


In addition, ESB meetings are attended by advisers, these people representing key offices and functions of the University. These advisers are:


Lea Weimann, Students’ Association Environment Officer and chair of the Environment Subcommittee

Staff: Academic

Dr Ian Smith, Associate Dean Education (Arts and Divinity), and chair of the Sustainability in the Curriculum group

Staff: Professional

Lesley Caldwell, Social Responsibility and Community Officer, Principal’s Office

Fiona MacLeod, Communications Coordinator, Corporate Communications

David Stutchfield, Sustainability Manager, Estates

Keith Thomason, Energy Manager, Estates

Derek Watson, Quaestor and Factor (deputy chair of the ESB)

Dr Lindsay Wilson,  Project Manager Team Leader, Business Transformation Portfolio Office

Dr Emma Kallblad from the Principal’s Office coordinates the ESB.


The first ESB meeting was held in March 2020 and the board meets ten times a year.

If you have questions about the ESB, please contact Dr Emma Kallblad (


The ESB’s first student forum - 22nd to 26th June 2020

The Environmental Sustainability Board recently held a pioneering series of student forums; to hear their environmental solutions, and their concerns. Over the course of a week (22nd-26th June), focus groups of interests were held on Microsoft Teams to give the University student creative ideas and solutions to some of our environmental problems.

Professor Sir Ian Boyd has recorded an introductory video to the forum: ESB Forum video






Previous governance structures - Sustainability Development Working Group

The Sustainability Development Working Group (SDWG), chaired by the Quaestor and Factor, has previously been the lead group responsible for delivery of the University's Sustainability Strategy and overall Environment and Sustainability compliance and governance. The SDWG reports to the University's Planning and Resources Committee.

Previous SDWG meeting documents:

SDWG 21st Jan 2020 meeting (PDF, 653 KB)

SDWG 21st November 2019 Meeting (PDF, 619 KB)

SDWG 25th Sept 2019 meeting (PDF, 1,261 KB)

SDWG 24th July 2019 (PDF, 13,465 KB)

SDWG 22nd May 2019 Meeting (PDF, 1,919 KB)

SDWG 30th Jan 2019 meeting (PDF, 1,152 KB)

For access to earlier records, please email


Environment and Sustainable Development


Blog: Environment Team News

Facebook: EnvironmentStA

Twitter: @EnvironmentStA