An Ethical GSA


As a responsible institution we aim to operate in a sustainable manner, with due consideration to Scotland’s culture & society, environment, and economic well being. We will recognise, and make use of, the power art, design and architecture has in all its forms to inform, raise awareness, celebrate, and challenge issues around sustainability and the environment.

We shall:

- commit to the prevention of pollution, or where this is not possible to the minimisation of pollution

- build sustainability into our work, curricula & research

- encourage & support individuals and environmental groups within GSA

- work with the local community & the FE/HE sector to raise awareness & standards

- develop & use an Environmental Management System (EMS)

- minimise the use & impact of energy, water, food, transport, procurement & resources

- protect & encourage biodiversity

We commit to:

- prevent unnecessary pollution into the environment

- seek to reduce our carbon emissions within SMART annual targets

- maintain policies on ethical investment, energy, resources and food

- adopt and update a carbon management plan every five years

- integrate this policy into GSA strategic and operational policies

- make this environmental policy publicly available for scrutiny

- annually update this policy and publish sustainability results

- provide a safe work and study place for all our staff, students & visitors

- use the EMS to conduct strict measuring and auditing of our operations

- use these standards to foster a culture of continual improvement

- meet and where appropriate exceed legal & statutory environmental and sector standards

- require staff, students and suppliers to meet these standards and to assist contractors in developing proportionate standards within their work.


From what we wear, to how we invest, to the food we eat, our ethical values lie at the heart of who we are, and what we support. Our purchases, and how we invest, can directly help others.

Key areas for many universities are ethically sourced clothing, food, green electricity, fossil-free investments, and ethically sourced IT. As students and staff we can research suppliers and supply chains, ask questions, raise concerns, press for change and support good practice. The GSA has an ethical investment policy, gets its electricity from renewable sources, and partially heats its buildings using a wood pellet boiler.

We are involved with the APUC, the organisation that arranges major contracts for universities in Scotland, to make sure our suppliers take ethical issues into account when they’re buying everything from paper to vehicles.

GSA Sustainability will listen to the concerns of students and staff and support efforts to change policy and take action.

You can read our latest strategy, and below policies developed in the period up to 2015.


We are reviewing and adapting a wide range of policies, including those below. Contact us to get involved

The GSA’s 2025 Sustainability Vision

SiAG’s sustainability thinking from 2010

The Sustainability in Action Group’s five year strategy plan 2010-2015

GSA’s Environmental Policy

GSA’s Energy and Water Policy

GSA’s Resource Policy

GSA’s Ethical Investment Policy

GSA’s Food Policy

GSA’s Carbon Management Plan