Two halls of residence at the University of Edinburgh have been awarded for their sustainable initiatives at the sixth annual Edinburgh University Social Responsibility and Sustainability Awards.

Staff at Shrubhill and McDonald Road won bronze in the Student Residence Award, which recognises those who promote a sustainable community, as well as resource efficiency and student engagement. This includes promoting the University’s ‘Tripshare’ scheme, which matches people travelling in the same direction to car share, as well as student counselling services.

This year’s winning team was led by student Fidra Sym, whose team worked with 220 residents from both the Shrubhill and McDonald Road communities to organise sustainable events and initiatives across the city.

Fidra and her team worked closely with the accommodation’s sustainability project, which has had a major impact on everyone’s life in the two residences since it began at the start of the term. Some of the initiatives that she ran included crafting with recycled items, the Fresher’s Free Shop and a potluck get together, where everyone brings an item of food to contribute to a group meal.

The Student Resident category is a new award for 2016 and in order to be nominated, applicants must successfully hit the five key criteria’s of student engagement, resource efficiency, travel, energy and personal welfare and wellbeing.

Ms Sym was also nominated for the outstanding contribution award for her role, narrowly missing out on the prize.

Alex Ntouvli, warden and line manager at Shrubhill and McDonald Road, said: “Fidra has helped the team integrate sustainability into every initiative which has resulted to a majority of our events here at Shrubhill and McDonald Road encompassing sustainable elements.

“Her actions have resulted to a better use of energy and resources on our sites, and to the raising of awareness and the shaping of consciousness of our team and residents in a way that will impact their future choices.”

Aaron Kelly, Assistant Residence Life Coordinator at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Sustainability and community engagement are right at the heart of the university’s mission, and it is great to see a student-led team so passionate about fostering a community of sustainable practice at both Shrubhill and McDonald Road. The Residence Life team wholeheartedly support Fidra’s ambition and hope to build on this work next year.”