Her Majesty The Queen Consort has today marked her tenth year as Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen with a visit to the University's Science Teaching Hub, which opened last year.
A key theme of the visit was the University’s progress on sustainability and The Queen Consort met with staff and students to learn more about the University’s commitment to sustainability through its education and research, aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As well as watching students and technicians engage in laboratory work, Her Majesty also learned of the University’s educational outreach work with local schools and met with local schoolchildren taking part in lab activities.
The Queen Consort’s visit included meeting with leading scientists whose research focuses on sustainability issues, including Professor Pete Smith whose award-winning work contributed to the development of the Cool Farm Tool app, which helps farmers calculate and tackle carbon emissions.
Meanwhile, Her Majesty learned of the University’s institutional aim to be net zero before 2040, a key commitment of its Aberdeen 2040 strategy which places sustainability at the heart of the University’s long-term mission – with four of its twenty headline commitments relating to environmental sustainability.
The visit concluded with Her Majesty giving a short speech to an invited audience of civic and community leaders, as well as students and staff, where she described her installation as Chancellor as a “great honour” and highlighted many of the University’s achievements over the last ten years, including its two Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for world-leading healthcare and environmental research.
“I have taken the greatest interest in all your work and have sung your praises at every opportunity," she added.
Professor George Boyne, University Principal, said: “We were delighted to welcome Her Majesty the Queen Consort to the Science Teaching Hub to celebrate her tenth year as Chancellor, and to tell her more about our progress on sustainability.
“Since launching our Aberdeen 2040 strategy almost three years ago we have sought to embed sustainability as a key component in our teaching, research and other institutional activities, aligned to the United Nations SDGs.
“Our achievements so far include being ranked 2nd in the UK and 13th globally for sustainable education in the new QS Sustainability ranking and continuing to be ranked among the top 200 universities in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, which recognise universities for their social and economic impact under the SDGs.
“Looking ahead we will continue to seek out new ways to embed sustainability across our research and teaching and build upon the progress we have made towards our institutional aim to be net zero before 2040, managing the negative impacts associated with our operational activities such as waste production, energy use, and travel.”