Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) has been awarded £137,000 by the Scottish Government which will fund a pioneering initiative to help the local community tackle climate change.
The Climate Challenge funding will allow the development of The Carbon Academy, where students will be trained in the practical skills and knowledge on carbon footprint reduction.
Once trained, students will go on to work with local charities, giving advice on how they can reduce their energy consumption, allowing them to benefit by saving money on their bills.
AUSA are the first student body to work with local charities in this way.
The Carbon Academy is supported by the Local Energy Saving Trust who will provide the initial mentoring and training to students.
The Government funding will also support a campus initiative to reduce energy consumption in Halls of Residence through a programme of activities and events.
The Student President Anne-Claire Deseilligny said: “This is a fantastic win for students at Aberdeen.
“Increasingly students want to develop practical skills to support their chances of gaining employment. This project will give students valuable work experience and we are delighted that local charities will benefit.
AUSA’s Sustainability Projects Manager, Hannah Towsey said: “This is the second time AUSA have been awarded Climate Challenge Funding. The Carbon Academy builds on an existing programme that was established in 2010.
“Many students are concerned about the global impacts of climate change and it is becoming increasingly important that students know how to reduce their carbon footprint; both to live in a world where resources are less available and to develop skills and knowledge that can support a career in the environmental sector”.
Fraser Lovie, Sustainability Adviser at the University added: "The success of AUSA in securing this funding will go a long way to link sustainability with graduate attributes and employability. Alongside the discussion of sustainability issues in the curriculum, this co-curriculum initiative will encourage students to embed this as part of their personal and professional development."