Green blueprint for Scots

August 8, 1997

A 26-PAGE Edinburgh University report printed on 100 per cent recycled paper hopes to encourage other institutions to green their teaching.

In 1990, Edinburgh launched a strategy to become more environmentally friendly as an institution, to encourage interdisciplinary environmental research, and to promote an environmental perspective across the curriculum.

The university's environmental teaching and research office, set up to nurture the strategy in its early days, is now bowing out with a final publication, Case Studies in Curriculum Greening.

Anna Ashmole, departmental environmental coordinator, said most problems stemmed from the ways in which humans inter-related with the natural world. Seeing problems in this way, rather than as external threats to human society, made it clear that they were not simply technical issues, but complex questions of social relations, economics, and ethics.

"By this definition, every subject taught at university level can engage with these issues in some way," she said.

The report contains 21 case studies, ranging from architectural design to Christian ethics, which Dr Ashmole said are intended "as a source of ideas and inspiration" for other academics.

A course in financial accounting theory, taking a New Zealand case study in which a company occupied land heavily polluted by a predecessor, encourages students to take a broader view of costs and liabilities.

Veterinary students, who normally concentrate on domestic animals in the United Kingdom, are encouraged to adopt another species or group of animals and study them throughout their professional lives.

More information on the environmental teaching and research office's work is available at http://www.cecs.ed.ac.uk/greeninfo/

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