NEED MORE INFORMATION OR DON’T SEE A PROJECT FOR YOU?

If you’re interested in one of these projects or have an idea or topic that you would like to explore please get in touch with the Living Labs Programme Coordinator at ltp3@st-andrews.ac.uk.

IS FAIRTRADE RELEVANT ENOUGH IN AN ERA OF CLIMATE EMERGENCY?

Project Main Purpose: The University’s Fairtrade Steering Group are interested in a qualitative/literature review-based dissertation assessing whether Fairtrade remains relevant in an era of climate emergency, or whether the Fairtrade remit it needs to diversify and evolve (and if so, in which avenues).

Preferred Disciplines: Sustainable Development; Geography; Management; Social Anthropology

Project Length: Flexible, undergraduate or postgraduate

IS A LOCAL SHARING ECONOMY THE KEY TO TACKLING OVERCONSUMPTION?

Project Main Purpose: Alongside the University of St Andrews and the St Andrews Environmental Network, Transition St Andrews are developing a growing project area around sharing, reuse and repair of resources. Projects such as St AndReuse and Tool Share are growing in engagement and impact. However, if up scaled, are they sufficient in tackling consumer waste? What barriers are there to a sharing economy? What would one look like across St Andrews? How do these local projects influence consumer psychology?

Preferred Disciplines: Sustainable Development, Geography, Management, Social Anthropology, Psychology

Project Length: Flexible, undergraduate or postgraduate

PUBLIC BIKE SCHEMES: SHIFTING THE MODE OF TRANSPORT?

Project Main Purpose: To explore the impact of the St Andrews Bike Pool or public cycling schemes more broadly; ideally considering to what extent has this scheme reduced car (or taxi) journeys. This can be literature-based or involve primary data collection such as the projected financial / carbon / wellbeing and other impacts of such a project.

Preferred Disciplines: Sustainable Development, Management, Geography, Computer Science, Biology

Project Length: Flexible – undergraduate or postgraduate

ACHIEVING NET ZERO BY 2035: PUTTING A PRICE ON CARBON EMISSIONS

Project Main Purpose: Several institutions, including University College London (UCL), have introduced internal carbon pricing (ICP) to help reduce their carbon emissions. Each department has been set a carbon reduction target (compared to the previous year). If the department improves on the target they will receive an income for every tonne of carbon saved; if they miss the target they will pay a charge for every tonne that the target is missed by. Various alterations of these schemes exist, including the ring-fencing of the income for carbon reduction activities.

This project will explore the advantages and disadvantages of these solutions and whether such a scheme could be beneficial in helping the University achieve their goal of Net Zero by 2035.

Preferred Disciplines: Sustainable Development, Geography, Economics, Statistics, Mathematics

Project Length: Flexible – ideally an undergraduate dissertation

THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE UNIVERSITY’S SCOPE 3 EMISSIONS

Project Main Purpose: COVID-19 has changed almost every aspect of our lives including how we travel to work and how businesses operate. In March 2020, the University suspended all in-person lectures, all non-essential work on campus and all business travel, causing a reduction in the energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the University.

This project will analyse the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has on the University’s Scope 3 emissions, including the behavioural changes by the University community in response to COVID-19 and explore how we can retain any positive behaviour change going forward.

Preferred Disciplines: Geography, Psychology, Sustainable Development

Project Length: Flexible – undergraduate or postgraduate

YOUR FOOD ISN’T RUBBISH: CLOSING THE LOOP ON LEFTOVERS

Project Main Purpose: On average, 30% of household waste comes from the kitchen. A closed-loop system is one in which every component (be it manufacturing, food, or anything else) is recirculated within that same system for as long as possible. The ultimate goal is to reuse, recycle, or biodegrade all materials involved so as to produce zero waste. and that can inform general scholarship on zero waste and sustainability.

How big of an issue is food waste within our Halls of Residence? How can we encourage those students staying in self-catered residences to ‘close the loop’ in their kitchens?

Preferred Disciplines: Sustainable Development, Management, Geography, Biology, Computer Science, Psychology

Project Length: Flexible – ideally an undergraduate dissertation, possibility to be literature based for a Masters project

A CAMPUS FIT FOR THE FUTURE? URBAN RESILIENCE AND ADAPTATION

Project Main Purpose: Urban resilience is what helps cities adapt and transform in the face of these challenges, helping them to prepare for both the expected and the unexpected. Building urban resilience requires looking at a city holistically, understanding the systems that make up the city and the interdependencies and risks they may face. How can the University apply this concept so that the current campus (as well as any future development) adapts to and mitigates this risk as much as possible?

This project could explore both how the University campus must adapt to mitigate the effects of climate change but also examine how future development can be designed with sustainability, biodiversity and the environment at the forefront.

Preferred Disciplines:  Earth and Environmental Science, Economics and Finance, Sustainable Development

Project Length: Flexible – ideally an undergraduate dissertation

ECO-ANXIETY –  A SERIOUS THREAT TO STUDENTS WELLBEING?

Project Main Purpose: Eco-anxiety describes worry or stress caused by thinking about climate change, our relationship with nature, and surrounding issues. The results of a recent survey into eco-anxiety suggests that a majority worry about climate change often and many feel that environmental issues impact their daily actions.

Is it time the University recognises eco-anxiety as a serious threat to the wellbeing of students and takes steps to better support those affected by this pressing issue? How can the University use their influence and successes to lead the climate movement and promote awareness of eco-anxiety?

Preferred Disciplines: Psychology, Biology, Computer Science

Project Length: Flexible – ideally an undergraduate dissertation

IS IT ENOUGH? A CRITIQUE OF UNIVERSITY’S SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY AND THEIR NET ZERO 2035 TARGET

Project Main Purpose: The University’s vision is to be net zero by 2035. The University will take out all avoidable greenhouse gases it releases into the atmosphere and compensate for emissions that are unavoidable. The IPCC contends that over this decade the world must transform its energy, land, urban, infrastructure, and industrial systems at a scale and speed with ‘no documented historic precedent’. Whilst it is positive to see that sustainability will become a constituent part of all plans and ambitions for the future prosperity of the University, questions must be asked whether the strategy goes far enough.

How can we ensure that the words within this strategy transpose into meaningful action? Are the actions within the strategy strong enough? Is there too much of a focus on carbon reduction? These are all crucial questions we must ask and challenge in order to allow the University to shape a more sustainable future.

Preferred Disciplines: Sustainable development, geography

Project Length: Flexible – ideally an undergraduate dissertation