Case Study: University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh


Founded in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is a global leader in higher education and research. The University spans across six campuses in Edinburgh and hosts over 32,000 students and 12,000 staff members. As a University, they are strongly committed to addressing current global challenges such as poverty, climate change and the growing demand for energy, food and water. They currently divert 85% of their waste from landfill.

Strategy and execution

To encourage students and employees to join the reuse revolution, the University offers a ‘get your first fill free’ promotion, as well as 20p off all Fairtrade hot beverages in a KeepCup.


As the first Scottish University to collaborate with KeepCup, the University of Edinburgh has gone on to sell over 18,900 KeepCups since 2011. The huge success of KeepCup on campus is also indicative of their strong commitment to waste reduction. The sustainability initiative has been adopted across several different faculties and cafes. There has been a great response to the University’s recent introduction of Brew (glass) KeepCups.



"To run with the KeepCup was an easy decision as whilst others were moving to suppliers of compostable paper cups, the KeepCup enables a one-step jump to eradicate the need for waste streams in either mixed recyclables or food waste and this a direct saving in trade waste charges.

You know when you are onto a good thing as we have had other departments buy their own KeepCups with their specific logo on to either sell or give to staff and students as part of welcome packs.

It is a simple message: Join the reuse revolution."

Ian Macaulay Assistant Director Accommodation Services (Catering)

"KeepCups have been a huge success here and continue to sell exceptionally well. I feel that the quality of the product, combined with people’s desire for something that is reusable rather than throw away really helps.

My customer base tend to be really proud of the University and will therefore want to show off the brand on an item like a KeepCup when using it out with the University. The ability to pick and choose each component really helps too as they can be personalised by the customer."

Gordon Chalmers Visitor Centre Manager

University of Edinburgh

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