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  • Writer's pictureZero Cost Scotland

University of Edinburgh x Ukraine

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

A Zero Cost procurement strategy to furnish homes for Ukrainian families seeking long term accommodation in Edinburgh.


The UofE - a Zero Cost certified organisation - housed families fleeing war-torn Ukraine in properties furnished in accordance with Zero Cost Scotland's reuse commitments.


The University of Edinburgh was the first university to be awarded sanctuary accreditation, promoting a welcoming culture within the university and in the wider communities for those seeking sanctuary or impacted by distressing global circumstances. The UofE have worked closely with the council to ensure that at risk students are provided the necessary accommodation to allow them sanctuary in Edinburgh whilst simultaneously working to provide this same sanctuary to families fleeing Ukraine.

A number of University owned properties were earmarked for Ukrainian sanctuary and underwent a program of full renovation in order to provide comfortable and homely living environments for the Ukrainian families moving in. The first two of these properties were completed for handover in late June of this year.


The Estates Design Team and Accommodation, Catering and Events, were keen to adhere to a Zero Cost circular procurement strategy. No new FF+E was to be purchased and manufactured for these properties. Instead the university leaned on Market Zero, an internal resource reuse portal commissioned and built to facilitate the procurement of both resources owned by the University and resources fed into the system by other accredited organisations.


Goods fed into Market Zero by the university complimented by FF+E introduced to the used resources procurement framework by Radisson Blu, Glasgow allowed the University of Edinburgh to furnish homes ready to be inhabited by Ukrainian families.


"We had the ability to furnish these properties to a very high standard using used resources. Our commitment to net zero was able to work hand in hand with our commitment to providing sanctuary."

UofE Estates Design Team



Zero Cost Scotland and their Zero Cost Economy framework encourages certified organisations to adapt their procurement protocols to move away from the dependence on manufacture and purchase of new, to the use of used resources. The University of Edinburgh's carbon footprint (kgCO2e) associated with the procurement of FF+E for these properties was 0 kgCO2e.

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