For 2020/21, Francesco, our Students' Union President, will be looking after the environmental portfolio of the Students' Union. For his latest blog on this, click here.
We, The SU, are committed to the fight against the climate crisis. In 2019/20, we chose the climate crisis as one of our ten priority campaigns, and since then we have lobbied the university to radically act to tackle this emergency and to commit to action in its strategy.
May 1st, 2020: The SU submitted its work on the Green Impact Toolkit to the NUS. We are awaiting external auditing at the time of writing
May 26th, 2020: The SU and the University have declared a climate emergency. The University has set carbon neutrality targets to 2030 for Scope 1 and Scope 2, and 2040 for Scope 3 (indirect emissions).
July 2020: The SU was awarded a "Good" rating on the NUS Green Impact Accreditation, the rating we were aiming for by the end of Academic Year 2019/2020.
September 2020: The SU Top Ten was launched, including a campaign aimed at decarbonising the University's investment portfolio.
December 2020: The SU President, Francesco Masala, presented a paper at the Council/Senate/Students' Union Committee on divestment, setting out key recommendations. On approval of the paper, the Committee will instruct the University's Investment Group to include sustainability as a key issue to screen investments for in the future.
Where we are now
Here are some of the things we already do in the SU that we are proud of:
- We have entered the NUS Green Impact award in May 2020 which is an accreditation programme for sustainability good-practice in students’ unions.
- In October 2019, we held the first SUmmit on the topic of climate change, getting student leaders from all areas together and thinking about how we can collectively tackle the climate crisis. At the end of the event, we wrote down our priority actions, and from the long list of priorities, we have started taking action on some of those.
- We have some amazing student groups who run “green” events including People and Planet, Amnesty, Chemical Engineering Sustainability Group (CESG) and Vegetarian Society.
- Each year we work with BathSpa SU and BANES council on the Pack For Good campaign which encourages students to donate their unwanted items to the British Heart Foundation when the move out. Since 2012 this has raised over £550,000 and stopped over 77 tonnes of waste going to landfill.
- The SU runs on 100% renewable electricity.
- In 2019/20, we have chosen Wicked Weather Watch as one of our RAG ‘Big 4’ charities to support throughout the year. They provide resources for children and young people to learn how climate change is affecting the world and understand the issues.
Where we want to be
We are working to identify key areas for improvement and find ways to encourage student to support the climate crisis. This work includes:
- Lead by example. Create a culture shift within the SU organisation when it comes to sustainability and “green” choices.
- Work with the University to radically act to tackle this emergency and see committments in both SU and University strategy.
- Provide better support for our sustainable groups to help build awareness aroudn their work.
- Create a culture change for non-green students. Encourage non-green groups to make their activities more sustainable. Encourage and empower students without green-group memberships to make more sustainable choices.
- Complete the Green Impact Award with a “good” rating for this year. Continue working on Green Impact through 2020/21
How we are going to get there
- Work with our student groups to:
- Improve awareness around their sustainability campaigns and events
- Provide a toolkit to train groups on how to run their events in a sustainable way
- Encourage all students to get involved with sustainable activities
- Continue to lobby the University around the climate action framework.
- Audit the SU and implement changes to reduce the carbon emissions we produce and make greener choices. We are already working hard on improving the Bars and Entertainment area as this is an area that currently has a significant environmental impact.
Get in touch
Do you have an idea that would make the SU more sustainable? Do you want to get involved or tell us about upcoming events and campaigns? Email firstname.lastname@example.org