In October 2019, the SU held its first ever Summit, “an opportunity for us to come together to begin to tackle some of the biggest challenges that we face as communities of students at University”. The topic of the first Summit was climate change, and climate action at the University. It was incredibly useful and inspiring to gather students, officers and staff to gather opinions, views and ideas on how we should be driving the sustainability agenda at the university and within our SU. It provided us with ideas to action and a solid base to drive our work forward. 

At the end of the Summit, the different working groups of students, student leaders, and officers offered what they thought were the key actions to take, the important things to tackle, and ideas on how to make our SU and the University more sustainable. Below is a list of those priorities, with an update of what action has been taken so far.

Suggestion Action/Update
University to set requirements on suppliers regarding single-use plastics and on sustainable procurement
  • The SU Activities Officer will bring this up with the Director of Accommodation and Hospitality
SU to avoid useless plastic freebies
  • This is to be incorporated into SU Sustainability Policy
  • This is going to be officially a requirement as of the beginning of 2020-21
Expansion in the choice of meal deals  
Lobbying the government to reform the Education Act so that SUs can be party political  
Having a bank of links on sustainability records/policies of political candidates  
Prioritising green technologies in research in courses
  • This is going to be brought up at the Climate Action Framework, and particularly in the Research work stream
Creating a walking society to get to campus together and rewards for people cycling and walking up  
Having a secure bike storage in town  Connected to following point
Ability to bring bikes onto buses and subsidise tickets for those who cycle, e.g. a subsidised ticket from Bathwick Hill
  • The SU Activities Officer has started gathering feedback on the idea of a ‘Bike’n’Ride scheme, where a subsidised ticket/pass would be offered for the leg of the U1/U3 journey from Bathwick Hill to campus. 
  • Feedback was gathered and the SU Activities Officer is working on it. 
  • The SU Activities Officer has had a call with the Cabinet Member for Transport in Bath & North East Somerset Council, where interest in the project was expressed.
  • The University also appears keen to collaborate on this project
Improving lecture capture and timetabling efficiency
  • This has been brought up as a significant cause of indirect emissions in the UCER work stream meeting, and it will be brought up again in the main Working Group meeting. 
Vegetarian and vegan cooking classes during Freshers' Week and awareness of benefits of plant-based diets 
  • Incredible action has been taken by a group of societies who held a successful event of the kind on February 19th, 2020 
  • The SU Activities Officer will liaise with the Freshers’ Week Event Mangers for FW 2020 once they are appointed to scout the possibility of this happening. 
Having a meat-free Farmer’s Market
  • This has been achieved: it is going to happen in 2020/21
Having a cheaper vegetarian meal deal in Fresh 
  • Contacted by the SU Activities Officer, Hospitality Services replied saying that they are working to improve their non-meat offer in meal deals at the expense of meat-based sandwiches. 
Higher transparency of stats, targets and pledges between the university and the students
  • The SU President and the SU Activities Officer have been working to ensure information from the University regarding sustainability and emissions is clear and the process is transparent. 

 

For any questions regarding the Climate Summit, contact Francesco, SU Activities Officer, at suactivities@bath.ac.uk or swing by his office on Level 3 Student Centre.