We’ve had a busy year this year but haven’t forgotten then importance of working on our sustainability efforts. Across the year we worked closely with our Green Ambassador, Jack James, to run several campaigns including ‘Project Preloved’ which highlighted the benefits of shopping pre-loved fashion instead of fast-fashion, Jack also helped us launch the ‘Maybe Milk’ campaign where we worked to raise awareness of the dairy alternative milk options sold in our café and bars.
This was all rounded out with the 2022-23 Vice President Education and Welfare, Brandon, working to support students through the cost-of living. Addressing what support students needed most and helping them through it with Brandon’s Big Budget Busting Booklet and introducing free food options to campus. Brandon and Emily’s Monthly Monday Meals let students cook their own meals at home with free ingredients and a budget friendly recipe to follow, and the Big Bucks Meal Deal launched free meals across our campuses for breakfast, lunch and dinner and helped to reduce prices in our cafes and bars.
Each year we complete our submission for the Green Impact Students’ Unions accreditation which measures the impact we have on the student body and how sustainable we are as a university and a Students’ Union. We’re really pleased to say we have received our highest score ever of 415 out of 500 giving us an award of Excellent (the highest achievement) for another year.
Green Ambassador, Jack James says, “I am proud to have been part of the team and help bring awareness to the staff and student body through our campaigns this year.”
On top of sustainability efforts, this year we once again campaigned for Fairtrade. During Fairtrade Fortnight we held our SMILE campaign, to raise awareness for Fairtrade products and make our mark on the local community. We head out into the local town centre to greet the early morning commuters with Fairtrade bananas and flapjacks labelled with Fairtrade facts and hopefully get a smile in return.
We also hosted a Fairtrade breakfast which was a hit, with students and staff getting a free Fairtrade breakfast made up entirely with Fairtrade products while chatting with and learning from the High Wycombe Fairtrade Chairman, Mike King. Your 2022-23 Vice President Student Involvement, Jess, held a Fairtrade strawberry and prosecco quiz night in The Lounge to show us all that the Fairtrade treats are just as tasty as the ‘normal’ ones, before rounding off the Fairtrade campaign with a day dedicated to all the non-foodie Fairtrade products and what impact that can have on farmers.
To keep being an officially Fairtrade accredited Students’ Union, we put forward our Green Impact Students' Union Fairtrade submission. Showing how we are raising awareness for fair pay and better working conditions for farmers and the ethical choices we make in our everyday purchasing.
The accreditation is in partnership with the Fairtrade Foundation and this year we were awarded our highest rating since our first submission in 2013. This year we were awarded as a Fairtrade University (1 star), rankings go up to 3 stars and we’re delighted to have moved up a ranking this year.
We will be carrying on our work in the next academic year, bringing you new campaigns and events with your two Green Ambassadors, Bianca Epuras and Lucy Holmes. Bianca will also be holding the role of Fairtrade Ambassador.
Thank you to everyone who was involved with any of our campaigns this year, and if you’d like to run one next year, drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.