#CampaignUpdate November 2020
Green Impact tracker being used to ensure the continuity of our work to achieve Excellent. Myself, Lucy Smith (Representation and Democracy Coordinator) and Laura Pickering (Sustainability Officer) attended the NUS-SOS Sustainability Conference, giving us a whole new outlook and ideas on campaigns, also giving us some new connections with other SU’s. Recyling Bins have now been added into StUdio! Giving us the ability to now recyle our waste.
#CampaignUpdate October 2020
Plans well and truly underway with action tracker and meetings in place to ensure we stay on track with our Green Impact application to achieve Excellent. Myself, Lucy Smith (Representation and Democracy Coordinator) and Laura Pickering (Sustainability Officer) have regular meetings and updates. - In terms of Recycling we are looking into StUdio’s environmental impacts and better bins, e.g Recyling and waste bins/
#CampaignUpdate September 2020
First initial talks and meetings in place with Sustainability Officer Laura Pickering and Lucy Smith Representation and Democracy Coordinator about 2020/21 criteria which has just been released.
The Green Impact accreditation scheme is a rigorous process overseen by the National Union of Students (NUS) which demands not only that SU's are sustainable, but that they constantly strive to make themselves and their Universities as environmentally friendly as possible, and actively work toward tackling the Climate Crisis.
Last year we – among many other things – we launched our bottle top collection scheme, began work on making our commercial outlets as sustainable as possible, assembled regular meetings of our new SU sustainability committee and conducted an impact report to learn how we could ameliorate the SU’s environmental impact. We’re therefore very pleased to see our work recognised with another "Good" accreditation (for the second year in a row!)
For an SU of our size to achieve accreditation is a big success in and of itself, but we’re not satisfied – We achieved "Excellent” in 2020 and our Student Council are set on sustaining this standard moving forward!
Last year we witnessed the huge success of our “Chris Combats the Climate Crisis” campaign which has seen the University sign the People & Planet pledge to never invest in Fossil Fuels, the introduction of a new Sustainability Award at our annual Club and Society awards, burgeoning collaboration efforts between Leeds Trinity Students’ Union and our sibling SU’s across Leeds and the North East and the introduction of more Fairtrade products to our SU Shop. Chris is keen to build on this work in the coming year and if you want to get involved why not drop him an email at C.Dow@leedstrinity.ac.uk or submit an idea through our Student Say hub!
Major (Green) Impacts
Divestment - Achieved
Excellent Award 2020 - Achieved
A Green New Deal for Trinity - New Policy in place.
SU Bans Balloons - New Commitment
Good Award 2019 - Achieved
1. Travelling (Sports Teams travelling + Student Officers travelling for conferences)
The most potential for environmental impact is the travel requirements, faced both by our sports teams when completing away fixtures and by our Student Officers when attending various conferences and training events. The CO2 released would be significant if all our teams and officers were to drive individually to all of these events, and this does occasionally occur, primarily for financial reasons, however, we endeavour to ensure that where possible our sports teams use a single coach for the whole team, and work closely with the coach company both to ensure that the smallest coach possible is used for each fixture and to ensure that clubs share coaches where possible. We also pay for our sabbatical officers to have railcards and subsequently try and ensure they use the train to attend conferences, training and events whenever practical.
With the recent transition in ownership of our on-campus day/night venue, we have considered the potential impacts of running during set hours. The largest environmental impact would be from electricity usage as all the main lights and appliances are in use for 14-15 hours a day. All lights are switched off at the end of the working day by staff, conserving energy and reducing our overall impact. Keeping fridges and freezers running for food and drink is unavoidable due to health and safety requiring products to be kept at specific temperatures. All glass, cardboard, and plastic used within the venue are recycled on-site to reduce wastage. The food wastage from unused sandwiches is sent back to the suppliers in order to reduce waste even further by selecting the best-selling products and matching sales figures to following orders. StUdio is also a water bottle refill point, promoting the use of reusable bottles rather than the purchase of single-use plastics. The plates, cutlery, and cups used within the venue are also environmentally friendly and have either been made from recycled materials or can be recycled. Any administrative documents are also printed on recycled paper in accordance with the rest of the SU.
3. SU Shop
We recognise that our new SU shop has the potential to cause significant environmental damage in a variety of ways. Some of these are unavoidable such as the energy required to keep fridges going, the CO2 released by delivery vans and the sale of plastic bottled drinks. However, we try and take action to limit the damage where possible. We recycle all cardboard waste from deliveries, we send food waste to a local charity in Horsforth where we can so that this can be put to use and we have set up a collection point for plastic bottle tops. We, of course, sell plastic bottles in the shop and often bottle lids are not recycled so we have a collection point set up by our door.
Throughout all our activities we use a significant amount of paper, be this promoting events, printing out agendas, minutes, notes, documentation for university meetings and generally a whole variety
of day-to-day business. This is difficult to avoid in most instances. In order to mitigate the impact of this as best we can, we have taken two major steps; firstly we now exclusively use 100% recycled paper in our printers and secondly, we now have an (almost) paperless marketing strategy. Posters and Flyers are only used for key democratic events, such as elections. All other events use exclusively digital marketing.
5. Computers/Lights left on
Across our offices there are 8 desktop computers, these are mainly active during working hours, which is avoidable energy usage. However often they can be left on overnight, usually due to forgetfulness on behalf of staff. In order to reduce this occurrence, we intend to procure some “Green Impact” stickers to remind everyone to shut off their computer at the end of the day. The only lights currently left on out of hours are those of the fridges in the shop, however, it is possible to turn these off without altering the temperature inside, so we now switch these off out of trading hours.
6. Food/Kitchen Waste
We have a small kitchen area in the SU offices which is used by staff to prepare food and hot drinks. This obviously has an electrical cost (from the use of microwave and kettle) and produces waste from food/drink wrappers and containers. We have two clearly marked bins in the Kitchen; one for recycling and one for landfill. We ensure that all new staff are encouraged to check that anything they are throwing in landfill absolutely must go there and that they recycle everything where possible. We also intend to implement the use of a small food waste bin. Other food waste to be factored in would be any products handed out during large events such as elections and freshers. The food handed out is long life and pre-packaged so is more likely to be consumed before hitting its expiry date, however, there is no guarantee that these won’t go to waste.