Leeds Trinity Students' Union is committed to continuously working on how sustainable we are.
LTSU are here to make sustainability accessible to all our students, and there’s many ways you can make an impact here on campus. Learn more about our current and past campaigns that officers are working on, the negative environmental impacts of the SU, and key documents.
This year, LTSU is commited to campaigning around the UN 17 Goals, to find out more take a look at our SMART plan.
There are a number of active sustainability policies that your Sustainability Officer, Vice President, and other Council members are working on. Find them here under 'Active Policies'
if you would like to find out more about students' experiences of teaching and learning on sustainable development then you can find the report here
Green Impact Excellence 2022/23
LTSU is part of Green Impact, which is a United Nations award-winning programme designed to support environmentally and socially sustainable practice in your organisation. This year, LTSU were awarded Very Good for the work delivered around sustainability. The auditors stated:
“The effort that Leeds Trinity SU have put into GISU this year has been incredible. Some impressive progress has been made despite only having a small team and having to do most of the workbook in just half of the year! It is clear that the SU is passionate about sustainability and how it intersects with other issues that students face. It was really nice to hear from Kelsey who is such a strong motivating force and who’s critical approach is pushing the SU forward.”
Negative Environmental Impacts of the SU
The following negative impacts are laregly based on the estimated C02 emissions of the SU in a ‘typical’ year and are ordered from most to least.
1. Commercial venues (ongoing calculation)
Our commercial venue The Student Bar is unavoidably our largest negative environmental impact due to the energy usage, how we have made movements towards reducing our impact in other areas but the introduction of crockery for food service instead of disposables as a standard, with our takeaway packaging being Kraft vegware and cardboard rather than a plastic based alternative. We have also moved away from disposable single use glasses and did so before this became legislation in October this year with the introduction of re-usable plastic branded glasses that not only improve our environmental impact but also our standard of service.
All products purchased for the bar for sale are in either glass or can instead of PET bottles and therefore recycled in the correct manner. We limit our ordering for suppliers to a maximum of once per week if not once per fortnight to minimise and reduce the travel used for deliveries.
We have worked this year to reduce our food wastage considerably and this has been reduced from 15% to 2% as a maximum and we strive towards reducing this further. Our Commercial Manager, Jo Barton participates in the sustainability Roadmap Group and has accreditation as an affiliate member of IEMA IEMA - About us as well as being a member of the Future Food Movement.
We are constantly striving towards reviewing and improving the sustainability of our commercial offering and if you have any ideas or suggestions then please contact Jo Barton as we value your feedback and opinions. email@example.com
2. Staff Commuting (8.2 tonnes of C02 per year)
A significant impact is staff commuting to and from campus. However, the majority of SU staff do not travel by car to work, and the amount of C02 produced is comparatively low to what it would be if all staff commuted by car.
3. Gas usage for heating (6.05 tonnes of C02 per year)
The C02 tracked here indicates gas usage in the SU Shop, StUdio, and the SU offices. It is based upon the average kWh emitted on campus relative to the size of SU spaces. In order to reduce the effect of this emission, we are in ongoing strategic conversations with relevant University staff as to how to make the building more environmentally friendly.
4. Electricity usage in buildings (3.41 tonnes of C02 per year)
Electricity usage has been tracked in a similar way to gas usage and is therefore an average based on square feet rather than a totally accurate track of our electricity emissions (it is therefore likely to be an overestimate). We take steps to reduce the electricity usage in SU spaces by ensuring that lights and computers are switched off when not in use. In order to reduce lights and computers being unintentionally left on overnight, Rachel has run an energy efficiency campaign and created stickers for SU spaces. StUdio also ensures that fridges and freezers are powered down to reduce consumption.
5. Clubs and Societies travel (0.57 tonnes of C02 per year)
A high potential for C02 emission is the attendance of training and events by clubs, societies, and officers. 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.
6. Water usage in buildings (0.09 tonnes of C02 per year)
We use a relatively small amount of water across SU spaces on campus. However, we still work to reduce water usage – signs are in place reminding staff and students to turn taps off and we also have a clear kettle in the staff kitchen so that it is not overfilled.
What can I do?
LTSU wants to empower you to make a difference. We have a responsibility to help make behaviour changes as easy and accessible as possible.
There are plenty of ways for you to engage, from campaigns and intiatives on campus, working with our Sustainability Officer, or buying from our sustainable range at the SU Shop.
We'd love to work with you to make Leeds Trinity more sustainable. Send us an email if you'd like to be involved with sustainability initiatives - at the moment a project we're working on is growing food in the planters outside the Student Bar!
If you woud like to find out more about being sustainable, follow the below links:
Student Switch Off - advice on saving money and energy for private renters
Save the Student - 13 ways to save money on energy bills
Confused.com advice on switching energy tariffs (to a greener one!)
What you can do at home to help combat climate change