What is the Union doing?
Statement of Commitment to Sustainability at University of Nottingham Students’ Union
UoNSU is lucky enough to be sited on what must be one of the most beautiful and green HE campuses in the UK. We enjoy the sights and sounds of nature from our offices as we peer over lakes and fields, observe the arrival and dispersal of the cherry blossom, and personify the ‘beasts of UoN’ as we photograph and characterise geese and squirrels – among other wildlife. Being so close to a major city, and providing daily respite from the traffic, noise and pollution of a city setting, assures we recognise not only our fortune in enjoying the privilege of our particular setting, but our responsibility to protect that privilege now, and into the future.
The University of Nottingham is a proactive HE institution that takes its responsibilities seriously, with an obvious, campus-wide commitment to sustainability. Whether it’s in the provision of recycling facilities for staff and students, or the recent commitment to divestment from fossil fuel industries, the proactive engagement of student representatives with these matters makes it clear to me that the University commitment is genuine.
UoNSU has adopted standards of good practise for the purposes of sustainability, demonstrable by our management of waste and our involvement in University policy and practice development.
I’m content that UoNSU operates to a good standard, yet with recent national and international protests demonstrating that young people are feeling let down with the level and pace of sustainability-focused change, local surveying of our members backing this feeling up, and indeed local leadership by Katie Clubb, one of our elected full time student Officers, it is also very clear to me that there is a further role for the SU to play in developing, challenging and sustaining strategies for the next phase of student-led intervention on this matter.
As the new Chief Executive of UoNSU, I’m committed to supporting Katie and others to re-think our focus on sustainability to position UoNSU not just as an example of good practise, but as a leader on sustainability for the benefit of our current and future members.