Many students within the University of Sussex are concerned about ethical and environmental issues; whether it be decolonisation, energy usage, biodiversity, or fair labour conditions in their supply chain.
Do you have an idea for planning, running and leading a project, initiative or campaign on environmental sustainability? Or maybe you would just like to be involved? The Students’ Union are always keen to hear from students so that we can support you to drive positive change.
Join with like-minded students on Facebook in the "green community on campus".
Each year the SU runs a Go Green Week dedicated to events centered around sustainability during the Spring Term. We have previously had cycle-powered karaoke, paperless bingo, eco-crafternoon, clothes swaps and more! Funding and support is available for you to put on events, fundraisers, get guest speakers in and more. Get in touch with [email protected] and [email protected] for more information.
Getting involved in Brighton
Here at Sussex, we are incredibly lucky to be located in the beautiful South Downs National Park as well as being in the City of Brighton & Hove, with the only Green Constituency in the country. This means there is a diverse range of local volunteering opportunities with lots of organisations. From biodiversity and ecology to climate activism and protest groups, as well as a wealth of cooking, art and creative opportunities. See here for a full list and ways to get involved:
Student-led campaigns & societies
Current student-led campaigns fighting for a more sustainable planet, and a more sustainable society for all:
- Sweatshop Free Sussex - campaigning to get the University to sign up to Electronics Watch & ensure responsible labour conditions in their electronics supply chain.
- Ecosia on Campus - campaigning nationwide to persuade Universities to use Ecosia as their default search engines & plant trees with every search. The group expanded their campaign after successfully lobbying Sussex University to switch to Ecosia.
- Decolonise Sussex - campaigning to decolonise the curriculum and fight for a University that recognises all knowledge as equally valid, and empower students to be leaders in driving change.
- Access Sussex - Campaigning to enable all students to access the University of Sussex campus by ensuring that students with disabilities (visible or invisible) do not face discrimination and raising awareness amongst all students and staff about disabilities and the issues and access requirements students face in their everyday life at Sussex.
- Food Waste Cafe - Student-led environmental and social enterprise with a simple idea: Using only surplus ingredients with the aim of tackling food waste.
Student Sustainability Committee:
The Students’ Union Sustainability Committee is a student-led committee that makes decisions on sustainability related matters. It is a space within which students elected into the 13 representative roles, along with any students who wish to attend the meetings, can gather to discuss the issues of sustainability being faced at Sussex.
They work on student campaigns, collaborate with Student Green Reps from each academic school and overall make decisions on how we can create real change. Those in representative roles are then able to vote on these choices and two Reps will be able to attend the University Sustainability Committee, alongside the Student Living and Sustainability Officer, where they will be able to get face time with University upper management.
This is for students passionate about tackling climate and ensuring Sussex plays an active and positive role in this.
The Rep roles on this committee are:
- Access and Participation Rep
- Biodiversity Rep (Position Filled)
- Campaigning and Action Rep
- Climate Justice Rep
- Energy and Decarbonisation Rep
- Ethical Rep
- Food Rep
- Information, Media and Publicity Rep
- Mobility and travel Rep
- Policy, research and strategy Rep (Position Filled)
- Sustainable Education Rep (Position Filled)
- Sustainable living and community Rep
- Waste and recycling Rep
Some environmental initiatives, projects and campaigns by the Students' Union
- We have passed a plastic-free policy and have acknowledged the climate emergency as a concern of students, due to referenda
- Our bars have banned plastic straws, recycle where possible, reclaimed furniture and have reduced plate food waste since the introduction of the 'build-your-own' menu
- We have implemented a 30p charge for single-use coffee cups, to encourage people to bring in a reusable mug. We stock ecoffee bamboo mugs in the Union Shop
- We have increased our range of plastic-free items in the Union Shop, such as shampoo bars, "Aquapax" water in cartons, bamboo toothbrushes and plastic-free tampons and sanitary towels
- None of our outlets sell Nestle products due to student referenda
- There is a great selection of sustainability and community action focused groups to get involved with, visit our clubs and societies page
- Our outlets have increased vegetarian and vegan options
- We have water fountains and coolers around Falmer House to reduce the use of plastic bottles
- All new staff at the Students' Union receive an environmental induction
- We have a no plastic bag policy at Freshers Fair and provide large recycling bins
- Our Events team consider their environmental impact when planning events and we encourage students to do the same
- Students groups and staff can hire out items such as whiteboards, cups and a projector to avoid using disposable items
- Sustainability Guide
- Ethical & Environmental Policy
- Sustainability plan 2018-19
- Carbon Footprint Report 2017-2018
- Fairtrade Policy - the University and Students' Union
- Volunteering opportunities
- Make an account on the Sussex SU marketplace or University Re-Use portal Warp-It
- Energy saving tips
Get in touch
If you would like to find out more about the Students' Union's ethical and environmental work, or if you have any suggestions or information that might be useful please contact our part-time Environmental Lead at [email protected], or the Student Living and Sustainability Officer at [email protected].