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Here at Students’ Union UCL we recognise that our work practices - and those of the people we choose to work with - have an impact on the environment, and therefore have the potential to influence the quality of human and wildlife both now and in the future.

Plastic waste, especially, can have devastating environmental impacts. David Attenborough’s recent wildlife documentary Blue Planet II showed how whole ecosystems in the ocean could be destroyed by plastic waste alone.

It’s 2018 and slowly, but surely the issue of the world drowning in plastic waste is taken seriously – just this month, Buckingham Palace announced their plans to reduce their plastic waste and change to biodegradable material. We are following suit.

What are we changing?

Together with our chosen supplier partners, Students’ Union UCL is taking steps to reduce our usage of plastics. Over the next couple of weeks, you’ll notice that our bars and cafés are:

  • offering biodegradable forks instead of plastic
  • introducing fully compostable material for lunch boxes, pots and wraps
  • no longer putting forks into our salads, but rather distributing them to customers if required at the till
  • ditching straws in our bars
  • promoting more widely the fact that you get money off your drink if you bring your own reusable cup along

What would you do differently? 

We appreciate that these are small steps, but for sure steps in the right direction. If you’re passionate about the environment and want to make a real impact on the way we as a Union, and UCL as a whole, work towards a more sustainable future, we have two student leadership two roles that would give you the chance to make that change a reality.

What else are we doing?

We’re supporting sustainability at Students’ Union UCL in many more ways. We work closely in with Green UCL, the UCL administration’s own sustainability team, offer a range of green volunteering opportunities and our currently operating Sabbatical Officer for Democracy, Operations and Community Officer, Hamza, is working hard towards achieving gold standard once again in the NUS Green Impact Awards

Green Volunteering

Our Volunteering Service has loads of ways you can get involved in sustainability-focused volunteering. They’re linked to dozens of community organisations working to protect, celebrate and improve the environment. There are on-going volunteering vacancies as well as lots of one-off events you can sign up for, and you can get funding and support for your own projects too.

You can find the current environment / conservation roles here

NUS Green Impact 

Green Impact Student Unions is an environmental accreditation and award programme developed by the National Union of Students. The programme aims to help student unions reduce their environmental impact and enhance peoples’ appreciation for the importance of sustainability. Students’ Unions who participate are rewarded with a bronze, silver or gold accreditation from an external auditor.

We have previously achieved the highest possible “gold” standard in the program and we’ll be working hard to continue to maintain and improve our sustainability performance.

Your current Sustainability Officer, Mae

If you want to work together with our Sustainability Officer, Mae, then get in touch with her here