Candidate for the position of Environment Officer



Environmental Officer Manifesto

Click here for an accessible manifesto

Hello! We are Izzy and Hannah, and we are jointly running for the position of Environmental Officer! I’m Izzy - a third year studying Chinese, and I’m Hannah - a third year studying Chinese and Development Studies.

We are both super passionate about environmentalism and SOAS! While SOAS is a progressive place in many respects, we feel a lot more can be done when it comes to environmental responsibility and raising awareness. We believe environmental issues should be tackled both at a larger institutional level, for example through supporting renewable energy, as well as at individual levels, such as through ethical consumption. We are both actively engaged in environmental groups in SOAS, including the Energy and Climate Justice Society, Solar SOAS, Fossil Free SOAS and the Vegetarian Society, and we both have experience as course representatives.

Our main vision of what the role of environmental officer entails includes:

1. Coordinating between the various environmental groups. There are lots of dedicated people at SOAS working on things with a similar vision of how the world should be. From gardening to campaigning, we’d like to streamline this work to ensure that people are aware of how we can all help and support each other. We would do this by keeping in regular contact with the various societies and sending out a periodic email keeping environmental group members in the loop, as well as by being (approachable!) points of contact ourselves. We’d also like to organize fun green socials so that like-minded people can meet up and get to know each other.

2. Actively supporting and facilitating the work of Solar SOAS and Fossil Free SOAS. Solar SOAS is an exciting initiative to start a student-led solar power cooperative with panels on the Russell Square campus roof, and Fossil Free SOAS is the campaign to divest £2 million of institutional endowment out of the fossil fuel industry and into sustainable investments. We think these are very important actions to push through and as such should be prioritized.

3. Working with the Green group to make simple environmental improvements and to raise SOAS’ green ranking in the UK People & Planet University Leagues (we are currently 49th)! We would like to mobilize the Green group to achieve some basic but important eco-friendly changes around the university (along with any of your green ideas too)! These include: Improving and promoting vegan/ vegetarian options in the shop and canteen; Reducing plastic in school where possible, or switching plastic products with biodegradable types (e.g. Vegware); Introducing a consistent bin system across campus that everybody actually follows; Running a discussion group that screens documentaries, and explores different environmental issues and what can be done about them etc.

4. Greenifying Senate House. We want to check out what’s in store for Senate House to make sure that things start out on the right (eco-friendly) foot!

5. Organizing a fun and accessible Green Week. We’d like to introduce environmental issues to a wider audience, and to teach people how these issues affect everybody. We’d also like to collaborate with other universities to learn about what others are doing and how we can support each other in our common aims.

Lastly, we’d also like to continue to build on work done by past environmental officers, such as the new water fountains to be introduced in July (which we are very excited about), the recycled paper being piloted in the libraries, supporting cyclists, and work related to the annual Green Impact Award. Green power to the people!


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