Sustainability

Last updated: 27/03/18

Welcome to the overview of SOAS Students' Union's sustainability work!

Contents:

Introduction

Societies

On-going campaigns

Awards & Accreditations

Energy @ SOAS

Campus Buildings

Catering

Waste Management

 

Introduction

Most of the work done by the Union on all things sustainability-related fall under the umbrella of the SOAS Environmental Movement - follow the facebook page to stay up to date with what's going on! The group includes members of the various environmental societies. You can get in touch by emailing: soasenvironmentalmovement@gmail.com 

You can also get in touch with the Students' Union environment officer on environment@soas.ac.uk - this is a part-time volunteer role, and the officer sits on the Students' Union executive committee, making sure to represent environmental concerns during the weekly executive committee meetings to determine Union policy & direction. Beyond this, the Union is also trying to integrate environmental concerns into the way it functions in various ways. At present the Union is completing an application to the NUS Green Impact Award, and is following various suggestions to help embed sustainability into the way the Union functions. 

At SOAS there is a separate Sustainability Team which is hired by the University, and carries out sustainability-related work at SOAS, London School of Tropical Hygiene & Birkbeck. They work under the brand name 'Bloomsbury Greenthing'. The Union sometimes collaborates with them, for example to support work done to achieve the EcoCampus ISO 14001 accreditation for SOAS Main Building, as well as providing information to write up a pamphlet detailing sustainability-related content about SOAS. However most of the sustainability work the Union does is carried out by students & Union staff.

Carbon savings within the University buildings themselves e.g. energy efficiency & electricity management is mainly co-ordinated by SOAS Estates, and particularly by the Bloomsbury Energy Manager Stephen McKinnell. Estates have published a Carbon Management plan 2010-2020, with ambitious reduction targets that they are on track to meet. 

The Union has an 'environmental steering committee', which is made up of the SU General Manager, the SU Governance & Communications coordinator, the SU Environment Officer, three sabbatical officers, and representatives from several SU environmental societies. The group meets roughly once a month to discuss ongoing environmental campaigns, projects & initiatives within the Union and the school more widely. Please get in touch with hs61@soas.ac.uk if you'd like to get involved. Meeting minutes: 31/01/18   22/03/18

 

Societies

There are lots of environmental societies here at SOAS - some societies include environment-related work, but here are a few of the explicitly environment-focused societies:

Beekeepers

Bike Fixing Society

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND Society)

Common Ground Garden

Cycling Society

Environmental Justice Society

Food co-op

Fossil Free SOAS

Solar SOAS

Vegetarian & Vegan Society

 

On-going campaigns

Cycling support - public bike repair stand is coming in Jan 2018, and the Union hosts second-hand bike sales every 3 months on-campus, as well as Dr.Bike bike repair sessions & bike maintenance training sessions. 

Coffee cups - the Union is working on a campaign to eradicate disposable coffee cups on-campus (the shop currently goes through 5,000+ per week)

Water bottle reduction - the Union is working on a campaign to reduce them on-campus

Bin trial - the Union, Estates & the Sustainability have teamed up to trial bin units that include recycling, general waste & food waste. Got an opinion on them? Please fill out our bin survey to give feedback.

Sustainability podcast - SOAS Environmental Movement has taken to SOAS Radio to share environmental-related news through the medium of podcast!

Enviromenstrual - the Union currently gives out free pads & tampons, but these are disposable. SOAS S.U. is looking into providing reusable alternatives. There is currently a pilot project selling Mooncups (reusable menstrual cups) at a subsidized cost (ask in room G6 for more info), and is looking into other reusable menstrual products to offer to students. 

Meat-free Mondays 

 

Past successful campaigns

Water Fountains - water fountains & drinking water points installed on every floor in 2015, partly thanks to work done by the S.U. environment officers at the time - previously there was only one water fountain on the lower ground floor

Divestment of SOAS' endowment - 1st University in England (and 2nd in the UK) to commit to divesting endowment out of fossil fuels (2015), and the 1st University to announce it has successfully done so (2017) - thanks to campaigning by the Fossil Free SOAS society 

Solar SOAS - the first University Community Energy Project in the UK, with 114 panels installed on the SOAS Old Building roofs in 2016

Bee garden 

 

Awards & Accreditations

People & Planet Green University League 59th place, 2017 - Slipped from 25th in 2016/17, and 49th in 2015/16) 

NUS Green Impact Award Excellent Outstanding, 2015/16 - (didn't apply for it in 2016/17, currently working on an application, get in touch with hs61@soas.ac.uk if you'd like to learn more)

EcoCampus ISO-14001, 2016 - EcoCampus Platinum Award

Brite Green Award, 2015 - For achieving ‘outstanding carbon reductions’, placing third out of 131 higher education institutions in a report conducted by sustainability consultants Brite Green

 

Energy @ SOAS

More info coming soon

CHP System

Solar Panels

Carbon Management Plan

 

Campus Buildings

More info coming soon

Philips Building

Main Building

Senate House

 

Catering

More info coming soon

Research

 

Waste Management

More info coming soon

 

If you are interested in getting involved with any of the above, please contact: soasenvironmentalmovement@soas.ac.uk or environment@soas.ac.uk

If you'd like to amend any of the information on this page, please email hs61@soas.ac.uk

This webpage was last updated on: 27 Mar 2018 15:32