Welcome to the homepage of sustainability work at SOAS Students' Union!


Students' Union

Get Involved!




Research / Aims


SOAS Students' Union

Within SOAS SU sustainability work is spearheaded by our full time Communications, Governance & Sustainability Coordinator, and our part time student Environment Officer. We are continuously looking at how to reduce our carbon footprint, educate and engage our members in climate issues, and work with our members, the School, and the wider community to make change.


Role Who? Work
Governance, Communication & Sustainability Coordinator Jack Di Francesco
  • NUS Green Impact lead
  • Support student sustainability ideas and campaigns
  • Liaise with the School and Bloomsbury Greenthing
  • Member of the SOAS Climate Action Group
  • Chair of the SOAS SU Sustainability Group
Environment Officer  
  • Support student sustainability ideas and campaigns
  • Run events and campaigns to engage the student body (inc. Green Week)
  • Member of the SOAS Climate Action Group


Get Involved!

There is lots of ongoing work happening at the Students' Union:

  • NUS Green Impact - The NUS Green Impact scheme is an annual workbook of sustainability criteria for SUs to try and complete. It helps us structure our sustainability work, and have a greater understanding of what best practice is across the sector.
  • Green Week - Every February we hold Green Week! Green Week is one week full of environmental and sustainability related events at the SU. We're always open to suggestion about what you'd like to see, or if you'd like to host an event!
  • Operational Sustainability Initiatives - We are continuously doing work to make the SU more sustainable. Current initiatives include coffee ground recycling in the SU shop, a 25p charge for takeaway coffee cups, selling subsidised keep cups in the SU shop, and increasing our selection of local brewery beers in the bar!
  • UGM Motions - Students are welcome to submit policy motions through our UGMs. If passed, these motions become union policy which we then carry out. We welcome motions related to the environment or sustainability! Please speak to Jack about your motion ideas to see how best to approach your idea!
  • Societies - We have a number of active union societies related to the environment (see below). Don't see one you're interested in? You can always start a new society! Additionally, all societies sign a sustainability pledge when registering - promising to help us in reducing our carbon footprint!
  • Work with the School / Climate Action Group - We work continuosly with the School to implement sustainability work across the student body. We also work on the Climate Action Group looking into high level projects relating to the environment (such as the inclusion of climate into the UG curriculum)
  • Campaigns - See below for active and past climate related campaigns run by the SU!



The following are societies realted to the environment which are active at SOAS SU for 2019/20:

Beekeepers | Common Ground Community Garden | Cycle Co-op | Extinction Rebellion SOAS | Food Co-op | Herb Society | Hiking Society | Solar SOAS | Water Aid



Currently active environmental campaigns:

Campaign Aims
Youth Climate Strikes We take action during every Youth Strike 4 Climate!

Provide affordable, sustainable menstrural products.

We currently sell Mooncups and reuable pads in the SU!

Solar SOAS

Install  solar panels on the roof of Main Building to supply clean electricity to SOAS.

114 solar panels have been installed, and the money saved on electricity from their use is input into the annual Green Community Fund!


Previous environmental campaigns:

Campaign Achievements
Coffee Cups and Grounds

To reduce takeaway coffee cup usage the SU shop now:

  • sells reusable Keepcups at a subsidised price
  • charges 25p per takeaway cup used
  • only allows student reps and officers to use their free hot drink vouchers with a reusable cup

All coffee grounds used in the shop are also collected and sent to be recycled into bioenergy!

Water Fountains Thanks to lobbying from the SU, water fountains were installed on every floor in the Main Building (previously only have 1 fountain in the whole building!)
Divest SOAS Thanks to lobbying from the SU and the Fossil Free SOAS Society, SOAS became the 2nd UK university to commit to divesting endowment out of fossil fuels in 2015, and the 1st university to successfully do so in 2017.
Cycle Support
  • We installed a bike repair station near the fron of Main Building
  • We host a used bike sale every 3 months
  • We host Dr.Bike repair and maintainance training sessions
Climate Crisis
  • SOAS SU declared a climate emergency in May 2019
  • Thanks to SU lobbying SOAS also declared a climate emergency in September 2019



NUS Green Impact

Year Award
2019/20 TBC
2018/19 Excellent
2017/18 Excellent
2016/17 N/A
2015/16 Excellent


People & Planet Green University League

Year Position
2019/20 TBC
2018/19 31st
2017/18 59th
2016/17 25th
2015/16 49th


Brite Green Award

2015: For achieving 'outstanding carbon reductions.


EcoCampus ISO-14001

2016: EcoCampus Platinum Award


Research / Aims

Year Research

Takeaway Cup Survey - February 2019

Menstrual Product Survey - April 2019


Hot Drinks Survey - January 2018


Environmental Impact Register | SMART Goals 

(to be published soon!)

This webpage was last updated on: 11 Jun 2020 15:05