The University of Southampton Students’ Union are creating their own sustainability auditing process which goes far beyond environmental issues, and incorporates issues like the living wage, equality in the workplace, and ethical supply chain work.
With student-led auditing leading to effective, bespoke intervention packages, the focus on ethics alongside environment will create a more holistic approach to embedding sustainability at the students’ union, across the institution and throughout local businesses.
The University of Southampton Students’ Union has a great history of green work, with the Blackout event recruiting over 250 volunteers to turn off electrical equipment for the weekend, and waste audits increasing recycling rates from 38% to beyond 70%.
Through Students’ Green Fund, BEES will allow greater expansion on this work – doubling the volunteering attached to Blackout, and training 150 students as part of the ethical and environmental auditing work.
Aside from enhancing the employability prospects and sustainability literacy of students in the short term, BEES will create an established model for delivering ethics and environmental audits to other unions, universities and cities nationally and internationally.