This year, we took part in SOS-UK’s ‘Green Impact Award’. SOS-UK (Students Organising for Sustainability) are a subdivision of NUS, and the scheme is a green accreditation scheme that tracks a Student Union’s progress towards being more sustainable.
The Green Impact Students’ Unions awards are an opportunity to recognise the commitment students’ unions have made to build impactful sustainability projects and campaigns, and how the student movement is leading work towards a more just and sustainable future.
We're extremely proud to announce that we attained a score of ‘Excellent’ on the scheme, which is the highest accreditation that can be achieved.
This excellent achievement would not have been possible without a fantastic team effort, and with Molli Cleaver’s, 2019/20 RUSU President, dedicated sustainability work through her make your mark campaign. Commenting on the award, Rachel Osborne, 2020/21 RUSU President, says ‘I'm so proud to be working at RUSU knowing it's achieved the excellent award for Green Impact, I am looking forward to working hard to continue with all the initiatives that got us to this point.’
A thorough sustainability audit was completed by RUSU staff to be verified by NUS. Here are some of the highlights and achievements of RUSU’s Green Impact submission:
- New Sustainability Policy
A new, comprehensive sustainability policy was drafted and approved, helping to steer the organisation to being more environmentally friendly.
- Reducing waste and helping the community
Students donated ten crates worth of food and toiletries to Readifood, Reading’s Food Bank, before moving out of halls.
- Book swap
We added a book swap point in the RUSU relaxation room to prevent waste. Instead of throwing your old books out, consider swapping them!
- Supporting our sustainable societies
RUSU is home to a number of fantastic sustainability-oriented societies, including Zero Waste, Environmental Conservation, and Extinction Rebellion.
- Fossil Fuel Divestment
This year, the University announced a commitment to divest from fossil fuels. This momentous announcement was the culmination of many years of work from previous officer teams. Read more about the University's commitment to decarbonise its investment portfolio.
- Maya’s Refillables
We began a partnership with Maya’s Refillables, allowing students to purchase sustainable goods from their union.
- Supporting Our Students – We have successfully worked with the University to create a buddy network called Supporting Our Students that will allow students to be linked up with another student or staff member who can offer support. We have pushed for this to not only be available to students in Halls but all students at the University.
This is just a sample of all the sustainability work that has been taking place over the past year. We are committed to embedding a culture of environmental sustainability within RUSU and we will continue to support this mission throughout the students’ union in the upcoming academic year and beyond.
For a general overview on sustainability within RUSU, check out our sustainability page.
Find out more about the scheme at on the SOS website.