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What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is a key focus for us at the Students' Union, and we are constantly working to raise awareness and work with students to support and promote environmentally-friendly living.

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Important Infomation

What is Sustainability?

At your SU, we’re passionate about protecting the environment and reversing climate change. Sustainability helps to shape a lot of our work, such as our governance, campaigns, events and services, to name a few. 

We have numerous Sustainability targets and Commitments to ensure we are sustainable as an organisation:

  • Carbon Emissions
  • Waste and Recycling
  • Sustainable Procurement and Environmentally Friendly Sourcing
  • Travel and Transport
  • Reducing the Environmental Impact of our Events
  • Sustainability Through Education

Alongside the work in these key areas, the policy aims to help us achieve two main goals:

  • Goal 1: Swansea University Students’ Union will aim to be carbon neutral by 2035
  • Goal 2: Swansea University Students’ Union will aim to be a Sustainability and Climate Change Leader regionally, nationally, and internationally

To find out more you can take a look at our Sustainability Action Plan and our Sustainability Policy.

Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as  SDG’s guiding principles for our Sustainability work, including our Sustainability Policy and Action Plan.

The are 17 goals in total, more information can be found here: United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Green Impact

Green Impact is a UNESCO award-winning programme run by Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK) designed to support environmentally and socially sustainable practices within Student Unions.

We use Green Impact to help shape our work and ensure we can identify positive outcomes for Students, for the Organisation and most importantly for the Environment.

In the last two years we have achieved the highest award level of ‘Excellent’ and last in 21/22 we were the highest scoring Students’ Union in the Nations (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland)!

If you would like to learn more about SOS-UK and get involved with their projects you can Take Action Now!

For further information on what the Union does to support Green Impact or to get involved with some of our work please submit a ticket to our Helpdesk!

Campaigns & Events

Throughout the academic year, your Officer team run several campaigns & events to raise awareness of important issues and initiatives, including Sustainability and Environmental Issues. These are a great way in which we reach a wider audience and to ensure we work collaboratively to raise awareness on key environmental issues. Campaigns we currently run or have run recently in the past include:

Feel free to suggest more campaigns by reaching out to your Officer team!

Sustainability in our Services

At the Students’ Union, we recognise the importance of ensuring we are Sustainable in all of our operations, in particular our Commercial Services.

We’re committed to minimizing our impact on the environment through practices such as:

  • Energy Efficiency: Utilizing energy-saving technologies and processes to reduce our carbon footprint. For instance, we now use a fully electric van to move Union stock in our outlets such as shirts for Varsity, drinks in Cove etc
  • Sustainable Sourcing: Partnering with suppliers who share our commitment to responsible resource management. This includes using Sustainable and ethical cotton and clothing suppliers in Y Stiwdio and Fulton Outfitters
  • Waste Reduction: Implementing strategies to minimize waste generation and promote recycling and responsible disposal, including using Polycarbonate cups and offering discounts for people who use reusable cups on selected products in our outlets such as JC’s
  • Circular Economy Solutions: We explore opportunities to extend the life cycle of materials and products, promoting a more circular economy, for instance, we reuse old pallets from deliveries in our outlets for our Polytunnel to make benches, compost bins and raised beds, and reuse Tetra Pak containers as pots for planting

We’re always open to suggestions for improving our services! You can make sure your opinions are heard including Motions, Forums, Surveys, and speaking to your elected Officers.

 For further information, you may want to take a lot at the Providing Feedback folder on our Helpdesk or Submit a Ticket.  

Sustainability in our Events

We incorporate Sustainability into the planning and delivery process of all of our events and activities. Whether that be waste and recycling, sustainable sourcing and procurement or promotions and marketing, we ensure that all of our events leave as little an environmental footprint as possible.

These stages include:

  • Pre-Event:
    • Digital Invitations & Marketing: Ditch the paper flyers and save trees by utilizing digital invitations and online promotion. Such as our Union guides in Freshers Fayre
    • Local Sourcing: Prioritize locally-sourced food and beverages to minimize transportation emissions and support your community
    • Reusable Materials: Opt for reusable name tags, lanyards, and signage whenever possible.
  • Event Day:
    • Energy Efficiency: Choose venues with energy-saving practices, utilize natural light, and encourage responsible energy use during the event
    • Water Conservation: Offer refillable water stations instead of individual plastic bottles
    • Waste Reduction: Implement recycling and composting programs at the event, and use biodegradable plates and utensils when feasible
    • Eco-Friendly Transportation: Encourage carpooling and public transportation use, or offer bicycle parking for attendees. We have a fully electric Union van which we use for moving goods for our day-to-day events
  • Post-Event:
    • Digital Content Sharing: Share event materials and presentations electronically instead of printing physical handouts, whenever possible
    • Donate Leftovers: Partner with local food banks or shelters to donate any leftover food from the event
    • Carbon Offsetting: Consider partnering with organizations offering carbon offset programs to mitigate the event's environmental impact

Sustainability Committee

The Union has an internal active Committee for Sustainability and the Environment. The Sustainability Committee work towards ensuring we meet and surpass our Sustainability targets and is comprised of  key staff across all departments associated with Sustainability such as Bars & Events, Finance, Communications & Marketing, Engagement and your Full-time Officers.

You can find the terms of references, minutes and agenda from our meetings here:

Feel free to suggest agenda points by submitting a ticket to our Helpdesk!

Accreditations, Awards and Achievements




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