For the third consecutive year, Warwick Students’ Union (SU) has been awarded GOLD for its environmental efforts in the Green Impact Awards (GIAs).
The accolade was awarded as a part of Green Impact Students’ Unions, an environmental accreditation programme set up by the National Union of Students (NUS). The programme measures SU’s sustainability throughout the year and once again recognised Warwick SU’s achievements by awarding them Gold.
With numerous SUs not previously being metered for the utilities that they used and with sabbatical teams changing annually, the NUS recognised that many were struggling to keep up any sustained environmental efforts. In 2006 the GIA’s were launched in a push to make all SU’s ‘greener’ nationwide.
In the 2009/10 academic year, Warwick SU was announced as one of only five SUs who were awarded Gold status out of the 83 Unions that entered. At this time the judges said that it was the “Green Space website and commitment to local food and biodiversity” that lead to Warwick SU achieving Gold status, improving on their Silver status of the previous year.
After receiving this most recent accreditation, the SU said that “we have once again demonstrated our firm commitment to being an environmentally-friendly organisation with a reduced carbon footprint.”
They added that: “regaining this title is one of our key objectives for the year here at the SU.”
While not disputing the efforts of the SU, some students have expressed ambivalent views concerning just how ‘green’ the university is as a whole. With regards to the SU Amber Capewell, a first-year MORSE student, said that “I think it encourages ‘green’ living in the halls.”
However such a positive opinion did not stretch to how ‘green’ the University was as a whole. Capewell was also of the opinion that the University “fails because of the extraordinary amount of lights it has to power around the Arts Centre and Bluebell in particular.” Adding that “it doesn’t need to be purple and green.”
Madeleine Sollett, a second-year philosophy student, shared a similar view saying “I know that they run campaigns and I often see people in the Piazza, or signs up about different events.” Although as regards the campus as a whole she said “what I do notice is the lack of ‘green’ transport – I know it’s not really the University’s responsibility, but the Unibus runs very frequently and a lot of the time it’s nearly empty.”