At BU, we believe that everyone has the ability to transform our world. It is core to our sustainability work at BU that we engage with, include and support all our staff and students so we can take action together as a community, in both our professional and personal lives, to help tackle the climate and ecological crisis creatively and collaboratively.
There are a number of opportunities for you to get involved with BU’s sustainability vision while you study or work here. If you're interested in any of these opportunities, you can email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org and find out the latest news by looking at our Sustainability Team's Facebook Twitter, or Instagram pages.
For our students
Do you have a fantastic sustainable idea that could be incorporated into everyday life on campus? Then the Sustainability Challenge is for you!
During the Sustainability Challenge, hosted by BU, SUBU and ResLife, you will:
- Inspire and help Bournemouth University become more sustainable
- Work across disciplines with students from other faculties or departments, and create an interdisciplinary and innovative idea
- Have an opportunity to win £500
- Gain experience that will give you new skills, new contacts and impress future employers
- Receive points towards your Global Talent Award!
Watch out for updates on when you can sign up for the Sustainability Challenge in first term before the Challenge runs in second term, culminating at a final event during Green Week.
See more on the SUBU website.
Create and lead campaigns
Students at BU have on numerous occasions raised issues to the University and created change.
One particularly great success story is the student campaigning that led to BU divesting entirely from fossil fuels. Action by a group of BU students as part of a national People & Planet campaign resulted in the University reviewing our Ethical Investment Policy and choosing to fully divest from all fossil fuels.
During another national campaign, students shared and supported a national petition against Barclays support of the fracking company Third Energy. The campaign gathered wide support within BU and nationwide and led to Barclays withdrawing their financing of the fracking company.
If you're wanting to campaign, follow these tips:
- Do your research first: don't spend your time campaigning for something we already do! Find out exactly what the current situation is before you look to change it. If you have any questions, the Sustainability Team, SUBU and all other staff members will be happy to help you find out.
- Join the national movement: People & Planet and NUS are two examples of the organisations that exist to create campaigns for you to join in on, and that provide the resources for you to improve your skills and contacts within and beyond BU.
- Be represented at SUBU: if you're looking at a campaign, see if SUBU know of other students interested, and collaborate with them to make your action more fun and more impactful!
- Look after your wellbeing: campaigning for change requires a lot of passion and energy. You may face setbacks so make sure to prioritise your wellbeing, celebrate the small wins and remember you're not alone!
Improve BU through your coursework
Do you have a great idea for how you can improve BU through your assignment? Do you want to use the university as a test-bed for research? Whether you want to design a piece of equipment, analyse our data to test a new idea, support the management of an event or even create a new catering menu, Living Labs is an opportunity for you to apply your assignment to improving our university.
Previous Living Labs projects have included a Masters assignment assessing the feasibility of us adopting an electric bus fleet, which was used by the BCP Council. Another student-designed and delivered a vegan range of products for our caterers which has been rolled out across the country. What is your idea?
Talk to your course leader or the Sustainability Team to get started.
Join societies and clubs
Student-led societies are a great way to explore your interests, develop your skills and find a fantastic new community to become part of. There are many sustainability-focused societies within SUBU, addressing all areas of the UN Global Goals.
Are you feeling green-fingered? Consider Campus Collective - the society has its own allotment to grow, which it meets to tend to each week. Are you wanting some tasty recipes? The Reducetarian Society always has some on hand! If neither is your cup of tea, know that every club and society plays its part in being sustainable. If you feel yours isn't doing enough, start the action!
Spot the Drop
The Spot the Drop campaign aims to minimise our water wastage by spotting and stopping leaking toilets, urinals and taps across our two campuses. If you find a leak around our sites, email us about what is leaking and where it is in as much detail as possible and the Sustainability Team will arrange for it to be fixed. You may even win a stainless steel water bottle in return!
Volunteer with us and support BU projects
Though the Sustainability Team has no formal volunteer roles, we are open to any keen students collaborating with our action, or even leading a new project! Currently, we're working to become a Hedgehog Friendly Campus – if you want to support our spiky friends, get in touch and gain experience with us developing this campaign and our communications.
This isn't the only project to get involved with however, and if you have a particular passion and want to develop your skills, network and gain some CV experience, then get in touch with us and we can create a role for you.
We also have space for student representatives on a range of our groups, including the Fairtrade Steering Group, Hedgehog Action Group, Catering User Group and more! If you want to share the student voice and understand the decisions of the university, contact us to apply.
Your first welcome
Any new students living in halls can also get involved with the wide range of sustainable events and activities delivered by ResLife, including halls-led community gardens, bike rides to local nature reserves and eco-crafting. Check out the ResLifeBU page to find out more.
All new students at BU complete an online induction workbook which includes a section on sustainability and policies at BU and are given a Little Green Guide. Our Sustainability Team and societies also attend Freshers Fair and love to hear from new students on their sustainability ideas.
For our staff
Join Green Rewards
Green Rewards is the best way to get involved at BU. With over half of our staff signed up, Green Rewards is a platform to support and reward your physical health, mental wellbeing and environmental behaviours as part of the BU community.
Last year, the positive actions of our staff members through Green Rewards collectively saved 400 tonnes of CO2 emissions as they completed 10,000 hours of exercise, avoided 515kg of disposable coffee cups and even travelled 130,000 sustainably miles – wow! In addition to this amazing impact, by joining in, our staff can win monthly prizes from Fairtrade hampers to book vouchers, and take part in team activities to top our department leaderboard and win £1,000 to donate to a charity of their choice at our annual celebration event.
It’s no surprise that Green Rewards was shortlisted for an Edie Sustainability Leaders Award. Join Green Rewards here or contact the Sustainability Team for more information.
Join the Education for Sustainable Development Community of Practice
The Community of Practice is a network of over 60 staff from across the four Faculties and is welcome to all. It is a space for academics to share best practice on introducing and embedding ESD into their teaching. Our fifth Annual Excellence in Education for Sustainable Development Award recognised and rewarded academic colleagues for this best practice.
In addition, you can contact your Sustainability Academic Network department representative, or the Sustainability Team to discuss student assignment opportunities on our campus, to find out who your representative is or to join the ESD Community of Practice.
Spot the Drop
The Spot the Drop campaign aims to minimise our water wastage by spotting and stopping leaking toilets, urinals and taps across our two campuses. If you find a leak around our sites, email the Estates Helpdesk about what is leaking and where it is in as much detail as possible so they can arrange for it to be fixed.
Find us at your induction
All new staff at BU attend an induction event which the Sustainability Team attends to explain about the importance of sustainability both at BU and in the wider community, what we do at BU to improve our environmental performance and, most importantly, how you can get involved! More information can be found on the staff induction checklist but come say hi and share your ideas.
Be a Sustainability Champion!
We can all take action for sustainability, but sometimes we need a little support. If you have knowledge, passion or just want to see more happening, become a Sustainability Champion in your team, department or Faculty. If you want some support or resources, get in touch with our team at email@example.com.
Time for action
Can I make a difference?
We encourage our community to use the circle of control model to keep track of how your actions can make a difference. Focus on what you control – such as what you buy, what you eat, how you choose to travel and local groups you can be part of. Then focus on who and what you can influence - your circle of friends, family, petitions to sign – simply by raising your voice.
With sustainability, it can be easy to fall into the trap of the circle of concern – which includes the things we worry about, such as the climate and ecological crisis, but that are too big, and often overwhelming, for us to solve single-handedly.
When you think about how to act, remember that you have two tools: your choice and your voice. It’s also important to remember that we are all in this together and you are supported: you can contact the Sustainability Team at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about what we can do together, or if your concern is impacting your health and wellbeing, find information on support offered by BU.
Moving forward to net zero
We seek to listen to the views of all members of the BU community to ensure that our action in this global challenge is collaborative, catering for and supporting everyone. At the same time, we will continue to collaborate with both internal and external stakeholders, in particular with BCP and Dorset Councils who have declared Climate Emergencies. We will also seek opportunities to work in partnership with other groups, such as the EAUC, AUDE, Dorset LEP, Aldersgate Group and COP26 Universities group.
Within our Climate and Ecological Crisis Action Plan, we have the following recommendations to guide our engagement work:
- Implement a staff and student charter
- Implement an annual CECAP communication plan
- Reward staff and students for taking positive action for the environment
- Engage with suppliers on their net-zero aspirations
- Continue to use technology to support new ways of working remotely
- Introduce staff and student development programmes, such as carbon literacy and climate resilience
- Continue staff and student engagement programmes