Being green is very important to the Union. We are continuously looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly and encourage everyone to take positive action to make our world a more sustainable place.
In May 2017, we received a commitment from the University to commit to divesting from Fossil Fuels. The campaign continues, led by Friends of the Earth QUB / Young Friends of the Earth NI in their campaign for a Fossil Free Northern Ireland.
You can read the BBC News Coverage and the People & Planet Scorecard. It's a very active campaign and is always looking for new campaigners and activists. Follow QUBSU Climate Action Group on Facebook to find out more and read the Group's Queen's University Belfast 'Green New Deal'.
Being Green in Your Union
We give you load of opportunities to make changes, large and small, to reduce your carbon footprint. In your Union, you can:
- Recycle paper, glass, cardboard, printer toner, plastics and tin cans at our recycling stations around the Union Building
- Drop in your old batteries, spectacles, mobile phones, printer cartridges and clothes for reuse / recycling. The drop off point is at the main entrance to the Union Building.
- Leave in used stamps which we will donate to charity
- Park your bicycle, or grab ride using Belfast Bikes
- Contact SU Council to Bring forward any environmental idea to make the Union more green
We have also secured a commitment from the University that the new Student Union and Student Centre at One Elmwood will be designed, developed and operated in a sustainable way.
We have identified our Environmental Aspects and Impacts and have developed a SMART Action Plan to improve our sustainability.
Campaigning & Sustainability Societies and Social Enterprise
We have 20+ active Societies that campaign and work on environmental, ethical, sustainability and social justice issues. These include Belfast Hills Society (Ecology / Biodiversity), Friends of the Earth (Environmental Campaigning Society) and Student Action for Refugees (STAR).
Our Enactus Society runs a number of social enterprises that focus on upcycling and sustainable development:
- Kickstart: This project provides business workshops to teenage girls in the Shankill area, the project also runs its own social enterprise selling bookmarks.
- Frontier: This project runs a tutoring service for asylum seekers and refugees, and has a scholarship scheme which provides beneficiaries with the funds to sit the Life in the UK test which allows them to apply for citizenship
- Creative Chances: This project holds woodwork workshops for the homeless community, manufacturing tip boxes in order to allow the homeless beneficiaries to run their own social enterprise.
Visit our Clubs and Societies pages to find out how to get involved in these and the rest of our 200+ Clubs and Societies.
If you would like to dip in help out with some sustainability work in our local community, you can sign up to be one of our Handy Helpers.
Behind the Scenes
We also work with Estates and with the operations staff in the Union Building to make sure that all of our activities are as sustainable and as environmentally friendly as possible. In your Union, we:
- Limit paper usage at meetings and only send out digital copies of paperwork.
- Use 100% recycled paper for printing and photocopying and we love to print on both sides!
- Recycle paper, glass, cardboard, printer toner, plastics and tin cans
- Monitor our energy (heat, electricity, lighting and water) usage and encourage staff and student officers not the waste energy
- Keep travel costs down and try to use public transport where we can
- Use 100% Fairtrade tea / coffee at meetings
- Banned bottle-fed water coolers and give free tap water to you to drink in The SU Lounge.
- Do not use bleach for cleaning
When we moved out of our old Students’ Union Building in July 2018 took a sustainable approach to our move. We minimised the amount of material that is sent to landfill – seeking to recycle, upcycle, donate or sell anything that we could not use in our new home for the next three years.
Being Green with Queen’s
Your Elected Student Officers work closely with the University to lobby for a more green campus. They work closely with Estates and represent you on the University’s environmental committees. We promote student involvement in the University’s Green Impact programme, including giving you the opportunity to become environmental auditors. Keep an eye on our website for opportunities as they arise. And we also partnered together with the University this year to fund student environmental projects though our Green Challenge Project.
If you have any ideas, questions or suggestions about the sustainability work of your Union please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org