We believe that, as an organisation, we have a responsibility to ensure that we are acting in an environmentally friendly way and to encourage all our members to join us in our quest to grow greener. Working in conjunction with AUB and SOS-UK, we have taken part in green initiatives, developed environmental procedures, and ensured that sustainability is taken into consideration in all things AUBSU.

We’re currently mapping our efforts to the UN’s sustainable development goals. Below we've detailed what we've been up to this year, along with some aims for next year, but this is just the tip of the iceburg of our work over the past 5+ years! Read about everything we've accomplished here.

If you have any suggestions on how we can take this further, please contact us.


Goal 1: No Poverty & Goal 2: Zero Hunger

What we’ve been doing in 2020/21: 

•    We’ve been developing and supporting our RAG (Raising and Giving) Officer and Team to fundraise for and encourage donations to some amazing causes. This year, they've raised funds for Hope for Food. Find out more about RAG.

•    We currently hold a 3 Star Award for our Fairtrade and ethical purchasing commitments (that’s the highest award!). Though our commitment to Fairtrade and considerations for where we’re putting our money, we are fighting poverty through fair pay and by supporting organisations that support their workers. 


Aims for 2021/2022: 

We will continue to offer the role of RAG Officer as an Executive position and support the RAG Team in their fundraising by seeking new opportunities and partnerships. We will aim to maintain our 3 Star Fairtrade Award though regular audits from SOS-UK. We also have a 5-year Fairtrade SMART Plan.



Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing

What we’ve been doing in 2020/21: 

•    We have expanded our The Small Things Matter campaign to include externally hosted workshops specifically for AUB’s students of colour and our Positive Post project to help students feel less isolated during lockdown. 

•    In September 2020, we launched our consent campaign and collaborated with STARS Dorset on our Green Flags campaign. 

•    Plus, a shout out to our RAG Team, who are fundraising for Marie Curie through their Morocco Trek this year, and who also raised funds for STARS Dorset in Spring.  


Aims for 2021/2022: 

We want to develop more intersectional wellbeing resources to ensure all students are supported at AUB and feel included in our wellbeing campaigns. We want to continue to work with AUB to ensure that students are supported through Covid-19 and their physical health remains a priority. We want to embed our Give it a Go (our accessible sports programme) in AUBSU without the need for external funding.



Goal 4: Quality Education

What we’ve been doing in 2020/21: 

•    We have presented a sustainable curriculum proposal to the AUB Environmental Committee and worked with AUB to make significant actions in embedding sustainability in the curriculum. We are now working with them on Curriculum 21.  

•    We held a 2-day conference called ‘Ethos for Change’ with talks from artists, students and industry professionals on sustainability, diversity and equality in the Arts and HE sectors. We also held green creative events including ‘Fairtrade flower pressing’ and ‘natural dyeing and bundle’ workshops. Plus, we provide training and development opportunities to our students, such as the opportunity to audit AUB on its Fairtrade work. 

•    We produced Edition 3 of the Green Zine, with contributions from 17 students, it covers content and visuals for each UN sustainable development goal.


Aims for 2021/2022: 

To work closely with the implementation and continued evaluation of Curriculum 21 to ensure that sustainability and global issues are included in all courses. To continue producinge edition 4 of the Green Zine to continue to help inform and raise awareness of relevant green issues. To hold regular events and interventions that build upon course-content and provide students with additional learning opportunities. 


Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 10: Reducing Inequality and Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

What we’ve been doing in 2020/21: 

•    AUBSU has committed to ongoing anti-racism work and is having regular meetings to check our progress. We also have resources for students to help engage with anti-racism and improve their knowledge of race issues. We produced an Anti-Racism Report, after research into student experiences and racism within HE institutions and host anti-racism resources on our website. We are currently lobbying the university to commit to anti-racism actions in response to this report and have proposed next steps. 

•    This year we had Exec-led campaigns for Black History Month, Disabilities Celebration Month, LGBT+ History Month and Women’s History Month, as well as activities throughout the year run by our officers, such as the Taking Up Space Zine. 

•    We will be distributing sustainable menstrual products to all AUB students, including menstrual cups and reusable sanitary pads, ensuring that no student has to suffer from period poverty. 


Aims for 2021/2022: 

To continue working on actions to ensure that AUBSU is an anti-racist organisation and lobby the university to commit to being a diverse, accessible and equality-championing university. We want to develop our data tracking and ensure that all our opportunities are diverse and accessible. 


Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy and Goal 13: Climate Action

What we’ve been doing in 2020/21: 

•    We have engaged students with activities and tips on their carbon-footprint energy-saving, especially regarding working from home. We are also running green campaigns like Tech For Trees and Go Green Week to provide opportunities for climate action. 

•    We organised beach cleans to help prevent plastic-pollution and raise awareness of water-pollution by tips and advice, like our recipes for chemical-free cleaners.

•    We have a range of policies and commitments, including opting for meat-free refreshments at meetings and events (we opt for vegan most of the time!) and avoiding Amazon purchases. Plus, sustainability makes up one fifth of our Strategic Plan


Aims for 2021/2022: 

We have identified that the SU does not do much action on Goal 6 and we will be planning to work on this goal through a new initiative or campaign next year. We want to engage more with global climate action campaigns and will be looking for opportunities to get students engaged with climate action on a bigger scale. 


Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

What we’ve been doing in 2020/21: 

•    We provide creative development opportunities, including promoting external opportunities and offering voluntary leadership roles within the SU.

•    We support small, local, sustainable businesses as set out in our Ethical Purchasing Guide, including opting for gift-cards from local shops or ethical businesses and avoiding Amazon purchases. 

•    We organise the Pack For Good campaign in collaboration with BCP council, SUBU and the British Heart foundation, as a community project to reduce waste and support a charitable cause.


Aims for 2021/2022: 

We want to develop our creative opportunities further, expanding on our Creatives for Good project and creating a hub for students who want to get involved with their local community. 


Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

What we’ve been doing in 2020/21: 

•    In 2020, we were awarded 3 Stars for our Fairtrade work - that’s the highest award!

•    We provide sustainable steel water bottles at half price for students to make going plastic-free easy and affordable. 

•    AUBSU has an Ethical Purchasing Guide, our merch is Fairtrade or FairWear (including the hoodies and t-shirt we get for our staff and volunteers) and we encourage clubs and socs to buy ethically in their merch too.


Aims for 2021/2022: 

We want to maintain our 3 Star Award by keeping up good work! That means we will budget for more ethical and sustainable purchases, keep coming up with engaging initiatives to engage our community with Fairtrade and work to create better partnerships to support us in this. We also have a 5-year SMART Action plan to keep us on track with our Fairtrade commitments.



Goal 14: Life Below Water and Goal 15: Life On Land

What we’ve been doing in 2020/21: 

•    We hold regular Beach Cleans to fight plastic-pollution on our coasts. 

•    We have a meat-free policy for our meetings and often opt for vegan refreshments at our events. Our Green Team have been running regular vegan and flexitarian engagements, with a regular feature on @aubsu_green 

•    Since 2014, we’ve planted 1000 trees annually for the local community. During lockdown, we created the campaign Tech For Trees so we could keep planting! We aim to plant around 4500 trees this year with the help of AUB’s match-funding.

•    Our 3 Peaks RAG Team are fundraising for Born-Free this year, a wildlife conservation and welfare charity. 


Aims for 2021/2022: 

We want to get back out to planting trees in the local community and will arrange this (Covid-restrictions permitting), along with more beach cleans.


Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals

We know that we couldn’t achieve all this without support from other amazing organisations. We’d like to say a huge thank you to: SOS-UK, Surfers Against Sewage, Upton Country Park, Choose a Challenge, the Woodland Trust, the Fairtrade Foundation, and all the charities who have worked with our RAG Team. 


Aims for 2021/2022: 

We will keep forming partnerships and working with other organisations in our efforts to grow greener! 



Our research


Over January and February 2020, we carried out an extensive survey in order to better understand student attitudes and behaviours towards sustainability. We've been using the data collected in this survey to help inform our sustainability activities and campaigns. You can read the results of the survey here: