Representatives of LUSU attended a parliamentary reception on Wednesday, Week 3, to celebrate the successes of the National Union of Students’ (NUS) Students’ Green Fund. LUSU Involve Manager Joe Bourne, Head of Service Delivery Lisa Williams, and VP (Welfare and Community) Tom Fox all attended the event on behalf of LUSU, celebrating LUSU’s own successes aided by the Students’ Green Fund.
Students’ Green Fund has been set up to support environmentally friendly initiatives across higher education establishments, aiming to engage 50,000 students across the country and improve university standings in the green league. In the University Green League 2013, Lancaster University only found themselves in joint 85th from all institutions involved, and thus LUSU have followed intentions to improve the Union’s and University’s green credentials.
Using £5 million of funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), NUS has helped 25 students’ unions from across England to develop proposals for ambitious green projects, leading to improvements in pro-environmental behaviour across higher education. Representatives from each of the 25 projects over 26 students’ unions attended the reception, including the Lancaster representatives.
Fox spoke at the event about Lancaster’s attempts to ensure an environmentally friendly environment for its students. “It was another great opportunity to show off the fantastic work that Green Lancaster has been doing with the Edible Campus project this year. The joined-up approach between the Students’ Union and University Facilities has led to the beginning of a transformation in our green areas on campus, with over 200 student volunteers and 10 student staff focusing all their energy on growing a vast array of food.”
The Green Lancaster campaign has sought to ensure sustainable eating, reduced CO2 emissions through the promotion of cycling and have set up an eco-hub for students to share innovative green ideas. Fox went on to state Lancaster’s progression towards becoming a leading institution for changing green attitudes. “I think Lancaster is up there with some of the best in the country when it comes to creating a behaviour change amongst our community.”
NUS President Toni Pearce stated that the financial incentive will really benefit students as there is an existent fervour from students to support environmentally friendly causes. “We knew that the opportunity to be awarded £300,000 to drive green projects would be extremely popular because students and students’ unions have long been dedicated to doing what they can to adopt pro-environmental behaviours, and to be part of a wider movement towards global sustainability.”
Pearce also spoke of the successes she has personally seen across the projects that have directly aided by the Students’ Green Fund. “I’m so proud of everyone that has taken part in this programme. The 25 projects which we have supported over the last two years are truly transformative initiatives; projects which will put English higher education on the map for its world-leading sustainability credentials.”