A partnership between SUSU and the University of Southampton has resulted in a £175,000 grant from an NUS-run initiative to promote ethical and environmental practice in local business.
The Business Ethics and Environment Students programme (BEES for short) will have students helping Southampton businesses to audit their sustainability practices, and assist them in planning changes to their practices in the future. The project seeks to address such issues as living wage, investment, supply chain management, transport, resource consumption and carbon emissions. The team behind the project are hoping that by focusing on a wider range of issues they avoid the limited appeal associated with typically ‘green’ projects.
VP Welfare Beckie Thomas said:
“I’m really excited to help students work with local organisations in this way; it could be transforming for the city and its people. BEES is a great opportunity for student-led action, putting students at the forefront, where they will tackle sustainability issues both now and in the future.”
Despite not being a member of the NUS after voting against it in last year’s infamous referendum, Southampton was eligible to enter the competition because the Student Green Fund is open to all Higher and Further Education Institutes in England. This quote from the NUS shows how many other Unions Southampton fought off to claim the prize:
“The level of demand for our pilot fund has far exceeded our initial hopes and expectations: 120 main applications were submitted from 105 unions. The total figure bid far exceeded £22 million compared to the total we had available of £5 million.”
The initiative seeks to build on the already strong foundations established by such ventures as the Southampton Blackout, which is being adopted by universities across the country. The project is set to begin in September.