Air Travel Ban
Passed: Wednesday 5th May 2020
Valid until Wednesday 5th May 2023
The Union believes:
– We are conscientious about our environmental impact. Travel undertaken by Union members must therefore take into account the effects on the environment.
– Aviation currently accounts for 13% of the UK’s contribution to climate change and is the fastest growing source of UK carbon emissions – it is predicted for 1/3 of the UK’s carbon budget by 2050. The emission caused by domestic air travel are much larger than alternative means of transport such as bus or train.
The Union Resolves:
– To ban business air travel for staff and officers within Great Britain if it is less than 400 miles each way.
– Allowances to be made for air travel on an individual basis based on access needs.
– For the Chief Executive to be the arbiter of that system (aside from decisions about themselves).
– For any domestic air travel to be reported back to the Students’ Union Executive Committee for monitoring purposes.
We take care in making sure that UCA Students’ Union is functioning as environmentally friendly as possible. In this section you will find all the active policies regarding sustainability.
These policies guide us in our purchasing of items such as sports kit where we work with providers such as:
- Rhino Teamwear who are WRAP certified and garments are all make in the UK.
- Gildan which have a Genuine Responsibility program for its workers, which includes environmental stewardship and community engagement initiatives.
Climate Emergency Declaration
At the AGM on 28th January 2020, the motion for the Union to declare a Climate Emergency passed overwhelmingly. The motion states:
Proposer: Melinda Winter Seconder: Nicola Laws
- That the Student Union Declares a Climate Emergency so to reduce carbon emissions.
Background and reasoning
- Universities pride themselves on preparing students for a bright future. But with the climate in crisis, where disasters of “unprecedented” scale and impact become the new normal, what future will our students have? As we face environmental degradation and biodiversity losses of unimaginable proportions, universities and other educational institutions’ priorities should be adequately preparing their students and staff for increasingly challenging times. Climate change and ecological destruction affect all parts of life including what we need or value the most, such as water, food, ecosystems, wildlife, safety, shelter, energy, transportation, health, communities and the economy. The basic human needs of many, in particular those who are the most vulnerable, are already in jeopardy. Dealing with climate-induced conflicts, mass migration, health impacts, economic costs and environmental degradation represent challenges of extraordinary proportions. There is simply no greater challenge than addressing the ecological and climate emergency and universities owe it to their students to be at the forefront of these issues. Cited from Climate Emergency. Uk Blog post September the 27th 2019.https://www.climateemergency.uk/blog/why-universities-need-to-declare-anecological-and-climate-emergency/
- Now that sustainability is being a key focus for many students and the University, we should be ambitious within our community and expect our creativity to influence this new era The UCA student union should be supporting staff and students so to redesign the way we capture resources such as solar and wind. We are at a point within the Anthropocene epoch where the creative industries need to be seen at the forefront so to deliver the change needed. The student union should be delivering this message loud and clear and setting targets that become standardised so the University as a whole follows suit and declares a climate emergency.
- Waste free fill up zones for students to fill up on detergents and other products while on campus which will reduce plastic consumption, for example, there are mobile companies that offer waste free fill ups.
- Offer a safe and secure place to charge and store EV bikes, scooters etc.
- That in a response to this emergency the Union sets a target to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and sets targets to meet this commitment ensuing robust, transparent monitoring is in place.
- The union lobbies the University on climate change and seeks to be influential by piloting initiatives. For example, Competitions made available to staff and students to reconfigure or design attractive, efficient and even discrete energy converters.
- That reviewing the plan of the unions future events, so to improve the energy efficiency and carbon neutrality.
- Subscribe to the local councils citizens assembly where the Councillor Working Group and Climate Change Board are including other public bodies and organisations to jointly reduce carbon emissions with a joint action plan.
- A planting program introduced so to established a carbon sequester data analysis.
Non-Investment with Non-Sustainable and Other Questionable Companies and Organisations
Valid from: 5th May 2020
Reviewal date: 5th May 2023
The Union notes:
- That the freedom of expression and speech is a basic human right protected by Law.
- That open debate is central to academic freedom and is protected by an Act of Parliament relating to freedom of speech and academic freedom on campus.
- That this policy is also in conjunction with the Freedom of Information Act.
- That currently there is no list concerning companies or organisations the Union or institution invest in however, when a list is created this policy will be updated and the list will be non-exhaustive.
The Union believes:
- That students have a right to be able to access the University and Union’s investment portfolio, when one is created.
- That students have a right to comment and question the University and Union’s investment decisions.
This Union resolves:
- That there will be no investment of money into companies or organisations that are related to, both directly and indirectly; Fossil Fuels, non-Sustainable organisations, arms dealerships, terrorism, and modern slavery
- That when the University or Union decide to invest money into a company or organisation, a committee should be held that hold representatives from both the institution and Union to discuss initial investment groups.
- That parties involved do not need to discuss amounts being invested but use the committee to discuss the choice of investment, the benefits, reflection on the student body, the organisation and their ties to other organisations. The University and Union note the sensitivity of the information that is shared in mutual respect between both parties.
- That when looking for potential investment partners the following should be considered first; sustainable clean technologies, green energy, creative based initiatives, student positive organisations etc.