Getting Oxford Uni to tackle the environmental crises

Who's making it happen

Description

Oxford SU are the leading group for student led action on sustainability. Through the range of decision-making committees and groups we sit on alongside our strong partnership with student leaders and representatives we work to ensure the colleagiate University takes bold action on sustainability. We haven't got time to wait for anything else.

At the University level

Our current focus is on the adoption and the implementation of the University's new Environmental Sustainability Strategy which commits the central University to carbon net zero and biodiversity net gain by 2030.

  • In 2020 we delivered a major campaign with student campaigners to secure divestment from fossil fuels by the University of Oxford.
  • For several years we've been working with the Unviersity espeicaly the Sustainability team to develop the University's new Environmental Sustainabilty strategy which commits the central University to carbon net zero and biodiversity net gain by 2030. We sit on the strategy working group and have regular catch ups a range of stakeholders to ensure the strategy is as strong as possible.
  • In 2020 we helped ensure over 1200 responses to the Sustainability strategy consultation, a 35% increase on the 2019 consultation, with our 6 concerns campaign. 
  • We sit on the Building and Estates Subcommittee and the Planning and Resource allocation committee which make the major estates and sustainability decisions. We ensure student voices are amplified in these spaces by highlighting key concerns.

Update: The University has now finalised and approved is Sustainability Strategy.

Read our response and reaction here. 

Read the final strategy and full information here.

See the latest from the University on sustainability here

At the college level

Our current focus at the college level is to lobby colleges to develop sustainability strategies which align with or are more ambitious than the University's new strategy.

  • Our VP Charities and Community sits on the Conference of colleges sustainability working group which creates best practice guides and shares concerns on sustainability work taking place in colleges across the Univeristy.
  • Our VP Charities and Community sits on Domestic Bursars Committee and Estates Bursars Committee where the college leaders responsible for the college estates and sustainability meet and regularly share ideas and concerns. Recent topics of discussion have included over Oxford's Zero Emission Zone.
  • We support environment and ethics reps in colleges through regular meetings (RepComms) and other support to deliver sustainability changes in their colleges from expanding recycling, to divestment and eco-friendly building (Passivhaus).
  • We work with Oxford Climate Society, Oxford Nature Concervation Society and other groups to support students who want to make sustainability changes.

Update: 21/5/21 The Conference of Colleges have published a report, supported by Oxford SU, on current sustainability actions in place in colleges. Next up we're getting colleges to do baseline audits and set targets. Read the full report and our reaction here

If you'd like to get involved in any of this work get in touch with our VP Charities and Community who leads our sustainability work

Updates

22/3/21
The University has now approved its Sustainability Strategy committing it to net carbon zero and net biodiversity gain by 2035, in a significant win for students. See the link above for more information.

7/5/21
The strategy was formally launched on 7th May and we had a pre-launch event on 6th May for all students to hear about the strategy (the event was attended by 33 students). I will be attending the first meeting of the new Environmental Sustainability Subcommittee on 24th May - Please get in touch if you've got something you'd like me to raise!

21/05/21
The Conference of Colleges have published a report on current sustainability actions in colleges, supported by Oxford SU and powered by campaigns by hundreds of students across their colleges! See the info at: https://www.oxfordsu.org/representation/sabbatical-officers/blog/6545/Oxford-SU-welcomes-college-sustainability-efforts-revealed-in-new-Conference-of-Colleges-report/