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30th August 2014

Category > Ethical and Environmental

Nestlé Boycott

» 17 May 2011 » In Ethical and Environmental, External » No Comments

Nestlé Boycott – 17 May 2011, AGM (Ref: 1011P20)

Union Notes

  1. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 1.5 million infants die around the world every year because they are not breastfed. Where water is unsafe a bottle-fed child is up to 25 times more likely to die as a result of diarrhoea than a breastfed child.
  2. Nestle is a company which continues to flout the World Health Assembly marketing code on breast milk substitutes despite this death and suffering.
  3. 73 other student unions are part of the boycott.
  4. The boycott is active in many in many different organisations and unions across 20 countries and is working on many levels: Nestle continues to find it difficult to recruit British graduates into their company.
  5. That Nestle acts in a highly unethical manner in many other areas, including the price of labour for their chocolate and coffee production and in the harvesting of palm oil.

Union Believes

  1. That we should join the boycott of Nestle by not stocking their products in any union outlets.
  2. We do have consumer choice and you could choose to buy your Kit Kat elsewhere, but the positive thing about the boycott is that it sends a clear signal to Nestle © that as students we care about what they are doing. It is a statement that couldn’t be reproduced just by informing individual student’s shopping habits.
  3. That Nestle has behaved in an unethical manner with regards to formula milk and other issues, and that they should change their practices.

Union Resolves

  1. To make information available at union outlets advertising this and stating why it has been done.

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Purchasing of Recycled and Environmentally Sensitive Materials

» 14 June 2010 » In Ethical and Environmental, External » No Comments

Purchasing of Recycled and Environmentally Sensitive Materials – 12 December 2005: Ratified 14 June 2010, Union Council (Ref: 0506P11)

Union Notes

  1. The recent motion (24th October 2005) to recycle white paper within the Union
  2. The ability to reduce the negative environmental impact that the Union has by purchasing recycled or environmentally sensitive items
  3. That recycled or environmentally sensitive products are of a comparable price and quality to ‘virgin’ products

Union Believes

  1. That in recent years the Union has not done enough to minimise its negative effects on the environment
  2. That practices to ‘Close the Loop’ such as purchasing recycled paper, pencils and other stationary items, even at an individual level, have positive impacts on the environment

Union Resolves

  1. To purchase paper with at least 60% recycled content
  2. To use this recycled paper to, among other uses, print minutes and agendas for all Union meetings, after ensuring compatibility with printers/photocopiers
  3. To recycle this paper after use (unless needed for filing/ reference)
  4. To purchase for use within Union offices, and for sale within the Union shop, where economically and feasibly possible, recycled or environmentally sensitive options for all stationary and office equipment, such as rulers, pens, pencils, envelopes, folders, notebooks, post-its, marker pens and correction fluid
  5. This should include the purchasing of refillable/re-usable (rather than disposable) items where possible
  6. To look into the purchasing of environmentally sensitive cleaning products
  7. To encourage the reuse of resources in the Union, such as using ‘scrap’ paper for notes before disposal, and using internal mail envelopes rather than a new envelope each time
  8. To recycle all ink cartridges and toners where possible through facilities provided by RAG

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Purchasing of Fairly Traded Items

» 14 June 2010 » In Ethical and Environmental, External » No Comments

Purchasing of Fairly Traded Items – 12 December 2005: Ratified 14 June 2010, Union Council (Ref: 0506P10)

Union Notes

  1. The recent efforts of PURE to increase the awareness of fair trade issues within the university and union
  2. The successful stall at the Monday Market
  3. The increased availability of fairly traded items within the Union Shop
  4. The forthcoming application to the Fairtrade Foundation to become a Fairtrade University
  5. The small premium in price for some fairly traded items
  6. That not all Union-owned cafes and catering outlets offer fair-trade tea and coffee as standard, and that some staff are not aware of its availability

Union Believes

  1. That ethical matters are important, and should be supported wherever possible
  2. That the Union should pre-empt the status of Fairtrade University to promote and expand the good work that has been achieved

Union Resolves

  1. To ensure that fairly traded tea, coffee, fruit juice and hot chocolate are the default options in all Union-owned cafes and catering outlets, including both instant and fresh coffee where facilities exist
  2. To look into providing facilities, such as coffee machines, where facilities do not exist
  3. To encourage all non-Union-owned cafes and catering outlets to do the same, such as Boldrewood and Lattes
  4. To increase the awareness amongst staff and students of available fair-trade items        within all Union-owned cafes and catering outlets, and of the Fairtrade University Status, when achieved

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Water

» 14 June 2010 » In Ethical and Environmental, External » No Comments

Water – 19 June 2006: Ratified 14 June 2010, Union Council (Ref: 0506P29)

Union Notes

  1. Guidelines from Thames Water recommend that large offices with catering should use no more than 1,826gal per person each year if they are making efficient use of water
  2. That hose pipe bans have been in effect throughout the South East of England for a number of years and that this is likely to continue. These bans represent an effort to reduce water usage in an effort to prevent water shortages
  3. That for many students their term time accommodation is the first time that they have lived and managed a home and as such are largely unaware of issues such as energy saving and water usage
  4. That any reduction in water usage would represent a saving not only financially but also environmentally
  5. That the UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (hereafter DEFRA) recommendations on Water Usage policy state that organisations:
    1. report on their performance to demonstrate to all stakeholders that theirs is a well-run,     environmentally responsible organisation
    2. measure their water usage
    3. review water costs, use and discharges and detect possible leaks
    4. set targets to reduce their water and wastewater usage
    5. achieve savings and improve performance and competitiveness
    6. That DEFRA has shown that inappropriate use of water can cost an organisation as       much as 1-2% of its turnover and at sites where there have been no previous attempts to save water, savings of up to 20% are usually achievable at little or no cost

Union Believes

  1. That as a good corporate citizen it has a duty to reduce its water usage. That as part of an environmental impact assessment such reporting of water usage will increase stakeholder confidence that the Union is a well-run and environmentally responsible organisation
  2. That water consumption reduction represents not only a more sustainable but also a more cost effective solution to water shortages
  3. That increasing water usage efficiency at home will deliver real cost of living savings for students

Union Resolves

  1. To advertise the grant schemes (for homeowners) and free products (for those in rented accommodation and homeowners) available from local water companies to reduce water consumption at home
  2. To work with the Estates and Building Management Department of the university to monitor, report on and reduce its water usage
  3. To advertise methods that students can utilise both at home and at University to reduce personal water usage

 

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Universities Allied for Essential Medicines

» 17 May 2010 » In Ethical and Environmental, External » No Comments

Universities Allied for Essential Medicines – 17 May 2010, AGM (Ref: 0910P42)

Union Notes

  1. That the University’s 2010-2015 draft strategy states: “recognising our social responsibility…we will engage with government, business and the media to significantly increase the influence and impact of our activities on…global challenges facing society.”
  2. That one third of the world’s population lacks access to essential medicines and health-related           innovations, resulting in 10 million deaths per year from treatable diseases (Habiyabere, 1998)
  3. That a major reason for lack of access is the high price of health-related innovations, largely resulting from patent enforcement, which makes these less affordable in lower-income countries (CIPR, 2002)
  4. That the University of Southampton is engaged in cutting-edge research across many academic schools, which has a potential impact upon the social, biological and economic determinants of health in these countries
  5. That the University of Southampton is part of the Russell Group, an association of the 20 leading UK universities which collectively attract 2/3 of government research funding
  6. That the University’s Research & Innovation Services negotiate the terms by which its discoveries are licensed to commercial partners
  7. That a multidisciplinary group of students, named Universities Allied for Essential Medicines Southampton (UAEM Southampton) are in conversation with Research & Innovations Services and other University groups with a view to developing University licensing policy which addresses the problem of access to medicines

Union Believes

  1. That the University of Southampton is well placed to help close the gap in access to medicines between higher and lower income countries by addressing the high price of health-related innovations in its licensing procedures
  2. That, as a member of the Russell Group, the University has the potential to play a catalytic role in widespread adoption of such practice
  3. That this would significantly contribute to achieving the goals and vision of the new University strategy
  4. That an improvement in the University’s ethical profile would reflect well on its graduates and invite specific funding for research departments and studentships
  5. That a change in University policy would empower students to engage more with the University on ethical issues

Union Resolves

  1. To support UAEM Southampton, the student body working with the University to address this issue
  2. To mandate the Environment and Ethics Coordinator to work with the Vice President Welfare & Societies, to support UAEM
  3. For the Vice President Welfare & Societies to review this policy by April 2011 and decide if any amendments are needed

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Electronic Union Council Papers

» 02 November 2009 » In Ethical and Environmental, External » No Comments

Electronic Union Council Papers- 2 November 2009, Union Council (Ref: 0910P2)

Union Notes

  1. That every Union Council large numbers of papers go unclaimed and just get recycled
  2. That this costs the Union large amounts of money
  3. That this is also a large waste of paper and is damaging to the environment

Union Believes

  1. That it should minimise its negative impact on the environment
  2. That physical papers are not necessary to the smooth running of Union Council

Union Resolves

  1. That Union Council papers should be in electronic form as a first option and only in physical form by request
  2. If a member opts for the physical form of papers but does not collect them, the member will be considered to have opted back to an electronic form

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No Sweat

» 12 March 2007 » In Ethical and Environmental, External, Lapsed Policy, Lapsing Policy » No Comments

No Sweat – 12 March 2007: Amended 29 October 2007, Union Council (Ref: 0607P16)

Union Notes

  1. The environmental damage of the (non-organic) cotton industry and its negative impact on people1
  2. The reduced environmental impact of organic cotton and hemp due to no harmful pesticides being used
  3. That sweatshop labour and other exploitative labour is not a necessity and there are alternatives
  4. The price of fairly trade organic clothing is not much higher than that of traditional exploitative clothing
  5. That an increasing number of companies now stock organic cotton t-shirts including Caroline’s T-shirts
  6. The huge growth of ethical clothing in the last three years, from £23 million in 2004, to £29 million in 20052
  7. Ethical clothing is made of fairly-traded cotton or hemp and made in factories that adhere to the International Labour Organization3.

Union Believes

  1. ‘There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it causes misery and hunger’
  2. That cotton growing should not involve exploitation, and in this, fair-trade practices should be employed in cotton farming
  3. In the UK, workers have rights, for example to unionize, receive a living wage and not have wages held back on the basis of not doing forced overtime
  4. That similarly, workers in factories abroad should have similar rights, as recommended by the International Labour Organization (ILO), The United Nations Agency

Union Resolves

  1. To source all not for sale hoodies and t-shirts for Sabbatical officers, executive officers, campaigns and elections ethically; for example fair-trade, organic cotton or hemp and made in factories adhering to International Labour Organisation’s standards

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Ethical and Environmental Policy Statement

» 20 November 2006 » In Ethical and Environmental, External » No Comments

Ethical and Environmental Policy Statement- 20 November 2006: Ratified 14 June 2010, Union Council (Ref: 0607P5)

Union Notes

  1. The Environmental Policy statement has not been updated for 5 years.
  2. At this moment the Students’ Union does not have an Ethical policy statement.
  3. Recent constitutional changes made need to be taken into account in Union Policy

Union Believes

  1. The attached policy statement sends a clear message about what the Union understands of ethical and environmental concerns and its commitment to policies that satisfy them
  2. The presence of a detailed policy will be a useful guide when making certain decisions within the Union
  3. Any such amendments will expire as Union Policy at the same time as the original document

 

Southampton University Students’ Union recognises that its activities have ethical and environmental implications at local, regional and global levels.  The Students’ Union realises that it has a responsibility to minimise the negative environmental impact of its activities, and to promote higher ethical standards.

 

Theethical and environmental policy applies to all premises, activities and services within the control of the Students’ Union. The Students’ Union will comply fully with all ethical and environmental legislation and will act to encourage the use of sustainable resources and discourage wasteful or damaging practices.  In order to achieve this, the Students’ Union has the following key objectives.

 

  1. 1.   Waste Management

1.1. To minimise waste production as far as is practicable

1.2. To reduce the consumption of all materials

1.3. To re-use or recycle waste wherever appropriate

1.4. To regulate the treatment and disposal of residual waste

1.5. To discourage littering

  1. 2.   Emissions

2.1     To minimise avoidable pollution to air, land and water and to comply with all relevant legislation in this respect

2.2     To avoid the unnecessary use of hazardous substances and processes.  Consideration will be given to using products which minimise environmental damage such as biodegradable cleaning products

2.3     To prevent damage to both public and ecological health where damaging substances and processes are in essential use

  1. 3.   Energy and Water

3.1     To make efficient and environmentally responsible use of energy and water

3.2     To reduce the consumption of fossil fuels through improved energy efficiency

3.3     To endeavour when purchasing goods to ensure that they are the most efficient currently available

 

  1. 4.   Noise

4.1. To ensure noise pollution is kept to minimal levels recognising the location of the main sites of the Students’ Union in residential areas

 

  1. 5.   Transport

5.1     To encourage methods of transport by staff and students which minimise environmental impact

5.2     To encourage the use of public transport

5.3     To maintain and improve facilities for pedestrians and cyclists to include retaining bicycle storage at all Students’ Union sites

 

  1. 6.   Purchasing of Good and Services

6.1     To promote environmentally responsible procurement of goods and services

6.2     To encourage the use of recyclable and renewable sources of supply

6.3     To endeavour when purchasing goods to ensure that they are the most efficient currently available.

 

  1. 7.   Buildings

7.1   To promote ethically and environmentally sound materials in any new or continuing union maintenance and development.

 

  1. 8.   Environmental Education

8.1   To increase the awareness of environmental responsibilities amongst staff and students

8.2   To promote individual good practice

8.3   To work with other agencies locally, nationally and internationally to further environmental good practice

 

The Students’ Union will continuously seek to improve its understanding of its impact on the environment and fulfil its role in developing a sustainable future.

 

The main responsibility for the implementation of this policy lies with the Students’ Union executive (particularly the Environmental Officer) and Union Council.  Individual staff and students all have an important role in co-operating with those responsible for safeguarding the environment.  Individuals and all clubs and societies are expected to abide by the rules and requirements made under the authority of this policy whenever appropriate.

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Combating Climate Change and Increasing Awareness of Ethical Living

» 06 February 2006 » In Ethical and Environmental, External » No Comments

Combating Climate Change and Increasing Awareness of Ethical Living – 6 February 2006: Ratified 14 June 2010, Union Council (Ref: 0506P12)

Union Notes

  1. Urgent action needs to be taken on climate change, following the four hottest years on record (1998, 2002, 2003 & 2004) and the threat of water borne diseases, drought and flooding and subsequent human suffering within our life times
  2. The Union in some respects causes unnecessary climate change
  3. Increasing awareness amongst students about what can be done is necessary
  4. Combating climate change is in accordance with the University’s membership of the      Carbon Trust, and will save SUSU money in the long term

Union Believes

  1. in recent years the Union has not done enough to minimise its negative effects on the environment
  2. That the Ethical Committee to be more than just a token gesture and a talking shop, should have teeth, and having advertising space goes towards this

Union Resolves

  1. To ensure that lights are not left on unnecessarily in the student union building by ensuring that the management turn them off during the day
  2. One of the poster holders in the union concourse (where the Monday market is held) will be controlled directly by the environment officers and Ethical committee

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Recycling

» 24 October 2005 » In Ethical and Environmental, External » No Comments

Recycling – 24th October 2005: Ratified 14 June 2010, Union Council (Ref: 0506P1)

Union Notes

  1. That the issue of the Union’s (lack of) environmentally-friendly practices was raised at the Annual General Meeting on 4th May 2005 (minute number 7.3)
  2. That the Union has blue recycle bins in most offices for white paper
  3. These recycle bins are emptied into the same skip as non-recyclable rubbish

Union Believes

  1. That the Union, in recent years, has not done enough to minimise its negative effects on the environment
  2. The emptying of recycling bins into non-recyclable rubbish skips negates the point of having separate bins for recyclable and non-recyclable items
  3. That all Union departments, officers, volunteers and staff should recycle where possible
  4. Practices such as recycling paper, even at an individual level, do have positive impacts on the environment

Union Resolves

  1. To recycle white paper as sorted into these recycle bins
  2. To mandate the Union President in conjunction with the Environmental Officer to investigate further areas where recycling may be conducted within the Union (e.g. drinks cans)
  3. To ensure that all departments and offices have the facilities to carry out this motion by distributing further bins for recycled paper as required

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