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Student Central Ethical & Environmental Policy

1. Purpose of Policy

The purpose of this policy is to set out the key parameters and processes that Student Central will adopt to achieve the goal of acting as a responsible organisation in regard to the environmental and ethical impact of its activities on an ongoing and sustainable basis that is compatible with its other values, objectives and constraints.
 

2. Ethical and Environmental Policy and Student Central

2.1. The Student Central is an organisation shaped by values and seeks to translate this into activities, services and operations in a sustained and meaningful way. The Student Central re-invests all trading surpluses into facilities, services and activities for students. We are committed to providing an excellent customer experience in our trading outlets but we are also committed to considering the ethical implications of all our actions and to make ethical and environmental issues central to everything we do.

2.2. Student Central also recognises that it has a leadership role within the student movement and beyond and as such it is incumbent to support new and emerging initiatives that reflect that responsibility. In regard to ethical and environmental practices this means adopting a public position through policy, implementing processes in a sustained way that demonstrably realises that policy in a measurable way, encouraging the University of London, local SUs and other organisations that we can influence to take similar action and to help support and develop national initiatives that contribute to this.
 

3. Previous Activity on Ethical and Environmental Matters

The key actions undertaken in recent years have included:
 

3.1.Ethical & Environmental Audit

3.1.1. An ethical and environmental audit was conducted in 2004 of the organisation and its building arranged via NUS Services Ltd

3.1.2. This was used to make changes to the Transformation building works that positively impacted upon the environmental impact of the organisation through changes such as installation of timer lighting, percussion taps etc

3.1.3. This was also used to devise an action plan and the General Manager and the building manager have met with relevant officers periodically to review progress

3.1.4. One of the priorities relates to waste management but this has been delayed and complicated by the late completion of building works and changes to the university contract for these activities. A full waste management contract review is currently underway.

3.1.5. Since the last Environmental Audit from NUSSL, Student Central has conducted the following actions:

3.1.5.1. Installed 23 eCube devices throughout the building. Reducing energy consumption from these units by up to 30%.

3.1.5.2. Installation of ‘Solar Film’ for the Gallery bar, third floor conference rooms and finance offices. These will drastically reduce the amount of heat build up in these areas and cut air conditioning costs.

3.1.6. Student Central has signed up to the Guardian 10:10 campaign aiming to reduce its carbon footprint 10%, by 2010.

3.1.7. Student Central has signed up to the Sound Impact Scheme for 2009.

3.2.Ethical Purchasing, Fairtrade Goods and Consumables

3.2.1. There has been a growing use of Fair Trade suppliers and products by Student Central where that option is available and commercially comparable, e.g. in conferencing and in outlets the “default” tea and coffee is Fair Trade – although we allow customers to purchase non-Fair Trade if they choose.

3.2.2. Where a commercially viable Fairtrade alternative product to items currently stocked exists, Student Central will offer it as an option initially.

3.2.3. Student Central has organised a student network for those interested in ethical and environmental issues and provided information via its website.

3.2.4. Student Central has periodically highlighted ethical and environmental work in it various networks and at training events.

3.2.5. Student Central currently only purchases biodegradable (wooden and paper) disposable cutlery.

3.2.6. The cafe currently advocates a ‘re-usable Cup’ discount to discourage use of disposable cups.

3.2.7. Where disposable cups are used, they are made from recycled card and paper.
 

3.3.Support for National Work

3.3.1. In December 2006 Student Central achieved a Bronze in the Sound Impact awards.

3.3.2. In January 2007 Student Central was chosen to be part of a NUSSL pilot called the carbon academy that will provide funding for training to help reduce the carbon consumption of the organisation in a measured way.
 

4. Implementation

Student Central is dedicated to the maintenance of this policy and thus the following will be done through:

4.1.The Student Central will include a section within the organisation’s annual report issued with the annual audited accounts. This will seek to:

4.1.1. Quantify the environmental and ethical impact of the organisations activity in the past year using numerical data on utility usage wherever possible

4.1.2. Publish the estimated carbon footprint of the organisation, using the carbon trust formula, and building, any changes in the previous years and plans to reduce it in the next 12 months

4.2.Produce a Annual Environment Record including:

4.2.1. Set goals for change in the next 12 months including quantifiable targets wherever possible

4.2.2. Monitor and seek improvements to purchasing arrangements in regard to Fair Trade

4.2.3. Seek improvements to the building that will positively reduce environmental impact and review capital projects for likely environmental impact

4.2.4. Receive reports on activity to increase staff awareness of ethical and environmental issues and practical compliance with related requirements through training etc

4.2.5. Receive and review environmental impact assessments for recurrent activities and events

4.2.6. Receive and review the central E&E policy file (including details of all compliance issues)

4.2.7. Receive reports and plans on activity designed to raise student awareness of Fair Trade and environmental issues e.g. number of visits to website, outcomes from campaign activities

4.2.8. Receive reports on activity to improve the environmental and ethical policies and practices of the University of London.

4.3. Student Central will seek to influence the University of London and LUPC to adopt ethical and environmental policies and strategies.

4.3.1. The Student Central Building and Environment Manager will sit on the Environment Working Policy Group (EWPG) at University of London.

4.3.2. The Student Central Building and Environment Manager will actively lobby the EWPG to progress environment issues and projects.
 

5. Ethical Purchasing

5.1. The Student Central is aware of its influence as a commercial organisation, and of its responsibilities to the ‘global’ community. Hence this ethical and sustainable purchasing policy has the following purposes:

5.1.1. To promote good labour and environmental standards in supply chains of The Student Central.

5.1.2. To protect The Student Central’s reputation

5.2. The Student Central categorises its purchasing into 4 categories:

5.2.1. Purchased through NUS Services Ltd

5.2.2. Purchased through the University of London or LUPC

5.2.3. Purchased through other consortia

5.2.4. Purchased outside of any consortium arrangements

5.3. The Student Central fully supports:

5.3.1. NUS Services Ltd. Ethical & Environmental Assessment.

5.3.2. Life Cycle Assessment

5.3.3. Fairtrade.

5.4. Student Central will compile a list of other purchasing that is outside of any consortium arrangements and consider how to change arrangements to better comply with the organisation’s ethical & environmental strategy. This will be prioritised by scale of purchases and environmental or ethical impact of existing arrangements.

5.5. This may include considering the following:

5.5.1. In any tendering process, Student Central will ask for evidence of Social Responsibility from a company, and take this in to consideration.

5.5.2. When buying uniform we will actively consider sourcing from Fairtrade or No- Sweat suppliers each time, subject to financial cost and other practical factors
 

6. Fairtarde

6.1 The Student Central is committed to promoting, supporting and using Fairtrade, as we understand it is a major part of our contribution within the global community. This will include :

6.1.1 Ensuring Fairtrade is sold by the Student Central in all campus shops, restaurants, bars and cafes as well as some vending machines wherever possible. Student Central will continue to expand its product range of Fair Trade items when able to do so.

6.1.2 Ensuring Fairtrade refreshments are served at all conferences, meetings and events as the standard provision unless the client specifically requests otherwise or no such product can be sourced by Student Central

6.1.3 The Student Central believe that the availability of Fairtrade is a significant priority when renewing its catering and purchasing contracts

6.1.4 Fairtrade storyboards/notice’s and posters will be placed in Student Central and outlets where products are being sold where possible

6.1.5 Information will be provided about fair-trade as part of the Student Central website.

6.1.6 Campaigning to help the University of London achieve Fair Trade university status
 

7. Building and Development

7.1. Student Central works with the university estates department to conduct a diagnostic of the building to identify future changes to the fabric of the building that will reduce overall environmental impact such as reducing heat loss through windows. This will also list potential enhancements that may be possible with grant funding such as installation of solar panels. This should be incorporated into a long term maintenance and building plan.

7.2. Student Central ensures that any new building or refurbishment takes the widest possible consideration of environmental impacts through:

7.3. Considering the environmental aspects in any such work (carrying out as thorough an assessment as is practicable) including:

7.3.1. Whole lifecycle costing for new equipment

7.3.2. Improved energy efficiency overall

7.3.3. Efficient models of new electrical or gas appliances

7.3.4. Ban on electrical fires/radiators throughout the building.

7.3.5. Not purchasing HFC fridges

7.3.6. Seeking to purchase wooden products such as furniture made from certificated sustainable sources
 

7.4. Cleaning and maintenance contractors will be urged to consider environment impact in their working agreements. These should include, but not be limited to:

7.4.1. Not using bleach on site

7.4.2. Reducing harmful chemical use whenever possible.

7.4.3. Considering London Living Wages for staff.
 

8. Waste Management and Recycling

8.9. The Student Central is dedicated to the continuance of reducing, reusing and recycling waste. As part of its commitment Student Central will aim to:

8.9.1. Ensure legal compliance on all waste disposals, and adhere to all relevant duties of care.

8.9.2. Increasingly use recyclable and recycled materials throughout its building, as far as is commercially viable including consideration of the following measures:

8.9.3. Minimise waste production through considered purchasing and recording keeping of use.

8.9.4. Provide facilities for students to recycle and information about recycling

8.9.5. Aim to meet and, if possible, exceed the government guidelines for the proportion of waste sent for recycling.

8.9.6. Where recycling is not feasible Student Central will seek to re-use items through donations to local charities e.g. some paper based materials can be re-used by play groups, computers can be used by charities etc.
 

9. Utility Consumption

9.9. Student Central is committed to reducing its utility consumption. This aim will be achieved by the following:

9.9.1. Careful monitoring and tracking of daily/monthly and seasonal use.

9.9.2. Promoting energy conservation to all staff and students, including information from the Carbon Trust.

9.9.3. Continually developing a more energy efficient building.

9.9.4. Continue only to acquire electricity from 'green' sources as far as feasible.

9.9.5. Routine checks set up for dripping taps aiming to reduce water consumption.

9.10. The following purchasing restrictions apply:

9.10.1. No CRT Monitors will be purchased

9.10.2. Energy efficient light bulbs will be purchased wherever possible

9.10.3. Consideration in changing blubs from old T8 to the new T5, or lower energy use lamps.
 

10.Transport

10.1. Student Central is dedicated to ensuring that transportation to and from its buildings cause minimum detriment to the environment and its membership by:

10.1.1. Regularly servicing and updating its vehicle.

10.1.2. Actively promoting alternative public transport for their staff

10.1.3. Actively promoting ‘Cycle to work’ schemes

10.1.4. Not allowing any short haul flights for union business.
 

11.Union Events and Activities

11.1. Student Central aims to play an important role in ensuring that the local environment is fully protected where possible, ensuring that:

11.1.1. An environmental assessment is completed for commonly recurring activities such as gigs, campaign stalls, conferences etc and that this is used to reduce the environmental impact of those activities.

11.1.2. An environmental assessment for all non-recurrent major events and activities. The assessment shall cover changes to the immediate environment in respect of:

11.1.2.1. Waste Management

11.1.2.2. Conservation of natural environment

11.1.2.3. Energy Use

11.1.2.4. Use of resources (e.g. Paper and other materials)

11.1.2.5. Noise pollution
 

12.Staff Behavious, Awareness and Involvement, 

12.1. Student Central will Include a concern for Student Central Ethical and Environmental policy in all job descriptions (just as it already does in regard to equal opportunities)

12.2. Incorporate specific responsibilities relating to the implementation of this policy into the relevant job descriptions.

12.3. Create a dedicated staff notice board for the display of Student Central E&E policy and progress on the action plan etc

12.4. Encourage permanent staff, student staff and student engagement in promoting and implementing ethical and environmental issues.

12.5. This commitment will be reflected in staff induction and training and the staff handbook

12.6. Communication plan for all E&E Issues. This includes:

12.6.1. E&E Poster in building

12.6.2. E&E Page set up on the website with policy and other documents recorded.
 

13.Student and User Awareness and Behaviour

13.1. Student Central will look to influence the behaviour of students and users that it has contact with to encourage them to change behaviours. This will be supported by:

13.1.1. A dedicated notice board with information about ethical and environmental issues and activities

13.1.2. Point of sale publicity in commercial outlets promoting Student Central policy and encouraging the purchase of items such as Fair Trade items

13.1.3. A section of the Student Central website devoted to ethical and environmental matters

13.1.4. The location of recycling facilities for a wide range of items within the Student Central building and information about how and where to recycle other items
 

14.Corporate Leadership

14.1. Student Central will continue to be a champion of ethical and environmental issues with other organisations that it can influence through the following:

14.1.1. Communicating its commitment to ethical and environmental issues and sharing any useful advice that it may have with other organisations on request

14.1.2. To publish within its annual report the measurable progress made towards ethical and environmental goals and encourage other organisations to adopt this method

14.1.3. To continue to participate in the Sound Impact Awards annually and to achieve higher scores each year

14.1.4. Specifically to contribute to the Ethical and Environmental work of NUS Services Ltd through contributing suggestions and feedback, volunteering time and participating in any activities organised through NUSSL

14.1.5. Supporting and encouraging activities by UL College Unions around ethical and environmental issues as requested and agreed e.g. training and networks for SU officers

14.1.6. Working with University of London staff on a sustained basis to adopt policies, processes and a culture that has greater concern for its ethical and environmental impact. Goals within this include:

14.1.6.1. The adoption of a policy

14.1.6.2. The adoption of an action plan

14.1.6.3. Measurement and reporting of environmental impact

14.1.6.4. Seeking Fair Trade university status

14.1.6.5. Reviewing investments

14.1.6.6. Extending ethical and environmental concerns to University purchasing and supply chain

14.1.6.7. Participating in schemes and activities designed for universities organised by HEFCE and others