Communities set to benefit from student sustainability initiative

Exeter communities are set to benefit from an initiative launched by the University of Exeter Students’ Guild. The Guild is proud to announce the launch of the Students’ Green Unit which will be established this month after the Guild won a £300,000 funding boost from the NUS (National Union of Students) Green Fund.

The Students’ Green Unit will provide a framework for students to develop and lead sustainability initiatives locally, nationally and internationally. The Students’ Guild prides itself on successful reduction of its environmental impact and pursuit of sustainability, and now hopes to deliver a legacy for future generations.

Based on five themes that include community engagement and social enterprise, the Students’ Green Unit will not only provide students with academic and practical experience of sustainability, but will seek to directly engage communities in projects designed to tackle local challenges. One such existing project is the Exeter Community Garden that brings together staff and student volunteers with local residents. Further community initiatives might include producing food locally, improving wildlife habitat, recycling student rubbish or increasing biodiversity in and around Exeter.

NUS will provide the Students’ Guild with the funding required for the first two years of the Students’ Green Unit’s delivery, with long term legacy being built into the project to ensure that its positive impact continues to expand over the coming years.

The Students’ Guild is part of a wider collection of students’ unions win and benefit from a share of the £5 million Green Fund which supports unions to ‘green’ their institutions and wider communities. The Students’ Green Fund engages 50,000 students nationally, embedding sustainability into the core purpose of higher education across England.

Students’ Guild President Hannah Barton says:

“We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded project funding from the NUS Green Fund. The Students’ Green Unit will work to bridge the gap between student action and world leading academic research that will drive lasting change in the environmental and ethical sustainability of the University of Exeter, our community and the wider world. All of the projects within the Unit will be student led. It is very exciting that our students will be agents of change seeking to create real and lasting momentum not only on our campuses, but beyond.”

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