The University Of Stirling Students’ Union has become the first carbon neutral Students’ Union in the UK!
The University Of Stirling Students’ Union has announced that it has become the first carbon neutral Students’ Union in the UK. As an organisation, the Union is committed to responsible and sustainable development.
Marking the announcement, the Students’ Union’s Sustainability Officer Hannah Dry stated, “I am so proud to be involved in a Students’ Union who are so committed to reducing their environmental impact. Climate change and ecological breakdown is happening faster then anyone predicted, so becoming carbon neutral is such an important step in the right direction and a rare win for our environment.”
Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work and Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal & Vice Chancellor of the University Of Stirling, celebrated the Students’ Union’s achievement alongside student leaders Joshua Muirhead (Vice President Communities), Amy Smith (Vice President Education) and Gill Thayne (Sports President). Of the achievement, Amy Smith said, “The Students’ Union has taken an important step, by turning words into actions and becoming carbon neutral. However there is a long way to go for the institution as a whole, and we should not forget that higher education institutions have a responsibility not just to educate students on significant global matters, but to directly act to mitigate against environmental damage.”
( Josh Muirhead, VP Communities; Professor Gerry McCormac Principal & Vice Chancellor, University of Stirling; Amy Smith, Vice President Education; Matt Woodthorpe, Environmental Development Co-Ordinator; Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work; Gill Thayne, Sports President)
In order to become carbon neutral, the Students’ Union has analysed its carbon footprint from a number of sources, including energy and water use, sports teams and staff business travel, as well as waste management. The results showed the Students’ Union’s main activities released 138.58 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2018/19. It has managed to offset these emissions through campus projects such as Fair Share which reuses or recycles 6 tonnes of donated household goods each year, and through purchasing gold standard carbon credits that support climate and social development projects in East and West Africa.
The Students’ Union’s announcement of becoming carbon neutral coincided with events happening across the country to celebrate Scotland’s Climate Week (7th – 13th October). The announcement also comes on the back of Scottish Parliament passing the new Climate Change Bill which sees Scotland committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 75% by 2030, and becoming carbon neutral by 2045.
For more information on the Union's work on sustainability and our Carbon Neutral status, click here.