Sustainability Action Blog


A year of sustainability action

By Julia Kendal |


2014/15 has been a busy year of action for sustainability at Southampton! Hundreds of students and staff have been involved in a diverse range of activities including:

  • Joining with 250 people to switch off office equipment left on unnecessarily across four different campuses (in return for free hoodies and pizza!) at the Southampton Blackout.
  • Free clothes swaps through our Swap Shop initiative, which went to Winchester School of Art for the first time ever!
  • Helping 24 local organisations to become sustainable through the BEES programme. Nearly 100 students have been trained to audit the ethical and environmental practices of local businesses and community groups and work with them to become even more sustainable.
  • Making the campus more sustainable, for example through the 9th annual Waste Wars event when over 50 students and staff audited campus and halls waste.
  • Engaging the local community with local wildlife through Southampton BioBlitz, which saw hundreds of people taking part in nature hunts on campus, and winning funding from Public Engagement with Research for a new community partnership project with SO18 Big Local, Training for Work in Communities and the City Council.


2015-02-25 15.51.54

We celebrated the sustainability achievements of students and staff through the second annual Sustainability Action Awards in March. The winners and runners-up across five categories highlighted the diverse and innovative initiatives taking place, from using theatre in teaching about health to providing a sustainable source of fuel to rural communities in Kenya. Read more about the winners here.

SA Awards

Students have also had the opportunity to broaden their education experience through taking one of the university-wide sustainability-related modules, joining a class of students from across all disciplines to explore topics such as population growth, environmental change, and human rights. These provided an opportunity to meet new people, and engage with new topics in different ways, for example through the Sustainability Film Festival – part of the Sustainability in the Local and Global Environment module.

It’s been a great year, but we’re already making plans for 2015/16. Look out for news of more initiatives to get involved in, and we’d love to hear your ideas for putting sustainability at the core of Southampton.

In the meantime, see more of the action from these events on Storify and keep up with all the sustainability activity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.