Sustainability Action Blog


Why you should become the next SUSU Ethical and Environmental Officer

By Julia Kendal |

Elections are fast approaching! Southampton University Student’s Union (SUSU) is recruiting for the next Ethical and Environmental (E&E) Officer to join the Senior Leadership Team to start in July 2015. We invited Lydia Butler, the current E&E Officer, to shed some light on the inner workings of this role and show you why you should run for this amazing opportunity.

Guest blog by Lydia Butler, current SUSU Ethical and Environmental Officer

Life as an E&E OfficerIf you’re passionate about the environment, ethics and making a positive difference in your uni, this role is for you!

There are four main responsibilities of the E&E Officer:

1. Encourage SUSU to operate in a socially responsible and environmentally friendly way through an effective environmental and ethical policy to ensure the Union’s activities and services have a minimal impact on the environment and are positively ethical.

As E&E officer, you automatically become a trustee and director of SUSU; attending regular internal meetings including Union Council, Commercial Sub-Committee, Trustee Board and a variety of high-level University meetings on environment and sustainability, carbon management, waste and procurement and biodiversity.

It has been incredibly interesting to attend these meetings. I can have a say in how all SUSU’s and the University’s impacts are managed and stand up for better practise on behalf of all students!

As part of this year’s policy focus on waste I’m working with Southampton City Council and the Waste and Recycling Officer within Estates and Facilities to improve recycling information and collection. I’ve also ensured that the new American Diner provides a food take-away box and in a few months’ time my committee will be holding a waste awareness day.

I also work towards better ethics. When SUSU’s President announced the formation of an enterprise fund I advised him about integrating ethical requirements for all newly funded student enterprises.

2. Educate students and staff on relevant issues through campaigns and events to promote behaviour change.

Campaigns and events are the well-known and the officer works with the support of the E&E committee, VP Welfare and with Sustainability Action for student-staff partnership events. Committee member Sarah Muskett organised Blackout in collaboration with Sustainability Action in November and Waste Wars (shameless plug: sign up here!), Swap Shop and Fairtrade Fortnight are yet to come.

3. Represent the interests of Union members in ethical and environmental issues and empower and support members to take action to achieve this.

The E&E officer also supports other Union groups by advertising events, providing stalls at E&E week for societies. This year E&E has also been supporting Fossil-Free Southampton through technical discussions on how to realistically approach the campaign.

4. Manage a committee of support coordinators.

Finally, as stated before, a major responsibility of being E&E Officer is to manage a support committee who help organise the major education and awareness.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in nominate yourself on the SUSU website before the 12th of February and if E&E officer isn’t for you, or if you want more information, email to find out how you can get involved in the committee!