An update from the Environment and Sustainability Working Group

This Working Group was set up to recognise environmental and sustainability-related issues.


As environmental and sustainability issues become a central concern for the world, the Students Association is no different and we now have a designated working group. This Working Group was set up to recognise environmental and sustainability-related issues, discuss what the Association and University can improve on, create events and campaigns and so much more!

Who we are

The group was formed in September and is co-led by Lou Robinson, VP Engagement, and Jess Smith, the Director of Membership Services. Currently, there is a mixture of both staff and student representatives who also sit on this Group. We are, however, very excited to announce that we have six new members joining the group over the next month, who have been successfully appointed in the student volunteer roles.

When we meet

The group meets monthly for a 2-hour meeting. We manage to squeeze a lot of discussion into these meetings, and most recently we have been developing our action plan.

Action Plan

Our action plan has four main strands – Impact, Engagement, Policy and the University. We have recently been looking at what we can do in the short-term, medium-term and long-term in relation to the following questions:  

  • How can we reduce and mitigate the impact the Students Association has on environmental sustainability through its working practices? (Impact)
  • What can we do to get students to engage in, think about and contribute to our goals for this Group, and environmental sustainability more broadly? (Engagement)
  • What is the Students Association’s policy on Environmental Sustainability? (Policy)
  • What is the Association’s position on the OU’s actions relating to environmental sustainability? (The University)

We are really excited to start work on the action plan and have come up with some great ideas and initiatives to help achieve the objectives. We’re hoping to provide an ongoing programme of events, initiatives, campaigns and projects that will give students and staff the opportunity to learn more about environmental sustainability and the ways to improve it. Keep your eyes peeled!

How can I get involved?

If you have a passion for the environment or a general interest in making things more sustainable, then we would love to hear from you! There are many ways you can get involved.

  • Join the Environmental and Sustainability Society which is for students, former students, and staff of The Open University and others who advocate our society’s aims. “We envision a regenerative world, working together towards sustainable practices for a healthy environment, without compromising on the needs of future generations”. We are looking to support activities, events, and environmental action in the community and as individuals. We are looking for help as the society grows so if you are interested in joining as a member or a volunteer we would love you to contact us
  • Finally, you can sign up to the Association newsletter to be kept up to date on the progress the Environmental and Sustainability Working Group is making!

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The Open University Students Association exists to serve the interests of #OUstudents and ensure that the student voice is heard throughout the University. Find out more about what we do at oustudents.com

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