To celebrate students and staff leading change, an event was held by the Climate Action Team in September and which highlighted the many fantastic achievements made over the past year.
Through the Climate Action Framework, the University is taking a whole institution response to climate change with work spanning all aspects of university life, including providing education to empower students as changemakers for climate change, researching solutions to tackle the climate emergency, reducing the environmental footprint of the University, and forging partnerships to bring wider transformation in response to the climate emergency.
Launched in January 2023, Climate Action badges are awarded to individuals and groups within the university and to partners, recognising that to achieve successful climate action, we need a collaborative and inclusive approach. The badges include the Climate Action logo which represents both the challenge of a labyrinth and the solution of collective thinking. The tree resemblance reminds us that alongside the people and communities that will suffer from the devastating effects of climate change, nature will also be impacted should we not take urgent action.
Climate Leaders is a voluntary programme where a self-selected cohort of students are supported to achieve impact. Students have utilised this programme and conducted research in various areas and, in 2022-23, this included a project to improve international travel data by Abi Mannan, Ashminda De Silva and Dasha Kakurina; Finn Watkins undertook a piece of work investigating options for recognition around climate education and Ruth Shaw explored promoting climate-positive careers. All were recognised at this event for their efforts and were awarded a Climate Action badge.
In addition, over 100 students were recognised for having achieved Carbon Literacy certification, with certificates provided to a key number of students who were able to attend the event in person.
Students leading change
This summer we have been delighted to have two students supporting our Climate Action Team and as a result of the excellent work undertaken, awarded badges to both: Guto Williams undertook a challenging project to display and better communicate University Scope 3 carbon emissions while Beatrice Clementel extended her work as a Climate Leader looking at sustainability skills and applied this to creating a new guide for students 'How to save money and the planet'.
Furthermore, through our Climate Champions, we have seen exciting projects that have increased student engagement, such as sharing peer-to-peer advice and insights, promoting top tips via blogs and social media, assisting with campaigns such as promoting active travel and hosting events like Green Week, Fairtrade Fortnight and more. Special thanks to our Climate Champions from 2022-23: Nadine Guerfi, Annie Rollinson, Hable Mulugeta, Leyli Atkinson, Lola Springbett, Misa Kanegae, Sachi Wilson and Tatiana Horsham. We are excited to announce our new Climate Champions for this academic year: Edwina Ma, Aditi Thayyur, Caden Li, Francesca Gillen, Oscar Williams and Vrinda Raninga.
Over the past year, students have gone the extra mile in their commitment to the climate agenda. Jian Xin Lim has strongly advocated for active travel commuting, particularly student cycling. He is the Bicycle Users Group student representative, representing student views as part the University’s Transport Working Group, and has even starred in our recently produced, student active travel film.
This summer, master's student Natalia Plawecka joined EcoTogether for an internship and practicum placement project. Her work is focusing on mobilising and empowering individuals to come together to impact climate change. Over the next few months, Natalia will be spearheading a pilot project that focuses on students as part of this initiative.
Kristian Williams, a Politics and International Relations student, has recently completed an internship with the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) at Bath. During his internship, he supported the Policy Fellowship Programme on Net Zero and ran a workshop for the former Government Department for Business Innovation and Industrial Strategy. Currently, he is part of the project team for ActNowFilm, which has been selected for showcasing at COP28!
We know students at Bath want to see change from the University and want to be part of that change themselves and, over the past year, the SU has been vocal and active in calling on the University to account for taking action to match our declarations on climate change. At the event, former SU President Alex Robinson was recognised with a Climate Action badge for his advocacy across multiple groups and networks for climate action.
We also recognised and celebrated the newly elected Sabbatical Officers who will be crucial in continuing this vital work to continue serving the campus community and delivering against this key student concern: Jimena Alamo (President), David Lam (Activities), Amber Snary (Education), Abbie Watkin (Sport), Hanna Hajzer (Community) and Jura Neverauskite (Postgraduate).
Next steps for change
It's truly inspiring to see the incredible dedication and hard work put in by the students at Bath in taking the lead for climate action. From advocating for active travel to spearheading initiatives and projects, these students have made a remarkable impact on creating a sustainable future. As a community, it's our responsibility to support and celebrate these efforts and to continue working towards a greener and brighter future for all. Let's take inspiration from these achievements and do our part in creating meaningful change towards a more sustainable world.