Posted Thursday 21 July 2022
In partnership with the Union of Kingston Students (UKS), Kingston University is among one of 25 higher education institutions that has achieved a Fairtrade University and College award, after being audited for the academic years of 2020/21 and 2021/22.
Now in its fifth year, this prestigious award is delivered in partnership with the Fairtrade Foundation, the National Union of Students (NUS), and Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK). The award programme encourages partnership between a university's student union, it's sustainability and catering teams, as well as academic staff and student. The programme includes procurement, raising awareness and campaign activities. Students are recruited as volunteer auditors and given training, which equips them with transferrable skills and experience in conducting audits.
Kingston University has been awarded Fairtrade University 1 star status. Stephanie Todd, Operations Sustainability Manager at Kingston University was thrilled to see the collaborative effect reflected in the 1 star Fairtrade accredited status. "Over the past two years our Fairtrade Award Team has worked hard to raise the profile of Fairtrade here at the University,"she said. "As a university, we have a civic responsibility to ensure we are supporting fair and equal trade," she added.
The award recognises a broad range of activities undertaken across Kingston University which work towards a more just, equitable and sustainable world for all. This includes working to raise awareness with its students on issues of ethical and sustainable consumption and increasing the availability of Fairtrade products on sale at the university.
Achieving Fairtrade University status is one of the many ambitious sustainability targets Kingston University has set itself in its 5 year Institutional Sustainability Plan.
Joanna Milis, Education Campaigns Manager from the Fairtrade Foundation was delighted that the issues of ethical and sustainable consumption remain important to the institutions. "At a time when young people are forming their values and shaping their future careers, it is essential that they are presented with a wide range of narratives and opportunities to think differently about the world", she said. "We are one global community. Our decisions have far-reaching consequences, and only together can we tackle the biggest challenges facing our planet and its inhabitants," she added.
The Fairtrade Foundation believes that higher education institutions have huge environmental and social impact on the world and not only in the way they choose to reduce their own carbon emissions. The Foundation encourages universities to influence the next generation of leaders by encouraging students to make environmentally and socially conscious decisions, and always have sustainability in mind.