The University of St Mark & St John has gained accreditation from the Fairtrade Foundation. That means we’re officially committed to spreading the word about fairer trading and educating our staff and students on how they can get involved. This could be anything from choosing Fairtrade-produced food and drink, to shopping at Fairtrade-accredited clothing stores. The Fairtrade Foundation sees all students at accredited institutions as their ambassadors, encouraging a wider network to actively support a fairer, more ethical way of trading.
Over the years, the University has put a lot of time, effort and budget into limiting the amount of finite resources we use on campus. After all, fossil fuels aren’t renewable and, even if they were, the burning of them produces significant quantities of greenhouse gases. We’ve switched out our old lighting for modern, low-energy options, updated our boilers to more energy-efficient models and we work constantly to educate staff and students about their own power consumption.
Instead of laying out general waste bins around campus and in our offices, we’ve separated out recycling bins to help staff become more aware of the waste they’re producing and encouraging them to dispose of it responsibly. Additionally, we no longer send our waste to landfill: it’s either sent for recycling or incinerating.
The University has become one of only four universities in the UK to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark, indicating that it is a social enterprise supporting the community, the environment and with good social purpose.
The Social Enterprise Mark CIC is the UK and international certification authority that safeguards social enterprise credentials. Only organisations that can prove they put people and planet before shareholder profit are awarded a license to display the Social Enterprise Mark.
Professor Brendon Noble said: “We’re extremely proud to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark and are absolutely committed to supporting social enterprise and consequently helping local communities and the broader South West region to thrive and prosper. Our students contribute to our social enterprise philosophy through the use of skills they have acquired while studying; a strong volunteering ethos and positive attitude towards growing a better society”.