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Southampton BEES raising awareness of sustainability

Published: 27 September 2013Origin: Engineering

Students and staff at the University of Southampton have won a £174,000 grant to work with city businesses and community groups, focusing on business ethics and the environment to improve sustainability.

The Business Ethics and Environment Students (BEES) programme builds on a history of successful Students’ Union and University collaborations, such as the Southampton Blackout in spring 2012 and 2013. This involved over 250 staff and students turning off unnecessary electrical equipment on a Friday evening, to highlight how much electricity was wasted on campus.
Starting in October 2013, the SUSU and University team will be recruiting around 50 Business Ethics and Environment Students (BEES). They will be trained to carry out sustainability audits covering ethical and environmental issues, such as the living wage, equality in the workplace and ethical supply chains.
The grant from the Students’ Green Fund at the National Union of Students (NUS) was awarded to a collaborative team from SUSU and the University. It includes Simon Kemp (Principal Teaching Fellow in Engineering and the Environment), Julia Kendal (University Sustainability Action Officer), Jaki Booth (Chief Executive of SUSU), Nickola Moore (Head of Membership & Community Engagement, SUSU) and Beckie Thomas (Vice President Welfare, SUSU).
“It’s all about students making a difference to communities in Southampton by contributing their analytical skills,” explains Simon. “At the same time, they will be improving their employment prospects by gaining invaluable experience of working with companies and organisations.”
Simon was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2010 and is the national Academic Lead in Education for Sustainable Development at the Higher Education Academy (HEA). He has been shortlisted for the ‘most innovative teacher of the year’ award by the Times Higher Education magazine.

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