Sustainability

As a Students’ Union we recognise that all of our activities, services and products have an impact on our environment. As part of our commitment to sustainability, we believe that managing the environmental and ethical implications of our activities should be an integral part of good management practice and responsible corporate governance.


Reducing Single-Use Plastic

Plastic Straws

Plastic straws are banned from venues. Straws can cause a lot of damage to marine life. Straws suck!

Sustainable VK

VK bottles are currently plastic instead of glass for safety reasons. The SU are working with Global Brands (who supply VK) to be more sustainable. This includes the possibility of trialling VK cans in the future.

Instead of cutting down and buying a real Christmas tree, this year we also created a sustainable VK Christmas tree with used VK bottles from our club nights!

Eco friendly wristbands for freshers weeks

For Freshers Week 2019 we moved towards more eco-friendly wristbands by using fabric made from the recycled polyester material rPET

Free water bottles and coffee cups

The SU has given out free reusable water bottles and coffee cups at multiple times throughout the year to decrease the usage of non-reusable cups

Youngs Kitchen, Thursday market, Pizzaman

Youngs, Pizzaman and Vendors at the Thursday Market are in the process of switching to more eco-friendly packaging and utensils for their takeaways!

11 water stations

The SU lobbied the University to provide 11 new water stations on campus, in a bid to encourage the use of reusable water bottles and reducing the amount of shop bought single use water bottles. The stations were installed in March 2020.

Encouraging Responsible Consumption

The Food Co-operative

In the 2019 AMM, a motion was passed for the SU to create a Food Co-op! We are currently in the process of setting this up with a team of student volunteers to be an integral part of the Thursday Market. To get involved please contact i.handy@surrey.ac.uk.

Engaging Students

2020/21 Priority Campaign

In the 2019/20 and 2020/21 academic years, Surrey students voted for sustainability to be the Union’s priority campaign, through the ‘Make Your Change’ vote.

Sustainability Forum

The Student Sustainability Forum gives any students the opportunity to hear about the University’s progress and plans, share their opinion on sustainability at Surrey, provide feedback on sustainability initiatives and have their questions answered by the University’s management team.

Sustainable Surrey

‘Sustainable Surrey’ as an ongoing campaign led by the Community Zone. Activities planned are largely online but include clubs and societies sharing their sustainable activities, advertising fundraising and campaigning opportunities and a communications approach which sets out how and where students can be more sustainable, including contributions from student volunteers.

Biodiversity On Campus

Bird boxes / Bus stops / Hedgehogs

The SU has been working to improve wildlife levels/habitats on campus, hence they have introduced a series of bird boxes! Furthermore, the SU is in talks to establish green spaces on top of the bus stops on campus. The University is now a bronze accredited Hedgehog Friendly Campus due to the hard work of students and staff of the University!


Get Involved

  • Come to the Sustainability Forum  
  • Become a Sustainability Rep for a club or society
  • Join Enactus, Engineers Without Borders, Surrey Garden Society and/or People and Planet Society
  • Adopt positive environmental lifestyle habits, for example, switching off electrical appliances and lights if not in use. Some more tips to living a more sustainable lifestyle include being more considerate with your water usage, reducing and recycling your waste in addition to supporting Fairtrade and sustainable products along with eating more local, seasonal food where possible.
  • Take part in Reduce the Juice!
  • For more information please contact ussu.vpcommunity@surrey.ac.uk 

Sustainability Reps

Sustainability Reps are a new position on club and society committees for 2021/22. The full role description is available here:

University Contacts

If you’re looking to speak to someone at the University about sustainability, you can find out more about their work or get in touch below: