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UCU action on the environment


UCU and many other unions now promote environmental sustainability in their workplaces and campaign with others on environmental matters of global concern, such as climate change. UCU is amongst the more active unions on this.
One key product of its work with other unions is the excellent ‘One Million Climate Jobs’ pamphlet

Many unions encourage ‘environment reps‘ (or ‘green reps’) to promote good environmental practice by employers in ways which benefit staff – and which might encourage staff to assist improvements in environmental performance at work and to green their own lifestyles. (For example, if we help the university to cut non-renewable energy use in acceptable ways, we all benefit).

UCU has a national policy of ‘promoting the greening of the campus and the greening of the curriculum’ and at UEA we are just beginning to engage with the University committee which discusses such matters.

UCU environment work at UEA
Little has been done yet by UCU at UEA, though several UCU members helped to produce a ten-seminar ‘Climate Change Teach–In’ on campus before the UN Copenhagen climate talks in late 2009. This was amongst the best such pre-Copenhagen events in any UK university and involved UCU co-operation with the university, the students’ union and the chaplaincy.

More recently, Teresa Belton, a UCU member and researcher in EDU, volunteered to represent campus staff as an Environment Rep on the Environmental Management Systems Implementation Group – the committee which reports to the university’s Sustainability Board – and is beginning a dialogue with university staff in charge of environment policy and its implementation.  (See her report here).

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