The University of Gloucestershire has been going through the process of being audited by the Fairtrade Foundation in order to achieve recognition for embedding ethical and sustainable practices through their curriculum, procurement, research and campaigns.
The University of Gloucestershire has been going through the process of being audited by the Fairtrade Foundation in order to achieve recognition for embedding ethical and sustainable practices through their curriculum, procurement, research and campaigns. At the university, we have been awarded a Fairtrade Award by the Fairtrade Foundation for the 17th year in a row, gaining an extra 1 star bonus. To read more about the sustainability at UoG, read here.
Universities play a vital role in forming the values and shaping futures habits of students to understanding the social and environmental impacts of their decisions, and making ethical and sustainable the norm.
From the Fairtrade Foundation website “The Fairtrade University and College Award recognises that institutions have numerous communities (students, academics, non-academic professional staff), and often a significant role in reaching out into different communities. Fairtrade’s vision is a world in which all producers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods, fulfil their potential and decide on their future. We believe that by connecting disadvantaged producers with consumers, we can all work to promote fairer trading conditions and empower producers to combat poverty.”
Some key features of the award:
- A broad range of themes and actions in the award criteria, offering opportunity for deep engagement across a broad range of areas.
- Tiered award levels to enhance scope for continual improvement and long-term engagement.
- Scope for recognition of wider ethical sourcing and trade justice efforts beyond Fairtrade certified products.
- Support from NUS and Fairtrade. Resources, tools and support to ensure universities and colleges can make the most of their participation and achieve their goals.
- Scope for measuring impact: Through NUS’s programme of student surveys and database of over 700k students, monitoring will show the impact the award scheme is having on attitudes, understanding and ethical consumption and sourcing practice in the HE and FE sector.
- Building a network of partnerships is also central to the award and enables collaborative approaches to larger national and international responsible trade and consumption campaigns
- A comprehensive audit, led by trained student auditors through NUS’s highly successful student auditor programme.
- More information here: https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/get-involved/universities-and-colleges/
In order to achieve a standard Fairtrade Award, there is 11 mandatory criteria to achieve. There are also additional optional criteria to achieve stars ranging from 1 to 3 depending on the level of criteria met.
The award programme recognises that there are many different activities that take place within the institutions that help us to achieve our vision – including purchasing Fairtrade products, campaigning, teaching, research and outreach. You can read more about the mandatory criteria here - https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/resources-library/fairtrade-universities-and-colleges/criteria-overview/
Here are some things that the university did to achieve this award;
- Communication: top tips and information on ethical consumption on the LiveSmart blog
- Research and Teaching: opportunities to learn about ethical consumption in courses such as Business, Design, Arts, Humanities and Construction
- Catering: overall sales of Fairtrade items have gone up, with an increase of 26% in Fairtrade coffee
- Clothing: UoG branded clothing from the SU shop, with 8% of clothing being Fairtrade
So, congratulations to the University for achieving their 1 star Fairtrade Award!