What does your role as LSESU’s Ethics and Sustainability Advisor involve?
The role of Ethics and Sustainability Advisor is quite new so I’m still figuring out the ropes but for now it involves a lot of communications with various groups within LSE involved in sustainability and ethical decision-making. This includes various meetings on making LSE more sustainable such as the maintenance of high ethical standards in terms of catering, discussing environmental focus in academic courses, and also raising awareness of various different projects from different students and staff.
Most importantly, my role is to facilitate communications for students to discuss their ideas on ethics and sustainability, especially to make their projects come to life on a wider scale by enabling them to readily access all the resources that the Student Union can provide! I also plan to work a lot with societies to make sure all students interested in sustainability are in close collaboration and connection with each other.
Why were you attracted to this role?
I’ve always been passionate about the environment and sustainability and have always had the goal of spreading awareness of the importance of it, especially now as we are really experiencing the consequences of not caring before.
It feels very gratifying to be in communication with other people who are equally passionate in enacting positive and active change!
Can you tell us about the environmental and sustainability themed societies on campus and how students can get involved?
There are plenty of environment and sustainability themed societies, and many that involve more than just the environment – for instance, Circular Economy and Green Finance are both societies involved in sustainable economics.
The full list of these societies can be found on the LSESU website, through the Sustainability Hub. A lot of these societies are also open to committee positions, so by purchasing the membership, new students who are interested are more than welcome to restart certain societies that are currently not running as of yet!
What is your focus for the year as Sustainability and Ethics Officer?
My focus is really to make the environment a more personal issue for students and more present in their lives. I want to achieve this by planning events that are exciting, and that can engage students in actively thinking about their choices.
What key events or projects do you/the SU have coming up?
A student brought to my attention a really nice project called the Climate Fresk, that she and I, along with LSE Sustainability, LSE100 and LSE Life, have been planning since the summer. It’s an educational workshop that involves groupwork in determining the cause and effect of various issues related to climate change. It’s going to run on November 30th during COP28, with more information to be posted on social media soon!
I’ve also got a few projects of my own, the biggest of them being a Vegan/Vegetarian Festival, possibly during an International Day Fair. I also plan to collaborate in planning the Fashion Show, which was a really successful event last year – though I want to implement more of an environmental focus in the clothes. I also want to introduce animals onto campus, which will hopefully run on a weekly or monthly basis.
What one lifestyle change would you suggest to someone hoping to adopt greener habits?
One lifestyle change for me would always be to eat greener – hopefully I don’t come across as the Vegan Teacher, but I think it makes such a difference to just cut back on some processed meats.
The environmental impact of cutting back on meat, even just on portion sizes or having a vegetarian day, can really help in reducing deforestation (from the forests cut down for grazing animals) and greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, if everyone were to adopt a more sustainable diet by reducing meat consumption and increasing plants in diets, global greenhouse gas emissions would reduce by around 30%! Just a little effort each day can make a world of a difference, in every sense of the phrase!