University of Chichester awarded Fairtrade status

THE University is among one of 4 higher education institutions that have achieved Fairtrade University status this year.

Chichester has achieved the 2021 Fairtrade University award. Now in its fourth year, this prestigious award is delivered as a partnership between the Fairtrade Foundation, the National Union of Students, and Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK).

The University’s environmental and sustainability efforts have gained a one-star Fairtrade University status.

The Environment and Sustainable Development Co-ordinator, Kate Cathie said “I am delighted and very proud that we were one of only four universities who achieved the Fairtrade University and College award this year. With excellent teamwork between BaxterStorey, the SU and the Estates team, we not only managed to get the award, but scored highly enough to obtain a One Star award!”

This incredible achievement comes after a year of disruption in the sector caused by the global pandemic, with limited opportunities for face to face engagement with each other.

Education Campaigns manager from the Fairtrade Foundation, Joanna Milis, said “Completing the Fairtrade University and College Award in 2021 has been a remarkable achievement. Institutions have had to manage frequently changing requirements for staff and student attendance on campus, and adapt to very different teaching to a normal year.”

Kate Cathie commented on the challenges during the global pandemic by saying, “It has not been easy trying to organise activities and show our commitment to selling Fairtrade products, through the various lockdowns and social distancing requirements.”

The award encourages students to become volunteer auditors with the ability to explore their understanding of the social and environmental impacts of their decisions whilst making ethical and sustainable choices the norm, influencing the new generation of leaders.

One volunteer auditor said “I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of work that has already been done at the university to make them as sustainable as possible, it made reading the report even more enjoyable”.

The University has made efforts to reduce their environmental impact which cut the carbon footprint by a third in 10 years despite increasing floorspace by 50%. In 2019, the University was ranked in the UK’s top 5 most environmentally-friendly universities out of 265 institutions.

Another student Auditor said “”I never realised how much time and work went into getting the Fairtrade award. It’s really impressive. Keep up the good work!”

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