The Environment and DSU


Durham Students’ Union is committed to continually reducing its environmental impact.




'Wasted at the DSU’ by Marc Allante, A.E. Wheatley & J.A. Loft (copyright Durham University)

Contact us


If you want to get involved or have any questions contact the DSU Environment Officer, Anthony Crowther - [email protected]




For specific DSU policies regarding environmental and ethical issues please visit


Here you can find our policies on Carbon Neutrality, Energy efficiency, Green Electricity and more.


Please see for more information on environmental issues at Durham University.



Sound Impact 2006/2007





During 2006 DSU took part in the NUS Services Ltd Sound Impact accreditation scheme, an environmental accreditation scheme specifically designed for student unions.


There are 169 criteria that DSU was assessed upon, ranging from the obvious like recycling and energy conservation, to intangibles such as student activism. We were ranked 14th in the UK, attaining a Bronze award.

However Sound Impact revealed that DSU can still do more, and the DSU Environment Committee is currently investigating reducing and recycling plastic waste and how to make DSU carbon-neutral.


DSU is now taking part in the pioneering Carbon Academy project, to ascertain how to reduce DSU’s carbon footprint.






'Not Every Bright Idea's Bright' by Tom Bristow (copyright Durham University)



DSU has been at the forefront of environmental improvements in the University, campaigning for


  • Fairtrade University status, achieved in February 2007
  • 100% renewable electricity contract, achieved in September 2006


For DSU Environment Committee documents please see[]=A&type[]=M&type[]=D&committee=Environment+Committee . Here you can find minutes of meetings and other documents relating to our environmental initiatives.


The current campaign to reduce the University’s carbon emissions is starting to make an impact, with the University forming a Carbon Management Group to investigate.


Recently DSU Catering has started trialling Vegware, biodegradable cutlery made out of vegetable fibres.



Fair Trade



We already stock a large range of Fair Trade products in our retail outlets and are constantly seeking to increase this product range.


DSU is an active member of the Durham City Fair Trade Partnership -


DSU is also represented on the University Fair Trade Steering Group.


For more information on Fair Trade at Durham University please visit


Fair Trade Fortnight  2008 runs from 25th February to 9th  March. Watch this space for information on events.



Living Out


The below websites provide information on how to get a kerb-it box for you house and information on the kerb-it scheme.


However Durham City Council has just awarded the new city waste contract to Greencycle. It finally looks as if we will be able to recycle cardboard and plastics from the comfort of your own home. Details of how this will change the way your recycling is collected will be posted shortly.




Getting Involved



Environmental Societies


DSU is proud to support several Environmental societies:


Allotment Society -


Conservation Volunteers -


People and Planet -




Sustainable Living Action Group




The Sustainable Living Action Group (S.L.A.G.) is a joint venture of Durham Student Union, elected student College Environment Officers (DSU Environment Committee), the 16 Colleges, and the University administration. S.L.A.G. is a pioneer of behavioural change schemes in higher education in the UK, and was shortlisted for the 2006/07 Green Gown Awards. S.L.A.G. has been a template for other universities.





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