Oxford Brookes retains its Fairtrade University status

Oxford Brookes retains its Fairtrade University status

Oxford Brookes University has achieved a Fairtrade University award for its work over the last two academic years (2020-2022), and is one of 26 higher education institutions to have achieved Fairtrade University status.

Now in its fifth year, this prestigious, bi-annual award is delivered as a partnership between the Fairtrade Foundation, the National Union of Students, and Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK). The Fairtrade University and College Award requires students to partner with their institution and student union to achieve the award.

The award recognises a broad range of activities undertaken in the institution which work towards a more just, equitable and sustainable world for all. This includes raising awareness of the issues of ethical and sustainable consumption, and increasing the availability of Fairtrade products on campus.

The award programme encourages partnership between sustainability, catering and academic staff in the institution, plus the students’ union and students to cover procurement, awareness raising and campaigning activities.

Students were recruited as volunteer auditors and given training by the NUS and the Fairtrade Foundation, equipping them with transferable skills and experience in conducting an audit.

Proud history as the world’s first Fairtrade University

Michele Morley, Environmental Sustainability Manager at Oxford Brookes University, commented: “We are proud of our long history as a Fairtrade University, having been the world’s first Fairtrade University in 2003. As a large and complex organisation, we recognise our environmental and social impacts and the pivotal role we have in shaping positive change.

“On behalf of Oxford Brookes, I would like to thank all staff, students and our community partners for their commitment in pursuing this award. We look forward to continuing to work with the Fairtrade Foundation in the years to come.”

Joanna Milis, Education Campaigns Manager from the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “The last two years have been very challenging for universities as they deal with the disruptions caused by the pandemic. Completing the Fairtrade University and College Award in 2022 has, therefore, been an incredible achievement. We are delighted that the issues of ethical and sustainable consumption remain important to the institutions.

“At a time when young people are forming their values and shaping their future careers, it is essential that they are presented with a wide range of narratives and opportunities to think differently about the world. We are one global community. Our decisions have far-reaching consequences, and only together can we tackle the biggest challenges facing our planet and its inhabitants. As students prepare to take their places as decision makers of the future, they are the ones that we need to help shape the way we respond to the multiple crises we face.”