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Students shopping for vintage clothing in a Hull shop

Student Green Room Project set to attract more students to live sustainably

Seven days, five students, 1 house, 1 mission: live sustainably.

A University of Hull student sustainability challenge – shortlisted for a prestigious, national award – will be recruiting more students next academic year to live their most sustainable life.

The Green Room Project – in which five Hull University Business School students took part in a week-long social experiment to live sustainably earlier this year – is just one example of how the University community is demonstrating its vision to work towards a more sustainable world for the benefit of future generations.

The students lived together in a house in the University Quarter, next to campus, and were filmed completing a series of tasks and learning what it is like to live sustainably.

The Green Room Project has been shortlisted for the Environmental Impact Award in the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) UK Awards 2022.

 

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The aim of the Green Room Project is to bring together people from all walks of life and allow them to share and thrive in their knowledge of sustainable living.

During the project, delivered in partnership with University Quarter accommodation provider Kexgill Group, the students learn how to eat, shop and dress sustainably as well as taking part in community activities to benefit the environment.

The project features students with a variety of attitudes towards sustainable living – from those who were reluctant to change their lifestyles, to those who have already acted to reduce their personal carbon footprint.

Dr Fannie Yeung, Lecturer in Marketing and Director of Student Experience at Hull University Business School, said: “We are delighted that students will have the opportunity to apply to take part in the Green Room Project in the next academic year. It is a great idea and concept – and one that we hope to build on for future years. It has been popular with staff and students across the University – who have been interested to follow and find out about the experiences of the housemates on social media.

“By partnering with the Kexgill Group, we have been able to offer this innovative and exciting project for Business School students. It has been a real team effort – with one of our graduates taking the lead as director and other students taking part and supporting in a variety of ways – from filming the project to planning the logistics. All great experience – and a chance to develop CV-boosting skills which I am sure will be helpful in the future.”

Richard Stott, Group Managing Director for Kexgill Group, said: “It is a really interesting project for students to be involved in – and it is great that its value has been recognised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) UK which has shortlisted the project for its Environmental Impact Award.

“These awards, which showcase the most inspirational initiatives and developments in land, real estate, construction and infrastructure, recognise outstanding achievement, teamwork and companies. Other shortlisted projects come from Clare College, Cambridge and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – so it is really wonderful to see Hull make the shortlist.

Dr Fernando Correia, Lecturer in Sustainable Business and Director of Undergraduate Programmes at Hull University Business School, said: “Sustainability is a core part of our programmes here in the Business School. Students involved in this project explore and demonstrate how we can all have a part in supporting the transition to a greener and more sustainable future.

“This generation will be key to drive the government’s plans for a Green Industrial Revolution, and businesses will be looking for graduates who are knowledgeable in this area and can show the leadership skills and behaviours to help them in their sustainability journey. These students will have a great springboard to become the future business leaders that will be in high demand.”

The students involved in the Green Room Project presented at the launch of the University of Hull’s launch of Strategy 2030 – which has been built around two core themes of sustainability and social justice. The project was also part of one of the keynote presentations for this year’s Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME)* Conference 2022, which was hosted by Hull University Business School, under the theme of Students as Agents for Transformation.

Dr Yeung said: “The conference provided the perfect platform for us to highlight our sustainability credentials and the fact that we are encouraging staff and students to live more sustainably.

“The Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) is a United Nations-supported initiative designed to raise the profile of sustainability in schools around the world and equips today's business students with the understanding and ability to deliver change tomorrow. It was a privilege to be able to showcase the project to a wider audience.”

 

“Sustainability is a core part of our programmes here in the Business School. Students involved in this project explore and demonstrate how we can all have a part in supporting the transition to a greener and more sustainable future." Dr Fernando Correia, Lecturer in Sustainable Business and Director of Undergraduate Programmes at Hull University Business School

Carbon neutral campus by 2027

The University of Hull has pledged to become a carbon neutral campus by 2027. With sustainability at the heart of its vision and strategy, students across all faculties have the opportunity to help shape and drive the University’s transformation.

The University of Hull has gained a world-renowned reputation as a leader in low-carbon energy and sustainability.

Its Energy & Environment Institute has grown from a team of two to over 100 researchers in less than five years, all exploring the impacts and causes of climate change globally.

University experts had significant presence at COP26 in Glasgow, and its team at Aura works with SMEs in the Humber region to develop new technologies and find solutions to decarbonise the economy.

University of Hull graduate finds her passion and directs project

Jessica Marsh, Director of the Green Room Project and a former University of Hull student, said: “Whilst completing my degree. I found my passion in environmental issues. When I graduated in 2021, I sought to find work that would reflect this.

“As Sustainability Campaign Manager for Kexgill Group, I was granted freedom to explore how to create awareness for the effects of climate change and how to create the greatest positive impact for our environment, because Kexgill Group also care.

“The Green Room Project 2022, for me, is an ambitious yet exciting opportunity to showcase how students can make a positive impact on the environment through changing their lifestyles.

"As I work for a student accommodation provider, working with students was vital, but I have also used this opportunity to influence the generation that will have the most impact on our future.

“I am pleased to see this project is receiving the recognition it deserves from prestigious organisations such as RICS. With the Green Room Project being highlighted by these high-profile institutions, we hope that it can influence larger businesses to promote systematic change.”

Kexgill Group is a pan-European student accommodation provider originating in Hull. Kexgill is sponsoring and supporting the project alongside Hull University Business School.

Students, family and friends were able to follow all the actions in the house and the housemates’ journey on the social media platforms TikTok and Instagram.

The project was supported by a range of businesses and their expertise to demonstrate sustainable living to the housemates: From Hyundai providing a new all-electric IONIQ 5 as transport for the students to get to their activities, to Teemil which shared its vision in sustainable clothing.

There was also been strong support from businesses in the region including: Rooted in Hull, Plant and Paint, Barleys, The Refill Jar, and Library of Stuff.

The project ultimately seeks to provide knowledge for a sustainable world by putting sustainable living principles into practice.

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Professor Dan Parsons, Director of the University’s Energy & Environment Institute, said: “I am delighted that our students are taking action on addressing climate change and of course, most importantly, learning more about how we can all make changes to help and engage with addressing this existential global challenge.

“Of course, the big changes we need to make as a society will be systemic ones that change policy in order to help people make the right choices more easily.”

Fast fashion research

A University of Hull study, conducted by YouGov, explored how peoples’ attitudes towards fast fashion have changed in recent years.

The study of over 2,000 people found a quarter of young people said they were renting or buying second-hand clothes to wear for Christmas.

It also revealed younger people are far more likely to buy second-hand clothes or gifts for Christmas than the older generation, citing environmental reasons and sustainability as their main consideration.

You can read more on the study here.

 

The University of Hull is committed to social justice and building an inclusive society. Driven by its vision to create a fairer, brighter, carbon neutral future, the University is working to provide solutions to global challenges associated with climate change as well as widening social inclusion – shaping a society that is built on equity, integrity and respect, tackling inequalities and ensuring that every member of its community feels, valued, respected and supported.

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