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Housemates, project team and supporters raise awareness of Green Room Project 2023 on campus.

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Students all set for sustainability challenge in University of Hull Green Room Project

Five days, five students, one house, one mission: live sustainably.

Follow the project on Instagram @greenroom_project, on TikTok @thegreenroomproject on LinkedIn – the-green-room-project plus UniOfHull channels

From trying a vegan diet and green transport to tackling food waste – a University of Hull student sustainability challenge is encouraging a group of students to live their most sustainable life.

The Green Room Project – a five-day social experiment now in its second 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.

Five students will live together in a house in the University Quarter, next to campus, for five days next week (Monday 23 to Friday 27 January) and will take part in a range of activities to engage them in a more sustainable life-style.

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

Housemates, project team and supporters raise awareness of Green Room Project 2023 on campus.
Housemates, project team and supporters raise awareness of Green Room Project 2023 on campus.

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.

Business Management and Marketing student Yousef Sakr is one of the housemates. He says that he is excited about taking part in the Green Room Project and that the most challenging aspect for him will be living without meat for five days.

He has already started to live a more sustainable lifestyle and hopes that the project will encourage more people to aspire to live more sustainably.

“I have drastically reduced my shopping in the past few months. I would rather only spend money on clothes if I desperately need them (for example, thermal socks for winter!). I want to spread the sustainability message and how important it is to reduce our carbon footprint (which is detrimental for our environment), as well as to conserve natural resources.”

Advertising and Marketing student Tosin Adejuwon is also looking forward to the challenge and having a positive impact.

“I feel so great participating in the project as it helps me to impact the world positively. I believe that I can champion a new set of people to take sustainability serious and not just treat it as a "buzz" word. It is an amazing project.”

Tosin has already made efforts to live more sustainably by paying more attention to food wastage and recycling old items. He hopes that the project with lead to “tremendous awareness amongst young people of the need to live sustainably”.

Other housemates to join the project are: Riannon Speechley, Harry Spillings and Chilando Tamba. Additional support for the project will be provided by Hull University Business School students: Will Mellor, Qi Lin, Celeste Missud, Molly Brook, Komal Ahmad, Iwona Bojan, Sapphire Jackson-Yoxall, Will Forbes. Film student Lewis Monk Hart will be filming and editing content for the project.

Business Marketing and Management student Qi Lin is one of the project managers for the challenge. She said: “This is my first time taking on a role like this and I am enjoying every aspect. Although I face challenges, the project is enhancing my personal skills and pushing me to reach my fullest potential.”

Qi is committed to trying to live more sustainably: “I have shifted to integrating sustainable practices into my life. For example: thrift store shopping, reusable cups and supporting eco-friendly brands (e.g. makeup brands).

“Changes that may seem insignificant have a great beneficial impact towards the environment. We are constantly reminded how our actions have negatively impacted the environment, e.g. global warming. If we don't change, what will happen in the future?”

BA Marketing student Molly Brook, who is leading the marketing and promotion of the project, said: “I’m super excited to be working as part of the Green Room Project 2023 team! I’m glad to get more experience in marketing campaign and launch planning, all while focusing on a very important issue of promoting a more sustainable lifestyle.

“I hope that people can take away even a couple of things that they can do to make their lifestyle more sustainable, that are all realistic and reasonable.”

Housemates, project team and supporters raise awareness of Green Room Project 2023 on campus.

Molly, who already limits the clothes she buys, tries to go for second hand and is also reviewing her food buying habits to reduce the amount of supermarket waste, will be promoting the Green Room Room Project on campus with posters and digital content to raise awareness.

All the students are hoping to build on the ways they are already trying to live sustainably and to gain greater insights into the changes that they can make. The sustainable practices that some of the students have already adopted include: thrift store shopping, using reusable cups, supporting eco-friendly brands, not buying fast fashion clothing, vegan diet, choosing walking and public transport, renovating old furniture, always using bags for life’, showering instead of taking a bath, and eating fresh, local produce.

Dr Fannie Yeung, Lecturer in Marketing and Director of Student Experience at Hull University Business School, said: “It is great to hear about all the sustainable lifestyle choices that we can choose. These students are already an inspiration to us all and we are delighted that they will have the opportunity to learn even more about living sustainably when they take part in the Green Room Project. We hope that like last year, the project will be popular with staff and students across the University – who are keen to follow and find out about the experiences of the housemates on social media.

“By partnering with the Kexgill Group and our project sponsor, Aldermore, we have been able to offer this innovative project for Business School students for a second year. In addition to taking part as housemates in the project, students are also given the opportunity to provide support and gain CV-boosting skills as project, marketing and launch managers, social media and content creators, as well as camera and editing roles.”

John Carter, Commercial Director for Commercial Real Estate, Aldermore Bank, said: “We’ve backed Kexgill for some time now, impressed with their drive to enhance the lives of the many students they house across the regions they operate in, always with a keen eye on sustainable growth.

“This mirrors Aldermore’s drive and beliefs in a more sustainable future, which is why we’re heavily invested in the student accommodation sector, but it’s not just funding – we’re also an active player in helping young people, from school age through university and into employment, aiming to promote social mobility and create a level playing field for all.

“It’s therefore an honour to be able to support the University of Hull and Kexgill with this great initiative and something we intend to build on beyond this project with both in the future.”

green-room-project-13
Last year’s housemates embraced the challenge to live more sustainably in Green Room Project 2022.

Richard Stott, Group Managing Director for Kexgill Group, said: “The Kexgill Group who own the University Quarter are primarily an investment company with assets throughout the UK and mainland Europe.

“Our world is crying out for the Green Room Project. As a company, we know our sector is lagging behind, so to be involved is hugely important. It is only through engaging with our tenant demographic that we can have a hope to make a difference. The motivated, passionate project team and housemates will really make some noise this year!

“Last year the Project was featured by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and as a main theme in a Unipol Conference which covered 97% of the UK’s student accommodation providers, a result for knowledge sharing. This year the GRP is likely to have a far greater reach. We are proud to be involved.”

The students involved in the Green Room Project will be living the values of the University of Hull’s Strategy 2030 – which has been built around two core themes of sustainability and social justice. Last year’s project was also part of one of the keynote presentations for the 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.”

Richard, from Kexgill Group, said: “As a group of companies, we have decided to investigate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to narrow down the targets we felt passionate about and have the resources to tackle.

“Robert Swan OBE, an advocate for renewable energy and the protection of Antarctica said: ‘the greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it’. Upon this realisation and after research into the climate crises, we decided that it was no longer acceptable for us to be a bystander, therefore, we took matters into our own hands and intend to become sustainable within our means.”

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 a significant presence at COP26 and COP27, and its team at Aura works with SMEs in the Humber region to develop new technologies and find solutions to decarbonise the economy.

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 will be able to follow all the actions in the house and the housemates’ journey on social media platforms TikTok and Instagram.

The project is supported by a range of businesses and their expertise to demonstrate sustainable living to the housemates.

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

Special thanks to all the businesses who are supporting the students and the Green Room Project:

Aldermore Bank is the main sponsor of the Green Room Project and has a long-term ambition to support the UK’s transition to a net zero economy. The bank is currently refining its plan to support the transition, having joined Bankers for Net Zero in June 2022.

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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