Sustainability Officer Blog


I’m Harriet, the Sustainability Part-Time Officer at the GSA. This is a quick blog post to update you on what I’ve been up to in the role since being elected in October. Each month I have attended the GSA Council Meetings to listen, discuss, and vote on the motions brought to each meeting. I have also had two motions passed by Council:

  1. To declare a climate emergency and create a sustainability policy.
  2. To create a sustainability student working group.

We need to acknowledge that we are at a point where urgent action is needed to tackle climate change and the climate crisis to prevent irreversible damage to the environment. Declaring a climate emergency will help facilitate this urgent action. In addition, a sustainability policy will highlight actions and targets that can ensure the GSA is becoming more sustainable. It will also have expectations for the university, such as urging the university to declare a climate emergency as well. The second motion is to set up a group for postgraduates to discuss sustainability issues and ideas and to get involved with sustainable activities and initiatives. The group will meet at least twice a term and is open to any postgraduate at the University of York. The Sustainability Part-Time Officer will chair the meetings and it is now written within the role of the Sustainability Part-Time Officer, meaning the group will be permanent and continue after I have left the position. Now that both the motions have passed and been approved by the Board of Trustees, I’ve written a Terms of Reference for the sustainability student group and am awaiting the first meeting this month! I’ll also be working on the sustainability policy in the coming weeks as well as sending out a questionnaire to get an idea about what issues matter the most to postgraduate students.

If you’d like any more information or to talk to me about anything sustainability related, you can get in contact with me in the following ways:


24th February 2021