Fair for everyone
More and more food is being thrown away and the oceans are full of plastic waste. If this worries you, and you’d like to be part of the ever increasing number of students campaigning for greater sustainability – the ‘sneep’ student network is an ideal place for making your voice heard.
’I didn’t really have much to do with sustainability before. I just saw a poster for the kick-off event and haven’t looked back since,’ explains Philipp. He is studying economics at the School of Business, Economics and Society (WiSo Nuremberg), writing his Bachelor’s thesis on sustainability and heads the local sneep group – part of a national student initiative – at WiSo/FAU in Nuremberg.
‘Sneep stands for Student Network for Ethics in Economics and Practice and we campaign for sustainability and business and corporate ethics,’ explains Philipp. With more than 30 active members, the Nuremberg group is the largest in Germany, and a group was started in Erlangen in the winter semester 2017/18.
Sustainability days in autumn
As the head of the group, Philipp is responsible above all for a number of coordination tasks: ‘We have four project groups and I am responsible for coordinating with the heads of the other local groups.’ The most stressful time is in autumn, when the sustainability days are held. We offer several days of workshops, presentations and podium discussions. We also put on several cool events like a fair fashion show or a tombola with Fairtrade products.
The project is supported by the Chair of Corporate Sustainability Management at the School of Business, Economics and Society. ‘We don’t only study business and economics, though, the Erlangen group in particular has students from a wide range of different subjects,’ reports Philipp. ‘I usually tackle problems from an economic point of view. Students of other subjects often have quite different perspectives.’
A Fairtrade university
Sneep Nuremberg also ensured that FAU receives the title “Fairtrade University”. Certain conditions have to be met, for example offering sustainable drinks in the canteens or fair trade coffee at official university meetings. But this is just the beginning. ‘The Fairtrade status itself is not enough. It has to be followed by action,’ says Philipp. The students already have many ideas – from environmentally friendly paper to a public fridge for food which is nearing its best before date.
Sneep is always keen to welcome dedicated students who can help put the numerous projects into practice. ‘Just drop in to one of our weekly meetings or send us a message,’ says Philipp. He thinks students should definitely get involved in student initiatives. ‘They offer a good balance to studying and you learn to make practical use of what you have learned in theory’. He has also benefited personally from being a member of sneep, meeting interesting people from politics, economics and research.