Sustainability Report

As you know from our sustainability statement, The University of Bristol A Cappella Society are committed to making the world a happy and healthy place for everyone, now and in the future.

The Sustainable Development Goals below were set by the UN in 2015 to be achieved globally by 2030. We have looked at these goals and identified the ones we feel apply to our society, and that we believe we can act on.

Gender Equality

What does The University of Bristol A Cappella Society do to promote gender equality?

  • This year, our all-female group Pitch Fight performed at multiple events for Bristol Women’s Voice, including an event to mark International Women’s Day. The fight for women’s rights is central to gender equality, and with Pitch Fight at the helm, A Cappella Society fully supports this.
  • Further, Pitch Fight pave the way for female a cappella on a national level, reaching the semi-finals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCAs). This success is vital on an international scene where all-female groups are often viewed as second rate. The society is extremely proud to have supported Pitch Fight in these endeavours by offering mic practise and offering subsidies for them and all our groups to compete on an international stage, and will continue to do so.
  • As shown in our equality statement, we do not make any decision based on gender in the society, whether that be in the audition process at the beginning of the year, or deciding on MDs of groups at the end of the year. All genders are welcome to join the society, take part in activities, run for positions, and audition for the groups they want.

What could The University of Bristol A Cappella Society do?

  • Other groups should be following the example set by Pitch Fight and actively show their support for gender equality by performing at events such as Reclaim the Night.

Economic Growth

What does The University of Bristol A Cappella Society do to sustain itself economically?

  • Last year we used SU and Alumni grants to purchase 8 microphones. In last year’s report we said we would be hiring these out so to raise funds to purchase more equipment, making them a sustainable investment. We have since bought 2 more microphones with these funds which make our on-mic concerts cheaper to put on.
  • When clients come to the society with gig requests (rather than directly to the groups), we split the payment 50% to society and 50% to the group. This allows more money to be spent by the society for full member events and gives the individual groups an income as well for them to spend on their members.
  • The society offers loans to groups to go to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival since the Edinburgh Fringe is very lucrative for A Cappella groups. This year, Pitch Fight and Academy are going up to the Fringe together (to save costs). These groups have struggled to raise funds in the past so by offering them a loan to make it to Edinburgh, it will hopefully allow them to start building their own funds.
  • The society’s main income comes from shows. These are so enjoyable for members and are what most of us are in the society to do. On top of giving our members enjoyment, they make the society money to invest back into the members! We aim to perform in the Winston Theatre, which is essentially free for us to use (apart from an STA fee), and will have done 3 shows in there by the end of the year. Therefore, more of the ticket sales is profit.

What could The University of Bristol A Cappella Society do?

  • Analyse every expenditure to judge its sustainability. Is it meeting the needs of the current society and those of future members? This is a question we always need to be asking!
  • Analyse the year’s expenditure after handover and see if/how we can reduce costs.

Reduced Inequalities

What does The University of Bristol A Cappella Society do to reduce inequality?

  • We treat everyone equally.
  • This year we elected a new equality officer whose job it is to reduce the inequalities within the society. They followed what we did last year and have run a liberate your language session with MDs of all the groups and committee since these are the people in ‘positions of power’ who have regular contact with members. The aim of this session was to make all members feel comfortable and included. This exercise was extremely well received.
  • We have an equality statement that lays out our stance on equality and have put together a report, based on a survey of members, dedicated to equality that puts forwards actions to take over the next year to reduce inequalities within the society.
  • Pitch Fight and Academy are now female-identifying and male-identifying groups respectively so to make them more accessible to a wider cohort of students, using language which is much more open and accepting.

What could The University of Bristol A Cappella Society do?

  • Elect new equality officers next year to continue the work of this year’s officers and encourage them to find new ways to increase the equality of our society.
  • Act on the findings of the equality report.

Responsible Consumption and Production

How is The University of Bristol A Cappella Society currently responsible for its consumption?

  • All groups except Tone Rangers and Top Note now rehearse without paper copies of music. This is a massive reduction from last year since our largest unauditioned group now is paperless. They just read the music on electronic devices. Not only does this reduce costs for the society (allowing more money to be spent on the members) but it reduces our use of paper dramatically.
  • We no longer print programs for our shows. We get a compare from a different society in the SU to guide the audience through the show, making it more interactive and enjoyable and reducing paper use.
  • All tickets for our shows are electronic reducing paper waste.

What could The University of Bristol A Cappella Society do?

  • Work with the reps of Tone Rangers and Top Note to find a sustainable solution on how to reduce their consumption of paper.
  • We will also aim to fully digitalise our music library to reduce paper use in the future.
  • Encourage people not to print out their tickets. There is no need and it uses resources.

Climate Action

What does The University of Bristol A Cappella Society do to preserve the climate?

  • All our rehearsals take place in the students’ union or university campus, which for most people is within walking/cycling distance, reducing the reliance on polluting transport.
  • We ensure trips to competitions and concerts are done via public transport like trains or buses, reducing emissions from individual car travel.

Innovation and Infrastructure

How is The University of Bristol A Cappella Society innovative?

  • As an umbrella society, we are innovative in the way we run the society with all established groups having a seat on committee, a vote and a say in all we do.

What could The University of Bristol A Cappella Society do?

  • Continue to try out new and innovative ways to make decisions and run the society to provide the best possible experience for all members.

For the discussed goals, and the ones not discussed here, the society can do a lot more to promote these causes and even raise money to support those aiming to combat them. As a society, we have 8 performing groups that can participate in events and perform in or put on concerts to help us all meet the sustainable development goals.

Key Actions

  • Collaborate with other societies, community groups and charities to use music and performance to raise money and awareness for these 17 key areas. Actively seek these opportunities, don’t just wait for them to come to us.
  • Analyse our current and future spending to see where and how we can reduce costs and how we can spend money more sustainably.
  • Continue to promote equality with an equality officer voted in every year and regular surveys for members.
  • Aim to reduce paper usage by digitalising our music library and finding a new sustainable alternative for Top Note and Tone Rangers.
Sustainability Statement