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 were set by the UN in 2015 to be achieved globally by 2030. We have looked at these goals and identified 9 that 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 Reclaim the Night, a march against sexual violence and for gender equality, performing empowering songs such as Independent Woman. 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 quarter 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, 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?

  • Over the past year we have used SU and Alumni grants to purchase 8 microphones. This equipment is now ours to use whenever we want, for years to come. Further, we rent out these mics to other student groups. So far, this has brought in £714 to the society. This is a very sustainable form of income.
  • 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. The Fringe is very lucrative for groups, allowing them to make money themselves to set them up for the next year. Offering this loan allows the groups to get to the fringe in the first place, allowing the individual groups to sustain themselves!
  • 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). 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 2 equality offers whose job it is to reduce the inequalities within the society. So far they have run a liberate your language session with MDs of all the groups 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.
  • In this year’s AGM we made amendments to our constitution that clarified the inclusivity of our society, replacing “All categories of membership shall have equal rights of voting, attending meetings, etc.” with “All members shall have equal rights of voting at general meetings, attending society committee and society sub-committee meetings, running for election, and participating in society-led events” and implemented that the committee MUST co-opt an equality officer.

 

What could The University of Bristol A Cappella Society do?

  • Check if MD’s are acting on what they learnt in the ‘Liberate Your Language’ session.
  • Elect new equality officers next year to continue the work of this year’s officers.
  • Act on the findings of the equality report.

 

 

Sustainable cities and Communities 

What does The University of Bristol A Cappella Society do to support the local community?

  • Our groups frequently perform and do gigs to raise money for local charities. For example, every Christmas, HotTUBBS sing carols in Cabot Circus for Ronald McDonald House, a Bristol based charity that provides free ‘home away from home’ accommodation for families with children in hospital. Further, every Christmas, TUBBS hold an inter-society concert with Revelation Rock Gospel Choir and Bristol University Jazz Orchestra with the proceeds going to local charities.
  • HotTUBBS also perform at the Royal York Crescent Christmas Fair and the Chandos Road street party, integrating the society into the local community.

 

What could The University of Bristol A Cappella Society do?

  • The rest of the society should follow HotTUBBS’ example. Maybe we should actively be seeking out these gigs in the local area. Not only would this support the local community but it may then lead to the local community supporting us back and attending our gigs.

Responsible Consumption and Production

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

  • All the groups except TUBBS A Cappella now rehearse without paper copies of music. 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.
  • 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 TUBBS A Cappella to find a sustainable solution on how to reduce their consumption of paper.
  • Encourage people not to print out their tickets. There is no need and it uses resources.
  • Create digital programs (like ICCAs do). This will save us money and reduce our waste.

 

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.

 

What could The University of Bristol A Cappella Society do?

  • Ensure efficient and grouped transport to external events like competitions or concerts, using cleaner modes of transport such as trains where possible.

 

Partnerships to reach these goals

How does The University of Bristol A Cappella Society work in collaboration to reach their sustainability goals?

  • As a society, we collaborate with many other groups from within the union and beyond. All our collaborations such as The Bristol Suspensions doing a joint concert with The Techtonics (from Imperial College London) are fun and light-hearted and performances are open to all. For example, the gig with Techtonics was a free performance in the union bar, not excluding anyone.
  • Our collaboration with charities both local and national is one way in which we use performing to make a (mainly) social change in our local communities and beyond.

 

What could The University of Bristol A Cappella Society do?

  • Use these collaborations more to promote and work towards common goals. For example, we could join with other societies to run events that raise money or promote these key issues.

 

Innovation and Infrastructure

How is The University of Bristol A Cappella Society innovative?

  • As a relatively new 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. We still have some teething problems and it would be great to think outside the box to solve these!

 

Good Health and Wellbeing

How is The University of Bristol A Cappella Society encouraging and promoting good health and wellbeing?

  • The Bristol Suspensions have run 2 workshops for Bristol SU’s Mind Your Head scheme to encourage mental health and wellbeing through singing. These workshops show people how fun singing can be and can introduce people to the society that wouldn’t usually find it.

What could The University of Bristol A Cappella Society do?

  • Run more open sessions to get people singing regularly to continue to increase the mental wellbeing of our student population.

 

 

For these 9, and the 8 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 and/or find a new sustainable alternative.
  • Aim to run more taster sessions and open rehearsals promoting the positive benefits of singing, advertising the society to continue to create a sustainable membership throughout the academic year.
Sustainability Statement