Sustainability from the SOFA

The University is linked to many social enterprises, charities and reuse businesses across Bristol that donate surplus or unwanted furniture and equipment for the benefit of society.

The Bristol Reuse Network, funded by Bristol European Green Capital 2015, strengthened these relationships and brought the University into contact with the SOFA (Shifting Old Furniture About) Project - which provides furniture and other household items to people on very low incomes.

The SOFA Project is linked to the University in a number of ways. It receives donations from the annual Big Give student charity drop event, takes away unwanted office furniture, and breathes new life into items such as wooden pallets, which the University is often looking to reuse rather than recycle.

"We recycle, repurpose and reuse as much as possible", said SOFA Chief Executive Nicci Peck. "We have relationships with retailers and organisations across the city, finding new homes for unwanted items and devising creative ways of using them".

University students also worked with SOFA to recommend improvements to the way they manage marketing and social media, particularly around audience engagement. Such community-based learning provides opportunities for students to apply their knowledge to real world situations.

"Working closely with organisations like the SOFA Project helps us to reduce the amount of waste we produce and provides an outlet for the knowledge and skills of our student community, making this available to organisations in Bristol who can really benefit from it", said Rose Rooney, University Sustainability Manager (Waste and EMS).

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