Brasenose College has taken the Veggie Pledge title for 2018, in what has been the biggest year of pledges that Oxford has seen.
With 367.9 points on the Veggie Pledge leaderboard, Brasenose was followed by Wadham (319.25) and Worcester (182.51). The Oxford Student Union reported a total of 1,660 pledges overall.
The Veggie Pledge is an annual scheme organised by the SU aiming to encourage people to reduce their meat intake throughout the month of November.
Brasenose JCR President Manish Binukrishnan told Cherwell: “We’re delighted as a JCR to have rallied together to make a real difference to the environment and win Veggie Pledge.
“We really pride ourselves on having a strong sense of community and it was fantastic to see students from the JCR, HCR and even some staff pull together and pledge. Of course, beating Wadham was a welcome side benefit.
“In all seriousness, it’s great to see students both at BNC and the wider university commit to such an important cause.”
Brasenose JCR Environment Rep Matthew Hewlett told Cherwell: “Reducing your meat consumption is a surprisingly easy way to reduce your carbon emissions. Furthermore, opting for a plant-based diet is highly beneficial to most people’s health – reducing your risk of getting heart disease for example.
“Brasenose makes it easy for students to go veggie, with fantastic plant-based food served in hall and the college café, all at affordable prices. We’ve also got a big group of students getting involved in Student Switch Off and Green Impact this year, which goes to show how people here are willing to support environmental action.”
In an effort to win this year’s pledge, many colleges have undertaken measures to increase student participation. St Hugh’s College, last year’s winner, passed a motion to only provide vegetarian food at JCR meetings throughout the month. Brasenose, in addition to having veggie-only JCR meetings, created a veggie default setting on their formal booking system.
Wadham and New held meat-free days in their halls, while Hertford made the vegetarian meal the standard option at their Chaplain’s Buffet during November.
VP Charities and Community Officer, Rosanna Greenwood called the Pledge a “flagship campaign” for environmentalism.
Greenwood told Cherwell: “Now in its 3rd Year, Veggie Pledge is bigger than ever – smashing 1000 pledges!
“It’s the flagship campaign encouraging students to be more environmentally and sustainably conscious throughout the month of November.
“Everyone can be involved in Veggie Pledge in some way whether reducing meat intake, taking Tupperware to Gloucester Green Market or using less palm oil.”
On the Veggie Pledge Facebook page, Greenwood said: “Almost 1,700 students took part in this year’s Veggie Pledge and whilst the college competition is always fun, it’s extremely important that we remember the incredible impact that we will make during November.
“Over 15,000 animal lives have been spared and over 50 tonnes of Co2 saved (equivalent to flying from London to NYC 50 times!).
“In addition to this I have had an amazing amount of people get in touch, telling me that as a result of pledging they have become much more sustainably conscious, which is wonderful.”