Spotlight on Summer Wyatt-Buchan (UCL Geography), UCL Millennium Fellowship Campus Director
I am one of the Campus Directors for the UCL Millennium Fellowship class of 2021, a group of students leading social change on our campus. I was selected to facilitate and lead the UCL cohort of 23 Fellows alongside Valentina Laugeri, my co-director.
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
As a third-year undergraduate, I have been at UCL for just over two years. During my time at UCL I have contributed to sustainability in numerous ways. I have worked with the Environmental Justice Project and was a Sustainable UCL Wild Bloomsbury ambassador. As the Editor-in-Chief for UCL Climate Action Society, I wrote for numerous student journals.
Alongside my studies, I work for Voiz, a social venture that rates the sustainability credentials of products. At Voiz, I conceived and developed the UK’s first junior sustainability analyst programme, which brought SDG training to secondary school students. We guided them on choosing sustainably and teaching companies how to make sustainable design and production choices.
Tell us about something you’re working on at UCL that is supporting the SDGs.
I am working with five other millennium fellows on a project called ‘Next Chapter’. Focusing on SDG 3: Good Health & Wellbeing and SDG 10: Partnerships for the Goals, the project aims to facilitate the integration of young refugees through interactive language classes and weekly events and workshops. I am also organising a sustainable food summit and developing workshops for local schools with UCL Climate Action Society.
Beyond work, which of your everyday activities contributes most to one or more of the SDGs?
As a life-long vegetarian who cannot have dairy, my diet can be considered more sustainable than most. Not just from a non-meat/fish perspective, but because I always choose organic vegetables in non-plastic packaging, use a reusable water bottle, always have a reusable coffee cup and I never purchase a plastic bag.
And what do you do that has the most detrimental impact on the Goals?
I do my best to buy as little as I can and cut out the shops who take part in greenwashing. However, where there is a lack of alternatives, like with technology, I do find myself of purchasing from Apple and unfortunately buying into fast technology.
In your opinion, which of the SDGs is the most important for humanity to address?
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
If there was an 18th Goal, what should it be?
SDG18: Clean Air
If you could bring in one law or societal shift to help the UK address the SDGs, what would it be?
A ban on fossil fuels and ban on supporting the fossil fuel industry. I would ask for the leaders of the most unsustainable corporations to be held accountable and face the consequences of their actions.
What is the biggest challenge to the world achieving the Goals by 2030?
Competing interests. National governments, corporations and communities have different priorities, which means that the necessary collective approach to achieving each goal is often lacking. National governments, the corporate sector, local communities, and NGOs must work together to make complex decisions to achieve the SDGs and right now this is not happening.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I am a football coach and black belt in karate.