Green Impact is a world-wide environmental accreditation developed by the National Union of Students (NUS) and now run by Students Organisation for Sustainability (SOS).
The programme is a United Nations award-winning programme, that a range of organisations can take part in, from Students’ Unions, Universities, NHS Trusts and more. Over 60 Universities and 70 Students’ Unions in the U.K have taken part!
The Green Impact Programmes aim to provide a framework for organisations to work with to record and grow their sustainable actions. SOS also provide training and support for any organisations undertaking Green Impact, to ensure that they achieve as many sustainable actions as possible.
For universities, the Green Impact programme looks for students and staff to undertake impactful actions towards sustainability; this includes environmental sustainability but also more widely at wellbeing, culture and how the university embeds sustainability across all curriculums and programmes. For Students’ Unions, the Green Impact programme seeks to support students’ sustainability initiatives across campuses whilst working with Elected Officers in their Students’ Union to build sustainability into the core of the Union strategically and operationally.
For the University, initiatives carried out throughout the year for Green Impact are designed to incorporate sustainability into everyday practice. Example activities include encouraging staff to only print when absolutely necessary and applying double-sided printing by default; using marketing materials to remind people to turn off lights and electronics when not in use; uploading lecture notes and module handbooks electronically to reduce the number of print-outs disseminated to students, and recycling food waste – with one of our teams setting up their own wormery! To reduce the impact of travel, car-pooling has been introduced by some teams and video conferencing negates the need for staff to travel between campuses for meetings.
UWTSD Students’ Union took part in the Green Impact Accreditation 2020-21 and received ‘Very Good’ for all the work that was undertaken by the Sabbatical Officer Team, the Part-time Officer Team, INSPIRE Interns, students and staff. The INSPIRE Interns have supported with leading on campaigns such as Go Green Week, and students at all sites across the U.K took part in the Small Plant Initiative, which was adapted from our Big Plant Campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can see more on the Students’ Union website here about the campaigns that have happened that supported the work of Green Impact.
To find out more about Green Impact and how you can get involved, take a look at the website.