Green Impact is launching for the first year at University of Surrey. It’s a departmental environmental accreditation scheme with a competitive streak, run nationally by NUS. Join other staff and students in this vibrant scheme aimed at celebrating and recognising environmental achievements whilst also assisting and encouraging teams to further improve their environmental performance.
How does it work?
Teams throughout the organisation are given an online set of actions with bronze, silver, gold and bonus criteria to help create a more sustainable workplace. Each criteria is simple, clear and easy to implement and support is provided to help them. Once they have submitted their action pack, teams are audited by students to ensure their submissions are accurate and to provide them with extra support. All participating teams will be rewarded for their efforts and depending on their performance will be awarded a Bronze, Silver or Gold standard, with the highest scoring team being awarded the Platinum prize.
How can you get involved?
1. Start up a Green Impact Team in your department;
2. Check out the Green Impact website for more info or to sign up;
3. Train as an environmental auditor to add to your personal and professional development.
What’s in it for you?
- Taking part is free and fun
- Being part of a large nationwide scheme
- The chance to have a big impact in your department
- Opportunity to achieve and gain recognition at the awards ceremony
- Recognition for environmental actions already complete
- Giving you a framework for encouraging your colleagues to think about sustainability
- Opportunity to save resources and money
- Learning about environmental issues
- Opportunity to build professional and personal skills
What happens if more than one person signs up from one department?
When you register on the Green Impact website you’ll be asked whether you want to join an existing team or start a new one - if you are a large department, you may wish to break down into a number of teams. Nothing like a bit of healthy competition!
Will all departments and faculties be measured the same, regardless of size or number of staff?
All teams are treated and marked equally, because most of the criteria are not dependant on staff numbers. However, if you feel that your department would be at a disadvantage, then why not contact a colleague and see if two smaller departments would like working together? This would work particularly well if you share office space or have similar responsibilities.
When is the sign-up deadline?
Ideally, we hope to have all the teams signed up before Christmas. However, the deadline for completion isn’t until Easter so we won’t be closing the sign-up until the submission deadline. Bear in mind though that the earlier you sign up, the earlier you'll be able to get started - the early bird catches the worm!
What is the deadline for completing the action pack?
The competition will run for the course of the academic year, so action packs will need to be completed by Easter 2014. The action packs will then be marked and audited before the Awards are given out at a celebratory event in summer.
How much time will we need to complete the action pack?
The action pack shouldn't take up too much of your time. It is designed to be completed by the team so the workload should be shared by a number of people. Almost all of the questions can be answered with a simple Yes / No although you are free to include comments and supporting evidence as you work through.
Who can help me with completing the action pack?
Anyone within your team can support you to complete the action pack and we would encourage you to get as many people involved as possible. If your colleagues also want access, just get them to register, choosing your team from the drop-down menu so they can see the same comments as you. If you have any problems, particularly resource based, please get in touch with Victoria Johnsen, your local Green Impact lead. If you have a wider problem, your appointed NUS Green Impact Project Officer will be happy to help – you can find their details under 'Contact’ on the Green Impact website.
What other people said...
“The University has a duty to the local community to lead the way in green issues, with the amount of students and staff that are here on campus all year round. Green Impact is a very important way to give ‘champions’ of the project the information and power to make changes needed.” - Cate Gleed, University of Exeter
“I think the project works well because people do "muck in" together and persuade one another to think in a more environmentally friendly manner- it's good for team-spirit!”- Clare Gorman, University of Westminster
“The workbook is easy to use and helps provide a structured and straightforward means to achieve attainable changes within the workplace.” - Tom Hewlett, London School of Economics
“Great idea and will definitely be continuing to work on green impact issues within the department. Great idea, keep up the good work everyone!” – Clare Wright, Loughborough University