Have you ever wondered what it is like to be involved with Green Impact from both staff and student perspectives? See below to have a look at what the teams say about Green Impact and what our student project assistants and auditors think and have learnt from their experiences.
“I have been volunteering as a Green Impact Project Assistant for the School of Geography since October 2013. The scheme follows an online workbook of criteria to suggest ways in which we can make positive changes to the department. These cover a wide variety of different sustainability issues, including waste, energy, biodiversity and travel. Last year my role focused on designing a brand of informative posters encouraging staff and students to reduce various types of waste. This academic year, the Sustainability Service introduced the Green Impact Project – where we were able to get creative and come up with our own ideas of how to implement sustainability around the university. Our idea involved identifying and integrating current sustainability schemes across campus, through hosting a series of stalls, seminars and workshops. We combined our project in with Climate Week, a national campaign seeking to raise awareness of climate, working closely with the Sustainability Service, societies and local organisations to promote sustainable living.
Green Impact is a great scheme that gives you the opportunity to have a positive impact on your environment. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience so far and it has been a pleasure to work with the GI team, a friendly and enthusiastic group of people who are dedicated to environmental sustainability. I would highly recommend signing up if you are interested in sustainability issues, no matter what your background.” – Lisa Marfell (Level 4 Mechanical Engineering Student)
Catering Services have really embraced the spirit of Green Impact. They introduced a Green Impact menu which is available through University Catering. Ian Addy described his proudest moment coming as he won the award for Best Innovation, for food procurement. “Catering services have built up a really strong network with local suppliers and we’re really proud that we’ve been able to reduce our food miles.” He also reflected that: “Personally, it’s made me realise how important these issues really are.”
Howard Collier, Trial Coordinator, Clinical Trials Research Unit Leeds
“Before I started taking part in Green Impact I was interested in how my workplace affected the environment and how I could make a difference, but the sheer range of things that could be done was overwhelming. When my department joined Green Impact we were given a workbook of challenges which provided the structure we needed to start making a real difference.
The challenges in the workbook range from really easy tasks, such as putting up posters, to bigger longer term projects. As such you can take part in the scheme on your own terms; if you are pushed for time then you can just do little things which might actually make a difference.
This year will be my department’s fourth year taking part and we have more staff than ever who are volunteering their time to help, from junior members of staff through to senior managers. We have built stronger staff relationships and the department has developed a really positive cultural attitude to being ‘environmentally friendly’. As a result of Green Impact we have own recycled book club; a bird friendly action team run by the department’s ornithologists, and a milkman called Gary!
If you’re thinking taking part in Green Impact this year then I would definitely recommend it. It is easy, it makes a difference, and you get a free three course meal with booze to celebrate at the end of the year!”
Katie Livesey, Student Experience Officer, School of Earth and Environment
“I would say that taking on the role in a large department has enabled me to meet a lot of people that I might not otherwise have got to know. It has been really great working with people who are enthusiastic about making a positive impact with regards thinking more sustainably. Personally it has enabled me to develop my organisational skills in terms of organising meetings, finding out who does what in the department and trying to action initiatives etc.”
Cohen laboratories – School of Earth and Environment
This was the first year our labs went for the Green Impact award. As part of the School of Earth and Environment we already had an eye to our environmental footprint but this gave a real focus to our efforts. Using the workbook as a guide we looked around the labs for areas to improve and got to work: we saved energy by encouraging users to shut sashes in fume cupboard; we created system to allow reuse of plastic sample bottles; and we rethought our purchasing to reduce waste and harm to the environment. We made these and many other small changes to the way we work and through that raised the environmental awareness of our users.
Laboratory work produces a lot of waste from plastic tubes to cuvettes. Much of this we can do nothing about; however, Green Impact gave us a frame work to make changes where we could and showed us just how much we had already achieved. We will be doing it again next year, hopefully finding some new ways to reduce our laboratories impact on the planet.
School of Healthcare
It was new to me, as was my role, and I enjoyed the chance to marry the two. It helped me develop an understanding of how my department does things as I needed to look at them to see if they worked and if they were sustainable. As someone who finds Green issues interesting it was good to get involved.