1. Aligning Green Impact with the SDGs
The global goals, or sustainable development goals, are a powerful tool to help understand the breadth of sustainability impacts we can have, and set ambitious targets for us to simply make the world a better place. We heard that lots of organisations running Green Impact are keen to better understand how their work is helping achieve the global goals, and so we've developed a methodology to help. If you're an educational organisation, you may be interested in doing something similar with your curriculum - we have a tool for you too! Talk to your NUS Green Impact project officer to find out more.
2. New partnerships
We know that it's the people who make Green Impact and wherever we can will collaborate to enhance the programme and avoid duplication. We're really pleased to have some great new partnerships in the pipeline and are looking forward to working with organisations such as Sustrans to enhance the travel actions in our toolkits; with international organisations such as ACTS, rootAbility and DSF to further the global reach of Green Impact and to work with partners on our national special awards to enable local winners to benefit from national and international recognition. Just one example is IEMA who are now partnering with us to support the student leadership award. They're offering the national winner a year's mentoring as well as a profile in their Transform magazine - an amazing springboard for a student's career. Speaking of special awards....
3. A new annual event
Each year we host both the student sustainability summit to inspire and empower students to take action on sustainability and social justice issues. We also host the sustainability programmes roundtable an event primarily for staff in organisations involved in directly running one of NUS' sustainability programmes to equip them to maximise their impact but also enable participants to help shape our work. This year we’re bringing the two together, breaking down siloes and enabling greater collaboration. We’ll also be hosting the national Green Impact special awards and the Responsible Futures awards to ensure a real celebratory, feel-good event.
4. New ways of sharing ideas
We’re really proud of the fantastic good practice and breadth of positive outcomes we see from Green Impact participants each year. We want to get better at how we share good practice across the organisations using the programme – to inspire, to avoid duplication and to ensure we’re not reinventing the wheel. We’re currently designing what the Green Impact support schedule looks like for the year ahead which will include webinars, support calls, regular newsletters and more use of social media. We’re also launching some brand new case studies, information sheets and how-to guides for students’ unions. If you have ideas for us, or you want to nominate someone for a Q&A slot on our newsletter, please get in touch.
5. Reviewing our tools
The toolkit is the backbone of Green Impact – whether you’re a student, you work in a students’ union, you’re a sustainability manager or a staff member in a Green Impact team it’s likely you’ll be using a toolkit to develop your sustainability work. The current software we use does the job – it’s been developed and adapted over the years based on your feedback – but we recognise times have changed. Technology is so much more advanced than it was even just 8 years ago. So, we’re talking to our software developers about a revamp that will increase functionality, be prettier on the eye, and ensure the toolkit is powerful for years to come. We’ll be consulting on proposals so watch this space!
6. Taking action on plastics
The ‘blue planet effect’ is a global phenomenon. Building on the activities of Green Impact teams over the last year, and working with NUS’ ethical supply chain coordinator, we’re looking at ensuring we’re doing what we can to inspire and spread good practice innovate and encourage innovation. You can expect more lifestyle pieces about plastics reduction, a new plastics-reduction special award and a set of case studies and how-to guides. Beyond Green Impact, NUS is also working with a number of institutions to conduct action-based research into how best to incentivise reduction of single-use plastics on campus. We’ll keep you informed.