Student leadership, in association with IEMA: Nia Thomas, Cardiff University. Nia has been recognised for lobbying for change at the university level and creating change within the Molecular Ecology department. Some successful outcomes from Nia’s lobbying include the removal of plastic bottles & disposable plates from catered events and pushing the university to provide food waste collection points. Nia was also an active participant in the university’s sustainability forum, which has sparked ongoing discussions of how to create further positive change across the university. Nia was presented with the Student Leadership award at the SOS-UK & NUS Student Sustainability Summit in Sheffield by the Chief Executive of IEMA, Toby Robins.
Community Engagement, in association with Defra’s Year of Green Action: Keira Austin, University of the West of Scotland. Keira impressed Defra with the Brodie’s Bike Project which gives students access a free bike on a short-term loan basis. The Brodie’s Bike project was launched in memory of UWS Student Brodie Eaton who passed away in 2016. Brodie loved to cycle and his family donated bikes and equipment to provide UWS Ayr student resident’s access to a free bike. Through Keira’s work, the scheme has now been extended across two other residences, offering more students the opportunity to explore the local Scottish countryside in a sustainable way, save students money and improves mental and physical health. As part of this award, Kiera was invited to DEFRA's Year of Green Action, Boardroom in the Forest event on the 19th November.
Sustainability Hero: Jenny Purcell, University of York. Jenny has been praised for championing Green Impact to a wide range of teams within the Biology Department at York, increasing the number of people taking part and ensuring sustainability is truly embedded across the whole department. Jenny also does fantastic work supporting and mentoring students in their Green Impact Project Assistant (GIPA) role to ensure student-staff collaboration is at the heart of Green Impact. Jenny has “set a very high standard in how to promote sustainability across a large and complex department” has been described as an “exceptional sustainability ambassador”.
Innovation For Engagement: Blynyddoedd Cynnar - Early Years, University of Wales Trinity Saint Davids. The Early Years team at UWTSD set out to engage their students in practical action on sustainability through the John Muir award. All students at level 6 now undertake the award which encourages exploring and conserving the natural environment. Students undertook conservation projects such as building bird feeders, conducting litter picks and building bug hotels, with some students involving children in the projects to tie in with their wider Early Years course.
Sustainability Innovation: Noonan Jordanstown and Belfast, Ulster University. The Noonan Facilities team at Ulster installed an SAO cleaning system which uses cold water and Stabilized Aqueous Ozone to effectively clean instead of using harsh chemicals. This has resulted in fewer deliveries as well as lower environmental impact, no risk to aquatic life and no wastage. They have also done excellent work in ensuring all stakeholders are fully bought-in to the new cleaning system, and staff have no intention of returning to chemical based cleaning!
Congratulations to all our Green Impact National Award winners, and all the dedicated teams of staff and students across the country who are taking action locally. Don't forget to nominate yourself or somebody else for a Special Award as part of your own local Green Impact programme to be in with a chance of winning one of our National Awards in 2020!