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Green Impact 2020 National Special Award Winners!

Green Impact is one of SOS-UK's flagship sustainability engagement and change programmes. It supports organisations, staff and students in making tangible changes to their practices, processes and ways of working towards a more positive future. Over time, Green Impact has grown into a powerful network of staff, students and leaders who are creating positive sustainability changes in their organisations, and in the community. Each year, we celebrate innovations and innovators in sustainability through our National Green Impact awards.

We're thrilled to announce our Green Impact 2020 National Special Award Winners, the winners are:

Sustainability Hero Award: Jennie Lacey, Careers and Employability Adviser at CSW Group 

Jennie was nominated for the Sustainability Hero award by her colleagues within 'The Sprout' Green Impact team at CSW Cornwall as she the only person within 'The Sprouts' to have reduced their carbon footprint the most during the Covid 19 pandemic! Jennie's environmental successes include (but are most likely not limited to): Doing a Level 3 RHS Horticulture Course at college, increasing her knowledge of plants and biodiversity, Growing her own vegetables on a local allotment seedlings are raised at home in biodegradable pots!, planting and growing native trees in pots with her daughter, composting all her vegetable and food scraps in a wormery, making her own beeswax food wraps, buying local in Truro (using the refill shop and the Cornish Food Box), using renewable energy in her home as well as banking with the Co-op Bank for their ethical credentials. What really makes Jennie our environmental hero is the inclusion of her family in her environmental mission by teaching and motivating the next generation to live sustainably we will ensure the movement gains crucial momentum. I think we can all agree that Jennie is a true sustainability hero! 

  • Jennie said "I am absolutely amazed to have won this award!  For the past few years now I have taken a number of small steps to be more sustainable.  Green Impact has really given me time to think about how sustainable I am in my day to day life, and what changes I can continue to make to reduce my footprint on the world.   I feel it's important to share with every generation that small sustainable changes, can have a real positive change on our environment."

Student Leadership Award: Jessica Tearney-Pearce, PHD Candidate of History, University of Cambridge 


Jessica was nominated by Vicky Jeffries, St John's College Maintenance Payments and Utilities Co-ordinator, for her very strong interest in all things related to the Environmental and Sustainability issues within the College.  Jessica sits on the Sustainability Forum panel and the Climate Crisis Committee and is a great force for pushing things forward and is a fantastic link between the Students & Staff who really gets things done.  Last year she worked with the Domestic Bursar to develop an in depth Sustainability Framework for the College.  This involved her meeting with Heads of Departments and relevant staff and gaining a valuable insight into all that the College currently carries out and plans for the future.  This has been invaluable and has also helped to share all the good processes that the College has in place currently that have not been spoken about. She is very proactive and if asked to assist in anything is always very enthusiastic and gave a very informative talk about all the positives that are happening in College eg. the wildflower meadow, the change to milk in bottles not cartons etc.  She is also heavily involved with the Catering Department in being able to share information with the College community regarding where our food is sourced from and the carbon footprint. She is exceptional in her drive and enthusiasm. *(Photo by Nordin ?ati?).

  • On receiving this award Jessica said "I'm absolutely delighted to receive this award. I consider it an achievement for my College, St John's, Cambridge; for the supportive and dedicated fellows, staff and students whose work is enabling progress in decreasing emissions, improving biodiversity on the College site, and reducing consumption. There is much to be done, but the College's significant success in its first year of Green Impact within the context of the University of Cambridge's wide-reaching Green Impact initiatives, highlights that by working collectively and collaboratively we can effect real change for the long term within our institutions and organisations." Congratulations on winning the Student Leadership Award Jessica! 

Community Action Award: Joule House Team, University of Salford

Joule House Green Impact team collaborated with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to host The Green Plan It challenge with 11 different local schools. It has provided the University with the opportunity to broaden students' knowledge around environmental issues and provide them with access to specialised staff and knowledgeable students. This project has also allowed the students to have an insight into student life after high school. The Green Plan It challenged encouraged schools to research, plan and build model gardens for their own schools or local community. During the day the students had the opportunity to work with expert garden designers, landscape architects and lectures. Working alongside academics the pupils were able to take part in flying drones, making their own seed bombs and hear more about available sustainability opportunities . The schools were also able to take part in a nature treasure hunt around Peel Park using an app designed by one of Salford's CSE students. The app enabled students to learn more about the kinds of plants that are growing in Peel Park. Pre-reg children's nursing students were also on hand to offer support. The University and the RHS provided a unique experience for the students encouraging innovative and forward thinking. The Green Plan It challenge also promotes wellbeing through being outdoors and engaging with nature.

  • Dr Michael Hardman, Senior lecturer who was involved in the project said 'We are delighted to be winners of the 2020 Community Action National Green Impact Awards. This demonstrates our commitment as a University in driving sustainability practices, working with key partners and doing what we can to engage with the community to improve knowledge on the steps we can take, however small, that make a difference to our environment. Working with local schools is part of our civic responsibility, myself and my colleagues really did enjoy working with the young students getting them to rethink the role of green spaces. We have a long-standing relationship with the RHS and The Green Plan it Challenge is one of the many exciting initiatives we have been involved in prior to the much-anticipated RHS Garden Bridgewater, which is due to open in 2021.' Congratulations to everyone involved in creating this project!


Environmental Improvement Award: Informatics Team, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust


During 2018/19 the strategic focus was the continued consolidation of critical systems following the creation of MFT and the procurement of a Trust-wide EPR and PAS (Electronic Patient Records). Rather than designing a new platinum project, the team decided to calculate the sustainability benefits of the projects the department was already undertaking in 2020. The most common benefit observed was as a result of the information being managed electronically, rather than on paper. This has saved over 1.2 million sheets of paper a year and over 250,000 in additional costs such as stationery and staff time. This has also freed up 1466 sq ft. of space in Children's services which has been released to the MLCO. 

The online system has also saved over 25,000 in staff travel expenses due to the rise in EMIS software being made available on mobile devices and the provision of portable devices rather than desktops. 

Congratulations to Informatics Team for quantifying the huge positive impact your projects have had over the years! 


Environmental Innovation Award: Bracken House Team, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Historically, patients at Bracken House would use a single use plastic cup to have water to swallow tablets. These cups would then immediately be disposed of creating large quantities of waste. The team came up with the idea of providing each patient with their own re-usable cup and conducted research to identify an appropriate receptacle for their patient group. They worked with IPC to ensure the idea was in line with standards of cleanliness and hygiene, deciding to ensure the cups were washed in their dishwasher after each use. 

  • Upon hearing they won the Environmental Innovation Award  "The whole team are thrilled to win this award. Some may consider it a small change, but we really hope to see this idea expanded to other wards within the trust and nationwide. If this were to happen then the impact would be substantial, creating a much greener environment for us all. The Bracken House team are always thinking of ways to help make a greener, cleaner environment, we hope this has inspired you too" Congratulations to the Bracken House team and we also hope to see many healthcare teams across Green Impact making a similar change!


Innovation for Engagement Award: Department of Geography, University of Cambridge 

The Innovation for Engagement award this year goes to the Department of Geography for their work to decarbonise the department. Recognising the potential for academics to input into the sustainability of the department, the Green Impact team formed a sub-group focusing on not only the energy efficiency of the building but the carbon emissions related to flights taken by students and academics. The collaboration with academics has been immensely valuable, now two out of the four scheduled undergraduate fieldtrips in 2020-21 can be reached via train or boat instead of plane. Undergraduate and graduate students are now also asked to consider the environmental impact of the flights they take when planning their own research trips.

  • When the team heard of their win, they said "When the Geography Team came together we wanted to ensure that Green Impact was something that became imbedded in all areas of the Department. By creating different sub-groups to the main green impact team we were able to involve a larger number of academics and students in an initiative that they were most passionate about, reducing our carbon footprint. We are truly delighted to receive this award, thank you" Congratulations to Geography for taking such clear action and for recognising the potential in collaboration with colleagues to optimise sustainability impact.

Congratulations to all of our Green Impact 2020 National Award Winners! Whilst this has been a very difficult year for all involved, it's fantastic to see teams still coming together (virtually) and ensuring that sustainability is embed across the actions they take as a team.