The second cycle of Green Impact at Salford was another successful year. 15 teams from across the university successfully achieved an award level – Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum. Within the 15, we welcomed 8 new teams into the programme. Teams across the university have come in all shapes and sizes – some teams have been driven by a solo staff member, while others have been made up by a committee of half a dozen or more. Whatever the makeup of the team, the common thread through them all has been their enthusiasm. We’ve seen initiatives including morning teas, creative notice boards, stair climbing challenges and suggestion boxes – all with the aim of encouraging sustainable behaviour change across the university.
The Human Resources team asked staff to donate Fairtrade goods for a hamper and then tickets were sold to raffle the hamper and the ticket money was split 50/50 between the Fairtrade Foundation and St Roccos Hospice. The £50 for the Fairtrade Foundation was donated to the Malawi Flood Appeal which was matched by the Shared Interest Foundation. Their £100 donation provided farmers in Malawi with an agricultural start-up kit containing seedlings, fertilizers and crop nutrients.
The team have opted to go green by requesting vegan food for all external catering for conferences, workshops and meetings. Eating vegan can cut the carbon footprint from your diet by more than half. In addition to ordering vegan food, SURF has opted to under order for all events by 20% and will provide compostable take away boxes and sandwich bags to allow visitors to take food home and therefore reduce waste. Around 7 million tonnes of food is thrown away in the UK each year, and as there is not often a process in place a lot of leftover food from meetings and events is often wasted, so this initiative by SURF is a real innovative and positive environmental improvement.
Elaine was nominated for her work in engaging staff and students in a range of initiatives to reduce energy consumption and generate an awareness of environmentally friendly issues within the college. Elaine also worked with three Green Impact project assistants throughout the cycle. One of her project assistants has said what an honour it has been working with Elaine and that “she is one of a kind, warm, caring, motivating, inspiring, strong, environmental conscious, selfless, helpful, enthusiastic, passionate about learning new things, accommodating, friendly and intelligent”
Elaine was also the Branch Green Representative for UCU and has been busy leading initiative in several directions in particular in providing signage and receptacles, to encourage staff to recycle and reduce their carbon footprint as they go about their day-to day work.
Her initiatives have included facilitating notices in the vicinity of the lifts encouraging staff to use the stairs and directing them to the nearest staircase, encouraging the drinking of tap water by providing a jug in the staff common room, using her twitter account and that of “Green Impact Salford “to advertise the green initiatives to the students and clinical staff, sending out an environmental newsletter to staff in the College of health with excellent responses and feedback and liaising with her “Operations Manager” to design a reusable staff availability card that can be used for successive years.
Weyinmi and Toyosi worked as Green Impact Project Assistants with the School of Arts and Media team. They assisted Tessa Pettitt, Programme Administrator, who was working solo in her first year of Green Impact. Weyinmi and Toyosi consistently took time out of their busy Masters schedules to share their creativity and assist Tessa with the Green Impact actions. They used their own initiative to make time to meet with Tessa and I never needed to chase them.
Tessa endorsed this nomination and commented: “Toyosi and Weyinmi have been an integral part of the Green Impact Team for the School of Arts and Media. They have been key to the success of gaining the Silver award by showing enthusiasm and passion for green issues. They have given their spare time to promote green issues to the staff. Without their support it would not have been possible to achieve what we have. They also inspired me to try to go for a higher level of award despite it being our first attempt and the building being so big.”
They conduct themselves with utmost professionalism and a good nature. They both believe passionately in the opportunities and see sustainability as playing a vital role in society. Weyinmi has spoken of wishing to take what she has learnt through Green Impact back to Nigeria and work towards making her community more sustainable.
Thom Edwards was the Project Manager of the Human Resources Team and made a huge impact in a very short period of time. Human Resources joined Green Impact for their first year in January 2015 with just three months to be part of the 2014/15 cycle. Thom’s commitment and organisational skills ensured that all criteria were allocated fairly and to people who would enjoy and be committed to those particular activities.
Thom made Green Impact a high priority on the Human Resources agenda and got the team together every Friday to discuss progress. He created a written project structure to reinforce the way in which HR manage their Green Impact involvement in which he set their project principles as Ownership, Consistency, Contribution and Fun. He organised and chaired team meetings, allocated actions in agreement with the team, monitored the workbook, escalated issues where necessary and liaised with the Project Assistants. He created and updated an ‘Ideas Contribution Log’ which held suggestions from colleagues within the department. Thom also ensured communications were sent out to the department each Monday. This led to not only engagement within the team members but through the whole department.Thom has been consistently positive, ambitious and always pushed for the next level which led to his team achieving Platinum in their first year.