Green Impact

Green Impact winners 2019
Green Impact is our sustainability engagement programme, run internationally by SOS-UK. It’s a simple, fun and flexible way for departments to improve their environmental performance and promote sustainability at the University, whilst receiving recognition for their efforts and impact.

Find out more below or download our information sheet.

Why get involved?

Sustainability banner and presentation on screen

Green Impact is an opportunity to:

  • Socialise, get to know colleagues better and develop teamwork within your area.
  • Showcase your department across campus.
  • Gain professional development for staff Green Impact team leads.
  • Help reduce the negative impacts the University has on the environment, and increase the positives.
  • Save carbon, natural resources, and money.
  • Recognition for environmental actions you already completed.
  • Encourage colleagues to think about sustainability.
  • Be part of an international UNESCO award winning scheme that strengthens relations between students and staff.
  • Make our University more integrated, and encourage departments to get out of their silos and share ideas and knowledge.

Green Impact helps to reduce the environmental impacts of offices at the University - find out more in the video below. We also have specialist Green Impact toolkits for those based in labs and catering outlets. 

Photo of staff and students with their Green Impact awards

How it works

Two people stood in front of banner with award

Staff form teams across the University and work through an online toolkit of actions together. A team can be any size and can cover an office, building, department, or even a whole School or Division.

Once they have submitted their toolkits, teams are audited by trained students to ensure their submissions are accurate and to provide them with extra support. All participating teams will be invited to an award ceremony, where we will present the awards: Working Towards Bronze, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum, as well as Special Awards such as Sustainability Hero Award and Team Innovation Award.

The toolkit

Functional impage

The Green Impact action toolkit contains actions within different sustainability themes, including:

  • Energy and Water
  • Waste and Recycling
  • Travel
  • Communications
  • Procurement
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Charity and Volunteering

There are also specialist toolkits for teams who are based in labs and catering outlets. These toolkits provide more appropriate sustainability actions for these departments.

Each action is allocated either 5, 10 or 15 points, and the team decides which actions to complete. The total number of points a team achieves will determine whether they receive a “working towards Bronze” accreditation, or an award: Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum.

As well as completing actions, teams have the option to implement their own projects, and they can receive up to 50 points for each project.

Green Impact student opportunities

Group of students

One of the most important aspects of Green Impact is the audits, which are carried out my trained students in October.

Student auditors will visit the teams that have taken part in Green Impact and audit them, checking that they have completed the actions from the toolkit they have submitted.

This is a great short-term volunteering opportunity, where you can gain the skills and knowledge associated with auditing, gain valuable employability skills and make a positive impact.

Each volunteer auditor will be fully trained on the toolkit and what they need to do in order to audit through a half-day of training. This is an IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment) approved course. Auditors will then complete one or more audit in pairs. An audit should take around an hour to complete depending on the size of the department.

If you are interested in becoming a Green Impact Auditor, please email the Sustainability Team in September and we will send you the application form.

Green Impact 2024 timeline

Group of people stood around an olive tree

January - Green Impact relaunch

January-September - teams working on completing actions

September - toolkit submission and training for Student Auditors

October -  audits

November - awards events

How to get involved

Screenshot of Green Impact toolkit

If you are new to Green Impact, you can join an existing team if there is one in your area, or set up a new team if there is not. If setting up a new team, please contact the Sustainability Team.

You will need to register by visiting the Green Impact registration page. Once you have a team set up, we recommend meeting up and making a plan, and initially completing the ‘Getting Started’ actions. You can then start completing actions in your relevant toolkit, and/or projects if you wish.

You will also need to join the Green Impact Microsoft Teams group.


People sat at tables watching a presentation

The Environmental Sustainability Team will send out Green Impact newsletters, provide you with useful resources and can come and meet with your teams.

There is a video, help page and user guide to assist you with using the toolkit and SOS-UK have an online resource bank. We also have a Microsoft Teams group where participants can ask questions and share resources, ideas and events. 

If you have any questions about Green Impact, please contact the Sustainability Team.

The toolkit is really flexible so it is up to you how much time you put into it. You could do just a few actions and receive a ‘working towards Bronze’ accreditation, or you might like to concentrate on your own projects and build up points this way. We have made the toolkit really flexible so that all staff at the University can engage with the programme. 

Previous years

Find out about the results of previous Green Impact cycles: