Students' Unions Awarded for Green Impact

Monday 03-08-2020 - 12:33

Congratulations to all students’ unions who demonstrated their leadership on embedding sustainability and social justice across their campus, the curriculum, and wider society.


The Green Impact Students’ Unions awards are our opportunity to recognise the commitment students’ unions have made to build impactful sustainability projects and campaigns, and how the student movement is leading work towards a more just and sustainable future. 


Our research findings show that 88% of HE and FE students want their place of study to actively incorporate and promote sustainable development. Green Impact responds to the student interest and demand for sustainability, providing a framework and guidance for students’ unions to work on areas such as equality, community, curriculum reform and campaigning, whilst enabling them unions to showcase their work and share best practice. 2019-20 marks the 13th year of the national programme, with 50 unions participating, over 1,630 actions taken and 9,150+ points awarded.


This year Green Impact has engaged students and staff in sustainability through campaigns such as the Climate Emergency, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and waste reduction across campuses. SUs have also shown how they quickly responded to the changes in working and living due to COVID-19, continuing to engage and support students and the local community through sustainability initiatives. For example, Worcester Students’ Union ran an online plastic-free July campaign; Aston SU opened its doors as a space for distributing food parcels across Birmingham; and Ravensbourne SU created an ‘at home handbook’ that offered tips and guidance on how to be more sustainable at home, along with advice on self-care and how to stay mentally and physically healthy during lockdown.


We enjoyed speaking to staff and officers from participating students’ unions through the audit and learning more about the actions taken this year. The audit process also helps us to ensure unions are shaping our work and the support we provide. For 2020-21, it looks like Education for Sustainable Development is again going to be a significant focus for many, and how decolonising the curriculum and education is integral to this. Over the last couple of years, we have also seen more and more unions working to explore the intersections between sustainability and liberation campaigns which we know will continue again this year, exposing the breadth of sustainability and engaging a wider student body. With social distancing guidelines still in place and many unions taken a ‘blended’ approach to learning next academic year, it is likely that outdoor-based projects, such as student gardening and cycling will also be a focus for many. If you work in an SU and want to gain further ideas of what to deliver in your students’ union next year, and how, ask others in our NUS Sustainability, Ethics & Climate Action Workplace Group.


To take part in Green Impact Students’ Unions 2020-21 and find out more visit our website. This year GISU participants will be invited to series of webinars, we are developing our resource bank and you will be invited to a mid-way remote review and support ‘audit’.  


Congratulations and thank you to all students’ unions who participated in Green Impact 2019-20. Below is the list of unions’ whose award level has been confirmed so far:



Arts University Bournemouth Students' Union

Bucks Students Union

Glasgow Caledonian University Students' Association

Highlands and Islands Students' Association

Keele Students' Union

Leeds Trinity Students' Union

Leeds University Union

Liverpool Guild of Students

Queen Mary University of London Students' Union

Reading University Students' Union

Staffordshire University Students' Union

Student's Union at Bournemouth University

The Students' Union at UWE

UCA Students' Union

Undeb Bangor

University of Birmingham Guild of Students

University of Nottingham

University of Westminster Students' Union

University of York Students' Union



Aston Students' Union

Lancaster University Students' Union


University of Manchester Students Union

Worcester Students' Union



City University of London Students' Union

Coventry University Students' Union

Leeds Arts Union

Northumbria Students' Union

Ravensbourne Students Union

The SU, University of Bath

The Union, Manchester Met

University Of West London Students Union

Warwick Students' Union

University of Bedfordshire Students Union

University of Gloucestershire Students' Union



Canterbury College Students' Union

City of Glasgow College Students' Association 

Hertfordshire Students' Union


*Some students’ unions awards are still to be confirmed.


Green Impact, Student engagement

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