The Results of This Year’s Green Impact at DMU

This year, our Green Impact scheme at DMU has been outstanding! And like each year before, Sustainable DMU enjoys celebrating the accomplishments of staff and students who have been involved, by hosting an awards Ceremony for those involved. Please follow the link to find out more information about the scheme.  http://sustainability.nus.org.uk/green-impact

The ceremony is an opportunity to recognise the accomplishments of both staff members and students who have participated in the Green Impact project. This year the teams have completed 700 environmental actions including actions on waste reduction, recycling, saving energy reducing carbon emissions and engaging with other staff members in their directorate and faculty. Nearly 5000 actions have been completed over the course of the 7 years that De Montfort University have been involved in the scheme.

The NUS Green Impact scheme allows staff and students to use an online workbook, which has a range of environmental actions which combined will significantly help to reduce carbon footprints on campus; these range from fairly easy actions, to much larger and slightly more difficult actions. Those who have been involved with the scheme for a number of years will be able to progress towards a higher level of achievement, having completed the other easier tasks in previous years, whilst those who have just joined will complete easier actions.

The scheme helps to break down boundaries and to build staff and student relations as staff notably appreciates the input that the students have had in aiding with their progress. It also offers students the opportunity to build their personal portfolios, with an Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) accredited environmental auditing scheme, whilst staff are able to prove that they can actively adapt to change and are contributing to a more sustainable future at DMU.

On the day the ceremony was hosted by Environmental and Sustainability Officer Karl Letten, Green Impact Frontrunner Sebastian Schellerer and Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner Rebecca Mason in the Trinity Chapel. The room was packed full of excited guests ready to receive a well-deserved award handed over by guest, Professor Paul Fleming from the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD) in the Faculty of Technology.

The ceremony began at 12pm and ran until 1pm beginning with a short discussion from Karl Letten about the Green Impact scheme and the work that has been achieved so far; this focused mainly on the past year and was followed by a speech from NUS representative, Rachel Soper, as well as thanks and praise to the teams and to Karl from both Frontrunners, Sebastian and Rebecca.

After introductions and thanks, it was time stuck into handing out the awards!

The awards handed out were as follows:

Bronze

FOTAC

QEII Leisure Centre

Silver

4th Floor Flyers

Strategic and International Partnerships

Gold

Learning Support Centre

ITMS

Green POD

Excellence

Estates Development

Estates Services

Student and Academic Services

Finance Greens

Executive, Governance and Legal Services

Special Awards

ITMS – Innovation

Green POD – Engagement

ITMS – Community

Learning Support Centre – Most Improved Team

QEII Leisure Centre – Best New Team

Environmental Hero’s

Student – Cybeles Nunziata

Student – Sara Williams

Student – Wing Tang

Staff – Amanda Thorley

Project Assistants

Sara Williams

Quinn Franklin

Nizam Patel

Cybeles Nunziata

Environmental Auditors

Richa Singhal

Sara Williams

Quinn Franklin

Gaza Nathaniel

Cybeles Nunziata

Special Projects for the Excellence Awards

Green Impact team who have previously gained the Gold standard award have the opportunity to undertake a special project on an environmental topic of their choosing. These special projects are awarded with an Excellence standard.

The first project was run by  Student Academic Services, Estates Development and Estates Services, who organised and ran two biodiversity projects including bulb planting on the grass area in front of the Edith Murphy building and outside of the Kimberlin Library. The bulb planting element used bulbs which produce flowers rich in nectar which is ideal for bees when they come out of hibernation. The second element of the project was a bat box making workshops which included background information on bat ecology from Conservation Officer Nathalie Cossa who is fluent in all things bats from the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust. Nathalie presented on the lives of bats, how they are going extinct and how we can help them out.

The second project was run by the Finance Team who worked towards reducing paper use and recycling by cleaning out their archives and moving some forms to electronic formats so they would not need to print them off; they also ran iPad training sessions for senior management. Through their efforts the team managed to recycle over 210 bags of paper which is a tremendous achievement.

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The third was run by Trinity House and is an ongoing project focused around biodiversity in the gardens that is looking into the possibility of having beehives on campus. The project is currently in the process of bringing in a local ecologist to come and give advice on the project.

Our top performer this year was the ITMS team, winning four separate awards

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Whilst our environmental heroes shone with their awards…

We were excited to welcome the Queen Elizabeth II Leisure Centre as our best newcomer.

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All award winners received a goody bag handmade from recycled newspaper which included a bicycle seat cover, a recycled drinks bottle, a Divine Fairtrade chocolate bar, a pedometer and instructions on how to make your own paper bag.

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You can download this template to make your own recycled newspaper (or paper) bag here… http://www.noteworthy.com/templates/paper_bags 

Special thanks go out to the Estates Maintenance Services gardening team, who spent a lot of their time assisting with projects and by providing materials to do so.

Each year involvement with the Green Impact scheme advances; next year we expect the amount of teams to grow and produce some brilliant projects and subsequent results! All those at DMU are welcome to join in and we appreciate any level of involvement.

If you would like to get involved with the Green Impact scheme next year, please get in touch with Karl Letten, Environmental and Sustainability Officer (kletten@dmu.ac.uk).

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Rebecca Mason, Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner

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A year of being the Green Impact Frontrunner

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Looking back from where I am now to where I started, I am glad I decided to be a part of the Green Impact project.

I’ve been a part of Green Impact over 2 academic years, starting from being a student volunteer (Green Impact Project Assistant) to taking a more leadership role and assisting the running of the project in DMU as the Green Impact Frontrunner.

Some of the guys from the Estate department play football on Wednesday nights which I joined; we got so good we decided to take things on an international level, so we planned a weekend trip to Germany, and I can boldly say it was one of the best experiences of my life. We watched a Bundesliga match and we played our own international friendly, unfortunately we lost but it was a very close game.

On a more serious note a lot of things were achieved throughout the year; external audits, new teams joining, Planting project, student switch off party, group workshops and many more. The biggest success for me was the award ceremony as we celebrated everything that was achieved by individuals and teams, and recognised them for their hard work throughout the year in the Green Impact project.

I’ve been opportune to work with and develop friendships with students from different departments of the university I wouldn’t have met if not for Green Impact. I’ve also been privileged to work with and learn a lot from the universities environment & sustainability team, I couldn’t have asked for a better team to be a part of.

 

Joseph Ogunremi (Green Impact Frontrunner 2014-2015)

 

Green Impact Award Ceremony at DMU

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The Green Impact Award Ceremony was celebrated on Wednesday 3rd June at the Trinity Chapel. The Green Impact is a national project run by the National Union of Students. At DMU the project helps teams of staff to adopt greener behaviour in their offices by doing different environmental-friendly activities. Throughout four months, the teams with the help of volunteering students fill a workbook, which contains different activities covering recycling, reducing waste, saving energy, Fairtrade, transport and so on. After the students auditing, depending on the number of the activities completed and the points scored, team can achieve a Bronze, Bronze Plus, Silver or Gold award. So, the Award Ceremony was the occasion for staff and students who participated in the project to celebrate their efforts and achievements.

The sustainable team try to make the event as sustainable as possible. To decorate the tables we used empty glass bottles with cow parsley flowers; the food served by the catering was mainly Fairtrade and our goodie bags contained a Green Impact Americano mug, a Green Impact bike seat cover, a Fairtrade chocolate bar, a bee friendly seed pack and a Green Impact sport bottle. In addition, we made ourselves the goodie bags from recycled newspapers and we put instruction about making a bag in the bag itself!

The ceremony was a success. Professor Fleming, Director of Sustainable Development, presented the winner teams of this year, which were: Strategic and International Partnerships for Bronze; GH 2/3 for Bronze Plus; Learning Support Centre, Green POD and Student Advice Centre (Hugh Aston) for Silver and Executive Services and ITMS for Gold.

Also, Estates Development, Estates Services, Student & Academic Services and Finance received the Excellence Award. In addition, special awards were given to Amanda Thorley as Environmental Hero, to Executive Services for Engagement, to ITMS for Innovation. The Highest scoring team was ITMS and the GH 2/3 was the Best New Team.

The students who took place in the project as Green Impact Project Assistants (GIPAs), Auditors or volunteers got a certificate to celebrate their engagement and commitment.

Each year, the Green Impact project shows how powerful and easy can be raise awareness about environmental issue among the University. It is a chance to staff to play a key role in environmental education and for students is the opportunity to learn the importance of such matter that can be continued for the rest of their life thanks to DMU.

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Fedora Agosti (Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner)