Green Impact Awards


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Posted on 09 June 2014
Since starting the Green Impact initiative, we have seen a real sea change in the interest and engagement around the sustainability agenda at Keele

Keele University has crowned cycling campaigner Michelle Bourne its environmental hero of the year at its awards afternoon for the Green Impact initiative.

The special award of environmental hero went to Michelle Bourne, Foundation Year Tutor at Keele University, for leading the Keele Bicycle Users group. During years of dedication to cycling she has made the campus more bike friendly through social media, online information and improving facilities for cyclists on campus such as free showers and bike repair equipment.

The Green Impact awards were held to celebrate the success of the scheme, which is already planned to run again throughout the 2014-15 academic year. Green Impact is an environmental accreditation and awards scheme run and supported centrally by the National Union of Students, bringing staff and students together with their wider communities to enable and showcase positive changes in environmental practice. The scheme aims to provide staff with a structure to create positive environmental and sustainable changes, increase the knowledge and training for staff, tackle larger sustainability challenges and support the teams across the university. With recruitment for next year’s programme already started the project leaders aim to gain even greater campus coverage this coming academic year.

The Finance Department was awarded gold following a number of initiatives including reducing landfill bins and making it easier for the staff to buy sustainable products. Library Services won its gold for a student recycling awareness programme, including sending old newspapers to antiques shops for wrapping goods and used pens to a local charity to recycle the plastic. Research and Enterprise Services was the final department to receive gold. This was, amongst other projects, for its furniture re-use system and a talk by the course director for MSc Environmental Sustainability and Green Technology at Keele University on business development challenges in the sustainable technology sector.

Phil Butters, director of Estates and Development at Keele University, says: “Since starting the Green Impact initiative, we have seen a real sea change in the interest and engagement around the sustainability agenda at Keele University. There are some incredibly passionate individuals involved that have made direct environmental changes and embraced the open door ethos for innovative ideas around the sustainability agenda and we wanted to celebrate that with these awards.

“The coming academic year is a chance to continue improving the sustainability work at the University. Projects such as the walled garden Allotments, the work we are doing to embed sustainability in staff training and the student curriculum are well underway and marking out Keele as an innovator in green projects. The people involved in this year’s initiative have made a great start – the key now is to continue that work and sow the seeds for a sustainable future.”

Keele University signed up for the NUS’s Green Impact initiative in August 2013. Since then over 100 staff members of 21 staff teams actively engaged in the scheme including 14 student project assistants and 22 students being trained up as environmental auditors.

For media information, contact:
Chris Stone, Keele University Press Office. Tel: 01782 733375 Email: c.w.stone@keele.ac.uk


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