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2022 Green Impact national award winners announced!

Franceska Fisher
May 8, 2023

Every year, our Special Awards are given out by our Green Impact projects across the country to people and teams who go above and beyond for sustainability. These awards reflect the breadth of positive action taking place in the UK through Green Impact and highlight some of the efforts that the typical Bronze, Silver, and Gold Green Impact awards may not fully represent.

These local Special Award winners have been announced at universities, hospitals, research institutes and charities throughout 2022, and in early 2023 these local winners were put forward for consideration for the 2022 Green Impact National Awards!

There are five categories of award, and we had more than 35 local nominations. The national judging panel was made up of Vibhati Bhatia (Founder of South Asians for Sustainability), Charlotte Bonner (CEO of EAUC), Grace Corn (Senior Engagement Officer: Climate Emergency for Westminster City Council) and Rebecca Turner (Careers Pathway Manager from IEMA).  

After careful consideration, and tough competition, we are pleased to announce that the national award winners are…

Student Leadership Award

To recognise an exceptional student who has been leading change within and beyond their Green Impact team. Green Impact supports students who are driving action for sustainability across their campuses and communities: Students are integral to building a sustainable future and this award is for those showing outstanding leadership qualities and skills to make a positive impact and promote sustainability. We would like to thank IEMA for sponsoring this award! They are a professional body for everyone working in sustainability. They offer great memberships for all grades to keep you updated on latest industry developments, you can check outmore information here!

  • Winner: Megan Groom (University of Cambridge) for showing great impact in all areas of sustainability at Darwin College, including a pivotal role in bringing Colligate Green Officers together and being instrumental in increasing engagement with the college’s Green Week. One of the judges had stated that “Megan stood out the most for the number of programmes and projects created with the greatest and unique impact for students and local communities.”
  • Runner-up: Dagmara Szmaglińska (University of Sheffield) for showing good leadership, including effective communication, relationship development, and delivering solutions which have had a positive impact and made change to sustainability in their institution.

Sustainability Hero Award

To recognise an extraordinary person within a Green Impact team who has really become a sustainability hero, as nominated by their colleagues or students. They may have helped others in their team realise the importance of taking action on climate, inspired people to get involved through their enthusiasm, or be very good at practicing sustainability within their role or personal life.

  • Winner:  Gwen Riley Jones (University of Salford) for going far beyond the actions outlined in the Green Impact toolkit.  Her work, in collaboration with Youth Groups, explored plant-based methods of photography and printing. The process to achieve maximum engagement through their work is impeccable. Her work has been viewed by over 50,000 people, and it is artistically promoting awareness of plant-based techniques. The judges love the links to their creative heritage too.
  • Runner Up: AJ (Cardiff University) for being the driving force for sustainability actions at their university. From facilitating the school’s first green-focused lab conversion to creating and leading the “Live Laugh Lab” initiative. They have really showed themselves to be an environmental hero.

Community Action Award

To recognise how Green Impact teams have led, developed, or participated in innovative community action. Over the years, we have seen some brilliant examples of teams working in partnership with community groups, developing new projects, and helping their organisation to build capacity for sustainability in the wider community.

  • Winner: Forest Voluntary Action Forum (Going the Extra Mile) for the second year in a row! They have had the largest impact across both social and environmental elements, alongside engaging communities and many diverse organisations/networks at scale. They had the most volunteers involved and raised the greatest amount in donations, too.  
  • Runner-up:  In joint place, SMART SKILLS (CSW Group) AND Amy Budd & Ruth Carter (University of Cambridge). SMART SKILLS (CSW Group) for partnering with a leading international manufacturer to help reduce waste, reuse and recycle expired products. Amy Budd & Ruth Carter (University of Cambridge) for identifying an issue and combating that within the climate café and consistently running the sessions that has allowed their experiences to be shared with other companies to see if it would be helpful to their staff.

Sustainability Improvement Award

To recognise an environmental improvement or initiative that has been put in place to make a tangible impact within, or beyond, Green Impact teams. Every step within the Green Impact programme is designed to make positive sustainability improvements, but this award showcases those initiatives that have gone above-and-beyond to make a particularly significant impact.

  • Winner: Robert Vincente (University College London Hospital) for reducing the amount of plastic waste from gloves in just a 4 month period! With just little effort and some good planning, Robert implemented the “Gloved Off” campaign that helped promote hand hygiene over excessive glove use. Within the 4 month period, the ward reduced usage by 36,500 gloves!
  • Runner-up: Talbot Road Dental Practice from Greener Primary Care Wales for creating a green space that has benefited both staff well-being and team morale and the environment by providing a habitat for wildlife such as birds and squirrels.

Innovation for Engagement Award

To recognise ways in which Green Impact teams have engaged more people in sustainability activities, supporting more staff and students to learn about and lead on sustainability. This award spotlights creative innovation in engaging staff and students: the more people we can actively engage, the bigger the positive impact we can make.

  • Winner: Art Collection Green team (University of Salford) for the largest outreach and impact, international engagement and multiple stakeholders in varying programmes/projects. Their exhibition ‘You Belong Here’ had led to over 16,000 to reconsider and reconnect with green spaces that is being commissioned in response to Salford’s parks.  
  • Runner-up: Creative Sustainability team (Going the Extra Mile) for re-establishing a relationship with Fairshare. This has aided in practically educating participants on the importance of food waste by engaging them in cooking and budgeting lessons.

Congratulations to all our award winners, runners-up, and nominees! If you are part of a Green Impact team, don’t forget to nominate yourself, a colleague, or a student for one of the Special Awards in 2023. If you aren’t yet taking part in Green Impact and would like to bring the programme to your organisation, please get in touch with Rachel, senior project manager at SOS-UK, at Rachel.Soper@sos-uk.org.