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2022 Awards announced for Green Impact Students’ Unions

Franceska Fisher
August 1, 2022

Through participating in Green Impact Students’ Unions (GISU), SUs demonstrate how they continue to lead on sustainability initiatives.

47 Students’ Unions participated in the programme this year and showed great ambition and commitment for sustainability, with 38 SUs being audited and an impressive 21 SUs (55% of participating SUs) awarded ‘Excellent’.  

Campaigns which aim to lobby institutions to divest from fossils and declare Climate Emergencies continue to be popular. The curriculum has also been a significant focus again this year, with an increasing number of SUs inducting course/student reps on sustainability, and some other campaigns have focused on period poverty, eco-friendly menstruation products and period inclusivity.  

Students’ Unions have also shown how they have adapted to the digital environment by continuing to virtually engage students on sustainability. For example, The SU, Bath University ran Plant Your Vote campaign during SU Officer Elections in Semester 2. The aim was to plant 1 tree per every 10 votes cast in SU Officer elections and to raise awareness of sustainability and local conservation charities; University of Westminster Students' Union have been running Fairtrade Fortnight Campaign. The fairtrade space in the SU shop to buy fairtrade goods is a permanent fixture. This is where the shop only stocks fairtrade items, another shop has been opened. Most of their commercial spaces are ethically sourced, vegan-friendly, and sustainable They also have plans to do a new sportswear tender, that will be all fairtrade and meet the requirements.

Other SUs have progressed sustainability by focusing their time on developing strategies and policies, for example City of Glasgow College SA have created a new environmental policy that will ensure every decision made at the SA involves an environmental risk assessment.

It was great to have 17 participants at the virtual GISU Support and Networking Day in December and over 100 staff and officers from participating students’ unions join SOS-UK led GISU webinars this year which focused on the topics of, food & farming; sustainable food and carbon targets and all webinars included best practice being shared from a range of SUs.  

We are also delighted to announce the winners of the GISU Special Awards

  • Highest Scoring – The Students’ Union at UWE (472)

The sustainability committee led a campaign called Action on Sustainability, exploring a range of different topics, including sustainable fashion, diversifying the climate movement, education for sustainability, sustainable food, climate activism and the Fossil Fuel Free Careers Campaign. Lots of great activities were ran through social media to engage students and support learning for sustainability.  

  • Highest Scoring from the Nations – Swansea University Students' Union (380)

The SU has demonstrated a strong dedication to its Beach Cleans. Being outside as opposed to being in a library has been found to have a favourable effect on wellbeing. They have also collaborated with the local community to clean up the park, such as collaborations with "Smile Plastics," where every plastic collected was utilised to manufacture furniture. They intend to have a lot more in the coming academic year.

  • Most Improved – Chester Students’ Union

The Student Leadership Awards winners have now been announced - see who they are here!

Congratulations once again to all SUs that participated in GISU this year and are bringing about some impressive outcomes for sustainability! You can view our full SU offering here! We will be sending further details on the 2022-23 GISU offering in mid-August.  

Full list of GISU awards 2021-22

Aberdeen  University Students' Association – Very Good

Aston Students' Union – Excellent

Bangor University Students’ Union – Excellent

Beds Students' Union – Very Good

Bucks Students' Union – Excellent

Chester Students' Union – Good

City of Glasgow College Students' Association – Excellent

City, University of London Students' Union – Excellent

Dudley Students’ Union – Good

Glasgow Caledonian University Students' Union – Excellent

Greenwich Students’ Union – Working  Towards

Hertfordshire Students' Union – Very Good

Huddersfield Students’ Union – Good

Leeds Arts Union – Excellent

Leeds Trinity Students' Union – Excellent

Leeds University Union – Excellent

Liverpool Guild of Students – Excellent

Northumbria Students’ Union – Good

Queen Mary University of London Students' Union – Excellent

Reading University Students' Union – Good

Roehampton Students’ Union – Excellent

Staffordshire University Students' Union – Excellent

Stirling Students’ Union - Excellent

Strathclyde Students’ Union – Excellent

Students' Union at Bournemouth University – Excellent

Swansea University Students’ Union – Excellent

The Students' Union at UWE – Excellent

The SU, University of Bath – Excellent

The Union, Manchester Met – Excellent

Ulster University Students' Union – Very Good

Union of Kingston Students – Very Good

University of  Exeter Students’ Guild – Good

University of  St Andrews Students’ Association – Working Towards

University of West London Students’ Union – Good

University of Westminster Students' Union – Very Good

UWS Students' Union – Good

University of York Students' Union – Excellent

Worcester Students' Union – Excellent