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Awards announced for Green Impact Students’ Unions

July 26, 2021

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

35 Students’ Unions participated in the programme this year and showed great ambition and commitment for sustainability, with an impressive 21 SUs (60% 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, AUBSU have run Tech for Trees promoting platforms that are supporting tree planting whilst the SU are not able to; Keele SU ran 'Race Around The World' where 178 staff and students travelled on foot, in a wheelchair, by bike, or in water, covering over 94,000km in 176 days virtually exploring sustainability initiatives and environmental/social challenges in 29 destinations across the world; and UWSTD Union ran the ‘Small Plant Project’ where students could get a free delivery of soil and seeds to grow plants, supporting the biodiversity and student mental and physical wellbeing.

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 20 participants at the virtual GISU Support and Networking Day in December and over 150 staff and officers from participating students’ unions join SOS-UK led GISU webinars this year which focused on the topics of, curriculum change and course reps; student-led growing projects; 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 (462 points)

The sustainability committee led a campaign called Let’s Talk Trash, exploring how waste can be reduced across five different areas: food, fashion, recycling, plastic, and zero-waste living. Lots of great activities were ran through social media to engage students and support learning for sustainability.

·        Highest Scoring from the Nations – Undeb Bangor (416 points)

Just some of the things that the SU ran this year, included a ‘Period Poverty and Planet Friendly Period’ campaign, the Walk and Talk’ project for health and wellbeing and activities focusing on sustainable gardening.

·        Most Improved – City University of London Students’ Union and City of Glasgow College Students’ Association.

We will separately be announcing the Student Leadership Awards winner very soon!

Congratulations once again to all SUs that participated in GISU this year and are bringing about some impressive outcomes for sustainability! To find out what is includedin the full GISU offering, view our GISU 2021-22 offering guidance or get in contact via gisu@sos-uk.org.

Full list of GISU awards 2020-21

Aberdeen  University Students Association - Good

Arts University Bournemouth Students' Union - Excellent

Aston Students' Union - Excellent

Bournemouth and Poole College 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

Coventry University Students' Union - Very Good

Glasgow Caledonian University Students' Union - Excellent

Greenwich Students’ Union - Working  Towards

Hertfordshire Students' Union - Good

Keele Students' Union - Excellent

Lancaster - Good

Leeds Arts Union - Excellent

Leeds Trinity Students' Union - Excellent

Leeds University Union - Excellent

Liverpool Guild of Students - Excellent

Liverpool John Moores Students' Union - Very Good

Queen Mary University of London Students' Union - Excellent

Reading University Students' Union - Very  Good

Staffordshire University Students' Union - Excellent

Student's Union at Bournemouth University - Excellent

The Students' Union at UWE - Excellent

University of Wales Trinity Saint David Students' Union - Very Good

UCA Students' Union - Excellent

Ulster University Students' Union - Good

Undeb Bangor - Excellent

Union of Kingston Students - Good

University of Birmingham Guild of Students - Excellent

University of Westminster Students' Union - Excellent

Worcester Students' Union - Excellent

Wrexham Glyndwr Students' Union - Excellent