Green Impact Students' Unions Special Awards announced
We are delighted to announce the students unions who have received our annual special GISU awards for 2019-20. Congratulations to Birmingham Guild of Students, Undeb Bangor and the SU at UWE.
- Most Improved - University of Birmingham Guild of Students (324 points).
The Guild have shown continued improvement and achieved an Excellent Award for 2019-20. Their energy this year was partly focused on declaring a Climate Emergency, and lobbying the University to do the same. As part of this they held a digital Climate Summit, and one week after the declaration they ran their Go Green Week. This week engaged student across a range of themes from food, energy, travel and climate strikes. The union was also able to show how it is ensuring sustainability is increasingly embedded with clear plans and actions driven forward by staff in leadership positions, particularly form their facilities department, and sabbatical officers, alongside students. They have regular meetings with university staff and this year influenced the institution to embed sustainability into their strategic plan.
- Highest Scoring from the Nations - Undeb Bangor (405 points).
Undeb Bangor have had another productive year, supporting and running many events and projects representing Sustainability. These included the Sustainability Carnifal, Waste Awareness Week, Big Give Project and the Think Before You Drink campaign. For the Big Give Project, food was donated and collected in university student accommodation with 130kg of food donated at the end of summer 2019 to Bangor Cathedral Food Bank. Whilst students who were living in private student housing were engaged through Waste Awareness Week as representatives from the union, including officers, visited students and spoke with them to understand their engagement with waste and recycling. This helped the union to realise student behaviours and attitudes towards waste and recycling, and highlighted issues and concerns. Other areas the union focused on and progressed this year included increasing the number of water fountains, adding in a sustainability sections to club and society agreements and supporting two Youth Climate Strikes.
- Highest Scoring - The Students Union at UWE (449 points).
UWE have taken part in GISU for several years and have continued to show progress, innovation and positive outcomes from the breadth of their sustainability work. The SUs strong relationship with the institution seems to have a really positive impact on ensuring both parties compliment each others work in a wide range of areas, also as host partners for Responsible Futures. The union have a robust sustainability action plan helping to drive things forward which was this year mapped against the UNs Sustainable Development Goals. They ran a campaign called Changing Consumerism which aimed to engage students with sustainable consumerism through a range of themes including their zero waste shop, a farmers market on campus and Meat Free Mondays. Beyond the campus and in the wider community the Union and University have again shown a great example of teaming up with a local charity as they aim of planting a forest that covers an area the size of its Frenchay campus. This action has been taken to help recognise the climate, biodiversity, cultural and spiritual benefits of trees.
We look forward to hearing more about what students unions achieve over the next year. To find out more about Green Impact Students' Unions, visit our website here.
For 2020-21 we have introduced a new national award as part of our GISU programme. This is the Student Leadership Award where participating SU staff and Officers will be able to nominate an individual or group of students for the award and a winner will be selected by the SOS-UK staff team.