University of Plymouth Students’ Union (UPSU) has been awarded the National Union of Students (NUS) Green Impact Excellence Outstanding award, the highest award possible for Green Impact at the NUS. This national award reflects dedication to positive environmental action over the last year, turning UPSU into a hub of sustainability at the heart of our wider community.
The Green Impact Excellence award was presented in recognition of University of Plymouth Students' Union's work across a wide range of student led volunteering projects. One such project is the ‘Wild Patch Project’. The project helped alleviate the growing concern of “Nature Deficit Disorder” in children in the Plymouth. As well as helping combat a growing lack of knowledge concerning local wildlife in the community, the project also developed the experience, knowledge and skills of Plymouth University students, with regards to wildlife engagement and nature conservation issues. The project achieved this by having the University students engage local children at 5 local Primary and Infant Schools in Plymouth, with the creation of “Wild Patches” in their school grounds, on top of interactive and fun classroom sessions that upped the children’s knowledge concerning key areas of our natural world.
Over 100 students’ unions across the UK took part in the Green Impact competition this year, taking actions like combatting the declining honey-bee population, setting up ethical credit unions, and promoting health and wellbeing across the wider community.
Sarah Bowman the Student’s Union President said:
This is a great achievement for our students and staff, leading the way with positive action on environmental issues in the Plymouth community. The Green Impact award really confirms that Plymouth University students are at the forefront of environmental action and are having a positive impact in our local community.
NUS Vice President (Society and Citizenship) Dom Anderson commented:
“Every single year, the reach and influence of Green Impact has continued to expand – and this has been the biggest year yet.
“It is more than just making sure students’ unions building cut down on waste and save energy. It’s about embedding habits in students which last for a lifetime, and getting them out into their communities”
“I’ve been so inspired to see the continued dedication to driving student-led environmental action this year, and so proud of what unions like UPSU have achieved”
Professor Richard Stephenson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience), said:
“Plymouth University is one of the greenest universities in the world, and that is testament to the commitment and enthusiasm of our students and to UPSU, who work in partnership with the University is creating a culture of sustainability. This is also recognition of the outstanding, and often unsung, contribution our students make to the local community, and in particular their commitment to engaging with and inspiring young children in Plymouth.”
Green Impact offers a framework for staff and students to improve the ethical and environmental credentials of their union. Following a full environmental audit, UPSU was rewarded for their achievements as part of the annual gala dinner at NUS Services Convention.