Every year, Queen Mary Students’ Union takes part in the national Green Impact environmental accreditation scheme run by Students Organising for Sustainability an offshoot from the National Union of Students. Throughout the year, we aim to improve our environmental performance by progressing through a workbook of actions and implementing as many as possible.
Having just received the results from the 2019-20 Green Impact Scheme, we're delighted to announce that we achieved the 'Excellent' level for a second year in a row.
Although it’s called Green Impact the scheme covers much more than recycling and planting trees, incorporating the wider approach that sustainability irequired, touching on issues of equality, community, curriculum reform, campaigning and much more. Therefore this award marks the culmination of hard work from staff and students involved in all sorts of Students' Union activities.
Achievements in 2019-20 that we're particularly proud about include;
- Over 2000kg items saved from going to waste across our Reuse Fairs in September and January
- Successful trials of online student finance systems so that a paper-free system can be rolled out in 2020-21
- 658 meals at QMSU outlets saved from going to waste via the Too Good to Go app
- Our student groups championing sustainability through their activities such as championing reusable cups at their events, holding food drives for Bow Foodbank, raising money for climate charities and even a climate themed drag performance as part of LGBT+ History Month
- Over 20 sustainability related volunteering opportunities offered to students including;
- Bulb & Wildflower planting with Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park
- Our monthly student led canal clean-ups on the Regent's Canal
- Transporting food donations from Students' Union shops to Hackney Winter Night Shelter
However, there's still much more work to be done and we hope to continue to enhance sustainability at Queen Mary throughout the year ahead even in somewhat different circumstances.
Ultimately, our hope is that through getting involved in sustainability initiatives on campus alongside the content of the taugt curriculum, students will graduate from Queen Mary equipped to respond to the challenges posed by striving sustainable development and the climate emergency in their later lives.
If you'd like to get involved in helping us continue to improve through the Green Impact scheme then as well as championing sustainability in your student group and academic course and most importantly sharing it with us on social media @QMULSustain, make sure to get in touch with 3rd year film student and Sustainability Officer Grace (email@example.com) or Staff Sustainability Coordinator Tom (firstname.lastname@example.org).