Green Impact Awards

The Green Impact Award teams, situated outside on a grassy bank, with the team members holding their trophies

The University of Birmingham is creating campuses that enable sustainable working practices and behaviours. The Green Impact Awards champion these efforts and encourage positive action towards this goal.All of our community, including colleagues and students, are encouraged to take part and help secure a more sustainable working environment for all.  

What is Green Impact?

Green Impact is a great way to embed sustainable working practices within your department or team, while encouraging collaboration and workplace wellbeing.

Green Impact is a United Nations-recognised sustainability accreditation programme, with an awards element that celebrates improved ways of working and encourages further awareness of the need for sustainability.

How do I sign up? 

To sign up, we recommend first joining the University's Green Impact Teams Channel. Here, you will find information on how to use the 'Toolkit', the recording of the introduction webinar, and the registration code that is required to create a Green Impact user account.

Once you have joined the Green Impact Teams channel, you can sign up to the Green Impact Awards by going to the University of Birmingham Green Impact website

News from the Green Impact Team


How does the Toolkit work?

Once you have either set up or joined an existing team, you are ready to begin completing tasks. The tasks are situated in a 'Toolkit', and the Toolkit contains subcategories, with tasks relevent to that subcategory inside.

For instance, under the Energy subcategory, there are tasks that relate to saving energy. For example, 'Communications have been shared encouraging team members to do a walk around of their house, unplugging any chargers, laptops or equipment which are left on unnecessarily', and 'The team has an up-to-date written lighting and equipment responsibility plan covering all the main areas and key equipment within the department'. Each task is worth a set amount of points.

What do the points mean?

Some tasks are a little more involved, and this is reflected by the number of points the tasks are worth. The higher the points, the larger the sustainable impact. 

At the end of the acedmic year,  teams who have acheived the required points will be presented with an award at the annual Green Impact Award Ceremony. Depending on the number of points collected, there is the chance to win either a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum award. For those who go the extra mile, there are five extra awards up for grabs that either teams or individuals can win:

  • Sustainability Hero 
  • Innovation for Engagement
  • Environmental Improvement
  • Community Action
  • Student Leadership

Further details on the criteria for these awards can be found under the Special subcategory on the Toolkit.

What can I gain from taking part?

Besides from a sleek slate trophy for the office, Green Impact boasts a range of benefits.

In the latest round of Green Impact, our 35 teams completed 1432 actions, reaching around 2076 people through these activities, which resulted in an estimated potential saving of 130 tonnes of CO2.

Helping to tackle climate change is not the only benefit of taking part. Wellbeing is also at the forefront of the Toolkit, and many of the tasks, even those outside of the Wellbeing subcategory, promote individual and team wellbeing. 

Hear from a few of our teams who are already seeing the positive effects that taking part in Green Impact has had on their team:

Healthcare Technologies Institute

"The Healthcare Technologies Institute have taken part in Green Impact every year since 2019 and are currently proud holders of 1 Bronze Award, 4 Gold Awards, 1 Platinum Award and 1 Innovation for Environmental Improvement Award. 

We have embedded sustainability in the core of our team, including it in all our inductions to encourage lab users to make environmentally friendly decisions with their experimental plans and the way they work within our labs from Day 1. Our lifETIME CDT has set up a Sustainable Labs Committee, where we have student ambassadors from 4x Universities (Birmingham, Aston, Glasgow and Galway) who all work collaboratively to reduce the carbon footprint of the CDT across all of our labs.

We will continue to take part in the Green Impact scheme every year to continually improve the way we are working and would encourage anyone thinking about taking part to sign up. The toolkit breaks down tasks into manageable chunks, and the point system means that a bronze award is really achievable once you have made core changes, and you can build on the changes year-by-year to get a silver or a gold award in the future."

College of Social Sciences Hub 

"Our department first entered the Green Impact Challenge in 2012, where we obtained a silver award. Since then, a new team within our College Hub has picked up the mantle, and we have since won silver awards in the 2021 - 2022, and 2022 - 2023 Toolkits. 

In CoSS, we enjoy organising a wide-range of sustainability-themed wellbeing events, such as wellbeing walks, vegetarian lunch catch ups, charity litterpicks in support of the Canal and River Trust, and taking part in The Wildlife Trusts' 30 Days of Wildness."

Library Services

"Green Impact is an objective in our five-year plan, and also a chance to take stock of what we do currently and celebrate what we do well.

The Toolkit provides space and time to think about making changes and trying new things in order to be greener, all while enabling colleagues to pursue something which we value on a personal level.

There are plently of staff CPD opportunities, such as acquiring new skills, collaborating with other teams, alongside building new partnerships."

What support is available?

Throughout the year, Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS UK) organises national catch ups where you can find out how other teams from other instititutions are doing, share best practice and ask any questions. Likewise, at the University of Birmingham there are monthly catch ups for teams to discuss their progress, ask questions and collaborate on tasks should they wish.

Your University of Birmingham Green Impact Contacts

Jade and Cai are project leads for the Green Impact Awards, and can provide day-to-day support with your Green Impact queries.

Jade Willetts

Jade Willetts
Environmental Sustainability & Engagement Manager
University of Birmingham
Jade and Cai are project leads for the Green Impact Awards, and can provide day-to-day support with your Green Impact queries.

Cai Lansdown

Cai Lansdown
Apprentice Sustanability and Environmental Officer
University of Birmingham
Jade and Cai are project leads for the Green Impact Awards, and can provide day-to-day support with your Green Impact queries.

Lauren Walia sitting in front of a bookshelf next to a dog

Lauren Walia
Project Manager (Green Impact)
Lauren provides technical support for the Green Impact toolkit, guidance on the auditing process, and information on the wider Green Impact community. 

2022 - 2023 Green Impact winners

 Two colleagues receiving a Green Impact award

Congratulations to the 27 teams who won awards at our latest Green Impact Ceremony!

Gold Award

  • Battery Bunch
  • Birmingham Tissue Analytics
  • CTL Wet Lab
  • DARO
  • Food Fellows
  • HTI
  • Legal Services
  • Staff House Savers
  • Student Accommodation - Villages x2 (offices, and halls and residences)
  • Team Terrace Huts
  • The Elms
  • The Oaks Green Team
  • Winterbourne House and Garden (offices)

Silver Award

  • Coleman Lab
  • CoSS Hub
  • Student Living Team
  • The Exchange
  • Winterbourne House and Garden (grounds management)
  • Worklink 

Bronze Award

  • BSL Professional Services
  • Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials UNIT (CRCTU)
  • Cleaning Services Team 1
  • Communications and Reputation
  • Conferences and Events
  • Estates Sustainability and Utilities Team
  • FlowSoE
  • Library Services