Achieving Bronze: Green Impact workshop tips for those who missed out!

We’re almost at the end of Go for Gold Week, and today’s workshop ‘How to Achieve Green Impact Bronze’ by Sophia Perkins of the NUS deal with a number of Green Impact’s aims: bringing people together, discussing challenges and finding solutions. For those unable to attend, here’s a summary of the contents:

  1. Working the workbook: bronze criteria are the foundation blocks of greening your team, and should be easily achievable…but there’s nothing to stop you heading on to silver/bonus!
  • Scoring is cumulative: to gain silver you must also have completed all bronze. All bonus criteria thereafter are totted up and the three top-scoring teams win gold.
  • Remember to upload evidence to demonstrate your action to auditors: this could mean photos, email memos, wall posters, minutes of meetings…
  • Don’t forget the Special awards for actions that go beyond workbook criteria (some team members gave hints of their special project). Don’t forget to nominate your GIPA!
  • Terminology clear-up: ‘Either/or’ criteria (e.g.B006) refer to situations where you can still score even if the problem tackled by the action does not refer to you. N/A is reserved only for extreme situations where, for example, a policy or listed building prevents you from making an alteration.
  1. Tackling criteria: how would you approach B002 (“Set up a ‘Switch Off’ Campaign…”)? Different peoples’ skills and interest influence their responses e.g.
  • Our energy manager suggested a technical fix to avoid human error: using PIR sensors for example.
  • In the absence of smart systems, get people smarter: the SURGE team display reminders to staff on their new Green Impact noticeboard and sends out reminder emails
  • Another team member reported how they’ve incentivised Green Impact participation by including engagement with green issues on staff Personal Development Records
  1. Top tips:
  • Use the resources out there: Green Impact resource banks and case studies , Sophia Perkins, NUS Sustainability Projects officer (s.perkins[at] and Salford’s Green Impact project officer Charlie Spring (, this blog!
  • Make meetings concise and fun: action to mitigate climate change might not hook people onto your team, but a slice of cake may well do!
  • Ways to overcome time constraints include using your GIPA, sharing out criteria to complete and ensuring people see the rewards to come (especially your beautiful recycled slate trophy and awards ceremony)

Challenges and questions were answered, such as using recycled/FSC-certified paper when suppliers are institution-wide: Sophia replied that only if enough people make the case to use more sustainable paper sources might procurement teams decide to switch: make the case!

We left feeling encouraged: SURGE told us that “if it wasn’t for Green Impact, we wouldn’t be doing this”. In their absence, a GreenCSE team member had sent us a message to read out, reporting that “My team were not really interested in green issues but this scheme has made them more aware and I think has led them to question more about how they behave in work and at home. So I think this shows that Green Impact is doing what it set out to, to improve the University and to make people think about their environment…”. So, despite the challenges, we encourage you to keep going for gold!

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