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Queen Mary’s sustainability champions celebrated at Green Impact and Student Switch Off Awards 2013-14

20 August 2014

On Wednesday 23 July, staff and students involved in sustainability projects came together at Queen Mary’s annual Green Impact and Student Switch Off Awards. The Green Impact and Student Switch Off programmes are national campaigns led by the National Union of Students that encourage staff and students to work collaboratively to improve the sustainability performance of their university.

This year’s Green Impact was the most successful to date with 15 teams taking part and more students trained as green ambassadors than ever before. The average number of tasks completed by the teams also increased by nine tasks, showing staff and students’ continuing commitment to sustainability at Queen Mary. Five teams achieved the Green Impact Gold Award – Library (Mile End), Estates and Facilities (EAF) Business Management, Queen Mary Students’ Union, EAF Green Bees and EAF Residential Services and Support.

Student Switch Off is a national campaign run by the NUS, which encourages student action on climate change. Over 50 universities compete in energy saving competitions in halls of residence through various competitions and events. This year, Queen Mary’s students in halls of residence achieved a 4.4 per cent reduction in electricity use – the equivalent to a saving of £6,240 and 29 tonnes of carbon. Stocks Court was the best residence achieving the highest rating for energy saving activities.

Professor Peter McOwan, Vice-Principal (Public Engagement and Student Enterprise), introduced the awards: “There is some fantastically exciting sustainability work going on at Queen Mary. Many of the teams celebrated here today have improved on their work of previous years, and we also have new teams joining the initiative who have already made great strides, so I’d like to congratulate you all on your hard work. The activities undertaken are helping to further build the QMUL community, people with a shared interest in doing something together to make a difference.”

To sign up to Green Impact 2014-15 and get your department to compete against others from around Queen Mary in improving your sustainable activities, contact the Sustainability team or visit the Green Impact website: greenimpact.org.uk/queenmary.

Green Impact
Fifteen teams took part this year and increased the tasks they undertook by an average of nine new tasks, completing over 65 tasks in a year. The teams were particularly praised for their improvements in reducing water usage and communicating and embedding the Green Impact ethos within their teams.

The work of the teams has saved Queen Mary:

• £9,120 (24,623 kgCO2) through encouraging colleagues to use double sided printing and to ‘think before they print’
• £8,407 (53,625 kgCO2) through reminding colleagues to switch off PCs and other electrical devices at the end of the day
• £6,682 (7,662 kgCO2) through encouraging staff to use teleconferencing where possible rather than travelling to meetings

The Overall Gold Award winner was the Library (Mile End) who were particularly praised for spreading the campaign to the other libraries and working directly with students to make improvements each year. Award winners were presented with trophies made from recycled Victorian slate roof tiles. A full list of Green Impact award winners is below.

Aqil Zahid, Team Leader, Public Services in the Libraries, who was part of the Gold Award winning Library (Mile End) team, and also an Environmental Hero, commented: “Winning Gold feels just great! Having said that, it would have been great to receive any award, as we did it for the environment and as we all know even the smallest contribution makes a difference. The Libraries have laid a foundation and a benchmark for ourselves. We pride ourselves on being able to work cross-site and as part of a larger team. This was the perfect excuse to do so and winning the best event award as well was testament to the sum being greater than its parts. We hope to collaborate with more teams next year to enhance the green community at QMUL!”

Student Switch Off
This year, Queen Mary’s halls students achieved a 4.4 per cent reduction in electricity use – the equivalent to a saving of £6,240 and 29 tonnes of carbon. In addition, as a result of the campaign, 373 students signed up to be ‘Eco Power Rangers’ and a further 27 students trained as Student Switch-off Ambassadors.

Find out more about Student Switch Off: studentswitchoff.org

Green Impact award winners

Gold Award winners
The Library (Mile End)
Business Management (Estates and Facilities)
Queen Mary Students’ Union
Green Bees (Estates and Facilities)
Residential Services and Support (Estates and Facilities)

Silver Award winners
Green IT
Occupational Health and Safety
The Library (West Smithfield)
The Library (Whitechapel)

Bronze Award winners
Advice and Counselling Service
EnviroFi (Finance)
Green Careers
Maths Building
Office of the Principal
School of Geography

Environmental Improvement
Green IT- Online training courses (Overall Winners)
The Library (Mile End) - Lighting Upgrades
Residential Services and Support - Recycling Bins
School of Geography - Wormery

Innovation for Engagement
The Library (Mile End) - Fairtrade Awareness Event
Residential Services and Support - Christmas Event (Overall Winners)

Best Newcomer
The Library (West Smithfield)
Green Careers (Overall Winners)
Office of the Principal

Best Event
The Library (West Smithfield) - Fairtrade Awareness Event (Overall Winners)
The Library (Whitechapel) - Fairtrade Awareness Event (Overall Winners)
The Library (Mile End) - Fairtrade Awareness (Overall Winners)
Queen Mary Students’ Union - Stationary Amnesty Go Green Week
Business Management (Estates and Facilities) - Children in Need

Community Action
School of Geography - Lis Parham Charity Events (Overall Winners)

Student Leadership
Georgia Scarlett Couch (Overall Winner)
Muna Aden
Ying Hui Wong

Green Impact Project Assistants (Students)
Muna Arden
Ying Hui Wong
Kalina Sikorska
Taslima Khanom
Henna Firdos
Rosemary Cargill

Environmental Heroes
Phylilis Hayes - The Library (West Smithfield)
Nicola Borasinski - Queen Mary Students’ Union
Aqil Zahid - The Library (Mile End)
Lis Parham - School of Geography
Sofia Cusano – Office of the Principal
Cathy Valder Hogg - Green IT and National Award Winner

Environmental Auditors (students)
Roberto Di Cecco
Ufumoa Mamoke Ovesuor
Thanh tung Mai
Devjoy Dev
Yujia Huo
Dalin Sun
Ying Hui Wong
Taslima Khanom
Rosemary Cargill
Katarina Nordanger
Sasha Catchpole
Muna Ardem



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