USP Green ImpactGreen Impact

Green Impact is a sustainability accreditation scheme that runs in universities and colleges across the UK. The University of Sheffield has taken part since 2009/2010, as part of their behaviour change strategy to reduce carbon emissions - they have committed to a 43% carbon emission reduction by 2020. In USP we are encouraging and promoting more sustainable practices amongst our staff and students in order to contribute to this goal.

Last year we won the Gold Award, during this academic year (2017-18) we are aiming to continue this!

Our Green Impact efforts are led by:

Green Impact Champion, Sarah Biggins 
Green Impact Project Assistant, Konstantinos Moraitis 
The Green Impact team: Emma Ryszka 

Waste & Recycling

The generation and incorrect disposal of waste is a huge Environmental Issue in the UK as a large majority of it ends up in landfill.

We are actively encouraging students and staff to reduce their waste by:

  • reminding staff to print double sided and having all the printers in the Department are automatically set to duplex printing
  • sending out effective communications and posters about recycling 
  • having handouts for meetings and lectures available online
  • finding a new home for unwanted items instead of throwing them away

We are committed to reducing our energy use by:

  • switching off lights and electrical devices when not in use
  • sending out effective communications (online and posters) to all staff and students about energy use and energy saving opportunities.

Travel is a significant Environmental issue; this is because of the major use of energy used to fuel transportation and the creation of air pollution as a result.

To tackle this, we are encourage environmentally friendly travel options, where practical. We communicate to staff:

  • the benefits of cycling, walking, using public transport as opposed to driving to work
  • Cycle-to-work scheme

We're proud to say that most of the staff in our Department have chosen a more environmentally friendly way to work.

Health & Well-Being

1 in 4 people experience Mental Health issues. To reduce the stigma and support our students and staff, we actively encourage health and well-being themes throughout the year by:

  • promoting the Juice program to staff
  • encouraging staff to take regular breaks in our cafe area and lunch breaks
  • promoting Time To Change to staff, encouraging more conversation about health and well-being at work.

Getting word out there is central to our work with Green Impact, we communicate to staff, students, wider University by:

  • using our monthly Green Impact newsletter to staff and students highlight key green achievements of the month, reminders of how we can keep the Department green and opportunities to get involved!
  • using our Instagram account where we document what we are doing for Green Impact as well as educating and inspiring our followers on how to live more sustainably. Follow us on our green impact journey here.

Since school, I have had a keen interest in climate change and the prospect of sustainable development, and I am currently researching low carbon developments as a topic for my dissertation. I am very excited to be applying my knowledge and expanding my learning by helping the Department of Urban Studies and Planning reduce its carbon emissions this academic year.

Kat Tyne, student gipa 2016

If you have any ideas on how we can make our Department more "green" or have any energy-saving ideas please complete this form.