Skip to content
left end
left end
right end

29 November 2016

Green Impact awarded UNESCO prize for Education for Sustainability

NUS (UK) have been awarded a prize by UNESCO for their work on education for sustainability, through the Green Impact programme. University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust who were the initial pilot organisation for implementing the Green Impact Awards in the wider community, is one of the organisations whose collective activities have resulted in achieving this award.

Green Impact is celebrating ten years of education for sustainable development and behaviour change across students' unions, universities, colleges, and thanks to the successful pilot at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, a huge range of off-campus organisations.


Green Impact has enabled University Hospitals Bristol to engage hundreds of staff in positive environmental and social sustainability behaviour change since 2011. This has resulted in 87 teams completing 3209 actions ranging from setting all department computers to default print double sided and installing instant water boilers or environmentally friendly kettles for staff use, to departments running their own environmentally themed awareness events.

Paula Clarke, Director of Strategy and Transformation at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, said:

"Doctors and scientists agree, our health is very much influenced by the environment.

"That's why, at University Hospitals Bristol, we're working to reduce our own impact on the environment, with a particular focus on our carbon footprint. In turn this will help us reduce our contribution to climate change, which is another major health risk.

"Green Impact empowers our staff, as individuals and as teams, to reduce their environmental impact at work and practice the values they have at home in the workplace as well."

NUS was selected as a winner by an international jury from 120 nominations across 64 UNESCO Member States, and it was praised for its transformative impact for those student and staff members involved.

In the last ten years over 380 organisations have participated in Green Impact, reaching an incredible 115,000 people.  In the last year alone Green Impact saved participating organisations 1.2 million pounds and 6,923 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Accepting the award in Paris, NUS' LGBT+ officer Melantha Chittenden said: "The student movement has always been at the forefront of social change.  To create a just and sustainable future, we now need substantial change in tertiary education. The vision for our sustainability work is simple: All students, regardless of what they are studying, leave tertiary education equipped and motivated to make society a better place. We dedicate this award to our students' unions, and all the other participants in Green Impact who have contributed to its success".

The Green Impact programme has recently relaunched at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation trust for 2016/17, and this year NUS are using the prize money to provide small grants for Green Impact participants to continue their local sustainability work.

Find out more and get in touch with NUS for more information.