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Eight teams representing 181 colleagues engaged to Green Impact this year, completing 228 actions to make the VUB more sustainable. This successful second edition of Green Impact was celebrated at the award ceremony. Three teams obtained a silver award thanks to their innovative and creative approach to the program: Geosurf, a combination of the Geography Department and the SURF research group, the Study Guidance Centre and the Department of Hydrology.
Read here the ‘Impact Report’ of the latest edition.
The Green Impact program translates sustainability into more than 50 concrete and feasible actions at universities. Green Impact was developed 10 years ago by the National Union of Students (NUS) in Great Britain and introduced at the VUB by the GreenTeam in 2016. For the moment, the program is successfully implemented in more than 300 organisations.
Action plan for more sustainability
Green Impact is a comprehensive action plan towards sustainability in your team, department or university. An online toolkit bundles fifty concrete actions, divided into different topics: mobility, energy, nutrition, material flows, social actions, education and team organisation.
The Green Impact teams are enrolled in a (amicable) competition, aiming to obtain the highest amount of points. Every completed action delivers points, resulting in a bronze, silver or gold award for each team at the end of the program. At the end of the year, the teams are audited on their actions by VUB students, trained by NUS.
The strong commitment and creative approach of the Green Impact teams have resulted in 3 silver and 5 bronze awards.
Strong and creative teams
On top of the actions in the toolkit, Team Geosurf came up with extra activities to engage their departments into sustainability. Furthermore, they involved other departments and enlarged their impact with a lecture on academic flying and a workshop on plants in the office. This resulted in a well-deserved silver award for Team Geosurf.
Another silver award was granted to the Study Guidance Centre, which made good use of their extensive connection with a lot of students. The SBC had a very structured approach with a monthly topic and a team member focusing on each topic. This resulted among others in a monthly newsletter for their own team and communication campaigns towards students.
The final silver medal was awarded to the Hydrology Team. They made huge efforts to involve the entire department in the green impact initiatives towards sustainability. The team developed a proper strategy and each team meeting the progress on the action were presented. Furthermore, their students made a video on green impact and sustainability.
All five remaining teams achieved the bronze award and will strive towards a silver or even gold medal next year! The department of Education and Student affairs were able to obtain bronze in two months, while Cava promoted green impact actions on their facebook page and plans a low impact conference in September, guest speakers travel by train and all catering is vegetarian and vegan. [Continue the story below the picture]
Bottom-up and top-down
Sofie De Laet of the GreenTeam feels Green Impact growing. The current teams want to grow and enlarge their scope and impact. Furthermore, new departments are interested in the current activities of the teams. The participating teams notice they are already doing a lot on sustainability in their department, but the concrete actions in green impact are very helpful to go further towards a sustainable working environment.
Cathy Macharis, Chair of the Core Group Sustainability, appreciates the bottom-up approach in which everyone is included in order to make the VUB more sustainable. On the one hand, Green Impact translates existing sustainability policies into concrete actions, makes sustainability more susceptible and creates a learning platform with strong initiatives. On the other hand, it broadens support to strengthen future VUB-policies, for instance in the flying debate.
Want to know more?
In the kick-off weeks there will be an information session for new members but you can already take a look at the achievements of this year’s teams.
The GreenTeam also comes on site to help you find your way around the project!