Green Impact has not been running during 2020-21 but we hope the programme will return for 2021-22 so please read on.

Green Impact helps staff teams across our schools, departments and buildings to make our campus greener. Teams take up challenges to win awards at the end of the year, and improve the sustainability of their local area.

Students can become members of their School team, or can be trained up to support other teams.

Become a Green Impact student


If you would like to get involved in sustainability initiatives on campus, but don't know how? Please contact us to find out more.

Join Green Impact Teams on Facebook

Green Impact UEA's legacy

  • Green Impact statistics 2018-19: 22 teams, 45 trained students.
  • Green Impact statistics 2017-18: 14 teams, 22 awards, 54 trained students, 78 team members, 1455 staff covered by team actions, at least 26,040kg CO2 and £6984 saved.
  • Green Impact statistics 2016-17: 16 teams, 42 trained students, 72 team members, 1901 staff covered by team actions, 794 greening actions across the University


What is Green Impact?Sustainability Green Impact award winners

The Green Impact programme sees teams from across UEA challenge their School or Department to improve its sustainable credentials.

Teams are invited to join central campaigns, such as holiday shut-downs and awareness day events, and to support the whole University in becoming more fair and environmentally aware.

An online toolkit guides teams through a range of actions to an end of year celebration of achievements and the resulting awards. The Sustainability Team from Estates is on hand throughout the year to support teams and individuals to get the best results and share their stories across UEA.


Labs toolkit

The Green Impact programme includes a lab-specific option.

An online toolkit guides teams through a range of actions to support safe, sustainable and secure labs. UEA's Sustainability Team provide advice and support for those taking part. The scheme also represents a Personal and Professional Development (PPD) opportunity for postgraduate students.


Support and student skill-building

Thirty-six students were trained during UEA Green Impact 2018-19, receiving official NUS and IEMA-accredited training to be Project Assistants and to audit the final Workbooks.


Get in touch with any questions and to take part in Green Impact 2020-21

Arrange a meeting with our Sustainability Team, to find out how easy it will be for your School or Department to be involved.


  1. When will the programme run? If the 2021-22 programme gets the green light, it will run from August 2021 to March/April 2022.
    • Submission date: TBC
    • Audits: TBC
    • Awards Ceremony: TBC
  2. Who can enter? Everyone is welcome to enter. Teams are best when they involve staff from across a wide range of building users, and the Sustainability Team can help promote your new team.
  3. I don't know much about green issues... does that matter? Definitely not. The workbook has a 'Going Green' section, which gives teams a simple starter for 10. It then develops from straightforward Bronze Award criteria to tougher Gold Award actions, and celebrates anything you are able to achieve!
  4. How much time do I need? Teams with an hour a week between them manage to achieve some really great results. The programme is flexible, so can fit around competing priorities across the academic year.
  5. Can I work with people in other teams? Each team receives their own award, but you can get points for collaborating with other teams on events or seminars.

Get in touch with us.

Sustainable UEA hosted the 2017-18 Green Impact Awards on 9 May, 2018.

Green Impact aims to make workplaces more sustainable by encouraging local behaviour change and communal greening activities.

The ceremony was hosted by Catrin Darsley, our Sustainable Development Manager, and the Vice-Chancellor Professor David Richardson.

Congratulations to all participating teams.


Excellence Project

Chemistry and Pharmacy Teaching Labs


Excellence Project

Having achieved their Green Impact Gold awards for two years in a row, as well as a national Green Gown Award for innovation in research and development, the CAP team were invited to be our first ‘Excellence Project’ award application.

In a lab that supports 300 students and their teachers, as well being a key location for Chemistry and Pharmacy open days, there was a huge potential audience to inform of the sustainable labs work being undertaken by the Schools’ technician team.


Behind the scenes:

  • The Smart Condensing initiative saves over 250,000 litres of water per year.
  • A traffic light sticker system on plugs lets lab users know whether equipment can be switched off when not in use, saving energy and encouraging awareness.
  • Some equipment has been upgraded for alternatives that can be switched off, saving enough electricity to power an average UK household for a year.
  • A partnership with Uni Green Scheme takes old equipment and gives it new life, while bringing money back to the University for kit that is no longer wanted or needed.


The outreach

  1. Communication and engagement resources
  2. Knowledge exchange - the 'Try Sustainable' scheme
  3. Feedback survey of staff and students
  4. Increasing reach - internal and external exposure


Special award winners

Special award: environmental hero


Paul Disdle, Science Analytical Facility (SAF)

Nominated by 3 people, Paul was instrumental in the Science Analytical Facilities’ (SAF) Green Impact drive to achieve a Gold Labs Award this year.

There has been an enormous amount of work carried out in a methodical and organised manner to build on last year’s Silver Labs Award success. The considerable amount of evidence submitted for the audit is an indicator of the extensive investigations and actions that Paul has led this year.

Furthermore, Paul’s involvement in actions and contributions beyond the SAF team’s workbook have been of benefit to the wider sustainable labs programme. Such activities include; feedback and contribution to the Green Impact Labs workbook, involvement in the Green Impact auditing process, and piloting of a glove recycling scheme.

SAF took on some the non-labs workbook this year and Paul has also supported other non-lab teams, bridging the gap between the two workbooks. I am excited to see where the SAF team go next and look forward to working with Paul in the drive for more sustainable labs at UEA.

Environmental Hero Special Mentions:

  • Natalia Ponomareva, INTO
  • Paul Carter, INTO
  • Liz Jones, ENV


Special award: student leadership


Student projects team, INTO

Tsz Wai Chang, Bomin Choi, Mehreen Saghir, Naphatsakorn Bootsoba, Suki Ha, Yu Qing Fong, Anna Pharjakidze and Yang Chew.

Nominated by the rest of the INTO team: "These students managed to involve 36 more students from different INTO programmes to become GI student assistants.

"Together they identified the area for improvements and designed several projects: No Smoking Day Challenge; Shared Fridge; Herb Garden; Tweet Home; Art exhibition and many others.

"They play an active part in volunteering in the hospital and local primary schools. Inspiring local children with a love of science, our students have developed their own confidence, leadership and communication skills.

"With these practical social actions the students connect with the world outside the university bubble, gaining the opportunities and skills to make a real difference today, as well as in their future lives and careers."


Special award: innovation for engagement


Tony Polack, Norwich Business School (NBS)

The NBS Green Impact team were striving for Gold this year with the help of more academic staff on board. This included Tony Polack, a lecturer in Business Management with a background working for the Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

He took it upon himself to survey his colleagues to gauge the quantity of sustainable business teaching within the programmes (as well as within research projects). The survey was sent to the organisers of 51 undergraduate modules, 63 post-graduate and 19 post-graduate MBA modules.

A short definition of ‘sustainability’ was given and about 32 respondents graded the content of their modules to be either –

  • More than 50% relevant to sustainability
  • About 25-50% relevant to sustainability
  • Less than 25% relevant to sustainability


The results that came back were interesting, demonstrating that two undergraduate modules stand out as being 'more than 50% relevant to sustainability': Business Ethics, and Corporate Sustainability.

Three post-graduate modules stand out as being 'more than 50% relevant to sustainability': Corporate Social Responsibility, Critical Issues in Supply Chain Management, and E-Business Management.

At least five modules (of 19 – that's 26%) available in the part-time and full-time MBA courses have some content around the issues of energy and sustainability.

This is hopefully the beginning of further research into demonstrating that the Norwich Business School not only teaches sustainable business methods but also could potentially be known for it.

This was the first time the School has tried to gauge the level of sustainability and its success was thanks to Tony's enthusiasm and encouragement. We hope to build on this work each year to further develop the picture of sustainability in NBS.


Special award: environmental improvement


Science Analytical Facility (SAF)

SAF – introduction of Terracycle and nitrile glove recycling programmes

Nominated by Paul Disdle: "Through research into the recycling of disposable nitrile gloves, I discovered the company Terracycle who facilitate the recycling of several not normally recycled products by working directly with the manufacturers.

"Nitrile gloves are one of the items that contributes to a large portion of our non-recyclable waste in a lab environment. In the current climate of the need to reduce the amount of single use products used, I felt there should be a mechanism in place to prevent gloves going to landfill.

"Terracycle have collaborated with Kimtech to enable to collection of non-contaminated Kimtech nitrile gloves to be collected returned and recycled.

"While discussing with Kimtech how to officially sign up to the process, I have begun to collect gloves in our two largest labs to get a feel for the amount we may generate.

"My hope is that we can start the initiative in our labs and with help from the sustainability team eventually role it out across campus. As a university, we have the potential to save several thousands of gloves from landfill per year.

"While browsing the Terracycle website I also discovered availability in their biscuit wrapper and beauty products schemes. Therefore, in collaboration with the School of Environmental Science Green Impact Team we have created a recycling station in the ENV social space. The recycling station will allow the recycling of stationery, biscuit wrappers, beauty product containers and toner cartridges.

"Instead of buying plastic waste bins for the recycling station, we are have sourced a surplus-to-requirements 4-drawer filing cabinet to convert instead."


Special award: community action


School of Environmental Sciences

Charity events and community wellbeing programme

The ENV Green Impact Team consists of students, researchers, academics, technical and administrative staff. The team have come together throughout the year to work on projects developing the community and wellbeing of the School through Green Impact, such as:

  • Christmas 'reverse Secret Santa' donations to the Norwich Foodbank
  • Children in Need Bake Sale: £239 raised
  • Fairtrade event: students, working with the SU shop, to promote Fairtrade, including representation from the grandson of a Fairtrade coffee plantation owner from Brazil, with free samples available of food and drink.
  • Creating the SCI step challenge (involved 16 teams (a total of 80 people) from across SCI)
  • Switch-Off sticker competition for ENV students; this was tied in with the Christmas chocolate drop to remind staff to turn off electrical items over the Christmas break.
  • Office plant cuttings: staff from across the School provided cuttings of plants for multi-occupancy offices. Plants left-over were then sold on behalf of Mind, raising £70
  • Wellbeing event: held in the ENV Social Space, with attendance from Nightline, STS wellbeing team, and the Sportspark with free tea/coffee and muffins
  • Tuesday Walks: walks held by an ENV academic every Tuesday lunchtime to promote having a break and enjoying the biodiversity on campus - this has drawn people from across the Faculty
  • Birdboxes: a raffle in aid of the British Trust for Ornithology of birdboxes made by Paul Disdle, SCI technician, plus two boxes placed on the trees by ENV.


Gold award winners




Gold Award

Congratulations to INTO – the highest points scorers for the non-labs workbook! The INTO team achieved so many exciting projects this year that we don't have space to share them all...

Waste reduction, from joining the Refill app to encourage a reduction in plastic pollution to removing plastic cups from meeting rooms.

Communications have been strong this year. Information is given about recycling, the stationery amnesty and central store, and energy saving are given during staff inductions. The weekly staff newsletter 'What's happening around the Centre' includes Green Impact information. Additional provision and guidance has been put in student accommodation, such as providing more convenient recycling areas.

Community events are run to encourage participation in the lighter side of sustainability – including gardening and birdwatching.

INTO's student team members carried out a second year of the impressive Everest Challenge – using an app to track steps and challenging teams from across the centre to avoid the lift.

One of our favourite-ever projects out of Green Impact was through INTO this year – they wanted to develop a green wall of herbs in their cafe area, for use by the kitchen and by students looking for flavours from home. After some very enthusiastic Pinterest-searching, the windowsill garden is flourishing and a recipe book has been developed featuring recipes using herbs from around the world (and now available in INTO).


Norwich Business School


Gold Award

We have been continually impressed by this team's organisation across the year, and their auditors commented on their being very organised and as having detailed projects in early development for next year. We're looking forward to hearing more!

The team noted that they have most enjoyed setting up and being part of interdepartmental competitions, fundraising initiatives by adopting charities for the year (they have had a focus on mental health this year), and running a Litter Pick as part of a project management module.

The pun force is strong with this team. I’m assured that thinking of car puns was exhausting... but they did a great job of crowbarring puns into their regular communications out to the School community.

Fuel efficiency quizzes, spot prizes, the Big Holiday Switch Off, challenging EDU to the County Council's active Workplace Challenge (and winning) – the NBS team took competiveness to a new level and used it as a powerful engagement tool. NBS saved 550kg of CO2 through their Workplace Challenge, and special mention to Jenny Fairbrass who racked up over 200 activities!

At the same time, NBS used Green Impact to encourage donations and collective action. Foodbank and Save the Children benefitted from various events, and organisations such as Love Food, Hate Waste and the Fairtrade Foundation were highlighted across the School.

As we’re all aware, universities have a unique potential for producing new generations of engaged and active members of society. Tony Polack produced a survey given to all NBS staff to gather data on sustainable business teaching, which will feed into wider work around Education for Sustainable Development at UEA. This powerful piece of work will be genuinely helpful moving forward.


Science Analytical Facility (Labs Award)


Gold Labs Award

We think the SAF team, led by Paul Disdle, may have achieved the highest points score they could have this year – the points boundary for a Gold Labs award is 250 points. They scored a massive 307 points! Needless to say, that’s the highest score this year.

The SAF team technique included using existing methods to highlight key messages whenever possible, including the labs' Safe System of Work documentation to indicate best practice for chemical handling and reduction of labs waste.

Sustainability information is integrated into lab inductions, to help it be adopted as good lab practise and not just singled out as a one-off exercise. This is certainly something that every team and sustainability champion could seek to replicate.

All lab fridges and freezers are on scheduled cleaning and sorting, and the labs make good use of packing materials to reduce air space in their freezers to optimise efficiency.

The labs are inspected on a monthly basis, including to check waste handling, fridges and freezers. Anything missed on these tours is found on a 6-monthly housekeeping schedule, with any issues found then raised via team email.

Team leader Paul highlighted: "The lab invested in a gas sharing manifold system to reduce the number of scientific gas cylinders in the lab to save money, space and improve health and safety. This was designed by a team member, manufactured by an external company and then installed by the team. This means we now have 4 fewer cylinders in the lab, and can now segregate the cylinders according to the BCGA guidelines. We are also saving 4 lots of gas rentals per month at £3.86 each and also saving the initial gas costs."

In terms of oversight and environmental management, this team is a great case study. Congratulations and thank you for all your hard work.


The Enterprise Centre


Gold Award

Unless you've been working under a rock, you're probably aware that the Enterprise Centre building is exceptionally low-carbon and sustainable. From using local building materials to working with local craftspeople in new ways to generate income out of traditional seasons, it is UEA's sustainable showpiece.

Over the past 12 months the Adapt team has hosted over 30 tours and talks regarding The Enterprise Centre and its sustainability credentials. But through Green Impact, they are also working to engage building users in new ways.

In order to maintain TEC's Passivhaus Certification, meaning its externally-certified low-carbon nature, the 'Specific Primary Energy Demand' needs to be ≤ 120 kWh/m2 per year. The Adapt team ensures that all of the equipment bought for the building:

  • Is energy efficient with minimum A energy rating
  • Has standby features
  • Is value for money
  • Bought from sustainable businesses.


The building uses refurbished furniture in place of buying new, this year including a meeting table and cardboard desks!

As part of the building's review by its project design team, feedback identified comfort issues by some building users. As a result, the Adapt office was rearranged so that individuals who feel the cold were positioned away from air handling units. Desks that were originally face to face were moved into an L-shaped configuration – meaning that neither person was sat directly underneath the air vent. This is a common challenge in shared spaces and something that more teams could perhaps consider.

The Enterprise Centre team plan to undertake an Excellence Project next year, to focus more on a specific project. We're excited to see what they manage! Well done to the team.


Silver award winners


School of Biological Sciences Teaching Lab


Silver Lab Award

The lab has strong systems in place to ensure safe, secure and sustainable laboratory practice is embedded. From chemical storage and ensuring that materials aren't over-ordered, to labelling protocols and switching un-needed equipment off, they are managing their environmental impacts really well.

Freezers are inspected over the Christmas break and over the summer and cleaned as necessary. The team has a monthly reminder to check their -80C ULT (ultra-low temperature) freezer, as the filter is at floor level and gets quite dusty. This is a good reminder that it's important to consider each lab's individual needs and environment when scheduling maintenance of equipment.

Congratulations to Kathryn and the whole team for an impressive level of embedded sustainable practice!


School of Education


Silver Award

The team has worked well together to generate ideas and gather views from their staff and students, including the team's Project Assistants running a survey of EDU students to identify areas for improvement.

The EDU team used Green Impact to inspire their colleagues to consider changes at home, as well as in the office. The School has made a commitment to only buying Fairtrade / Rainforest Alliance / ethically sourced products for the work tea, coffee and milk fund. Staff that want to belong to the club regularly give money, and the Support Team buys the products for everyone to use. Staff were also encouraged to buy these products in their home life, too.

Green Impact inspired the team to get a mains-provided water cooler fitted, and they have worked to reduce single-use plastic elsewhere in the School. They've looked at reducing waste in other areas, for example by encouraging the return of unused parking permits and envelopes, and by reusing other materials where possible.


School of Environmental Sciences


Silver Award

This team has been exceptionally well-organised and consistent across the year, and have achieved some really impressive actions as a result. With the team bringing together academics, support staff, the ENV Teaching Lab staff, and students, there has been a wide variety of projects and successes.

Staff and students across the School have been actively encouraged to get involved, from being student Project Assistants to providing ideas for energy improvements and taking part in a design competition for switch-off stickers, which are now in place around the building.

One great collaboration was between the ENV team and Paul Disdle, a technician from the Science Analytical Facility – upcycled bird nesting boxes are now up in the trees around the building.

Community fundraising has included a bake sale for Children in Need, a plant sale in aid of Norwich and Norfolk MIND, and a Fairtrade Fortnight stall.

Congratulations to the whole team for a really well-planned campaign and well-earned award.


Bronze award winners


Broadview Lodge


Bronze Award

A great start by this small team in their first year!

Broadview Lodge had support from their Project Assistant, Elena, who helped collate evidence and wrote a newsletter article about wetlands.

Actions included trying to reduce single-use plastic: guest rooms are stocked with one water bottle per guest per visit, and visitors are encouraged to refill from the Reception water cooler.

We think it's important to highlight the variety of projects and contexts that Green Impact can work in: Broadview Lodge have a unique opportunity to engage visitors to UEA, and we look forward to seeing what they can achieve next year.


School of International Development


Bronze Award

The team worked hard to create a strong base for their Green Impact work, looking at both Getting Started and Bronze criteria and promoting recycling and other initiatives well.

Good practice includes setting team roles, involving identifying themes that individuals would work on and responsibility areas such as 'Communications' or 'Academic liaison'.

The ‘DEV Virtual Walk to Edinburgh’ was one impressive Silver project carried out by the team this year. Staff were encouraged to log any activity that they undertook, from their walk to work to evening yoga. This was converted to miles, and the team tried to make it to Edinburgh as part of Focus on Wellbeing Month in January. A great idea!

Next year the team have said that they will try to involve more academics and students – it's great to see them already keen to push on to Silver!


Estates and Facilities Division


Bronze Award

From possibly the most miserable weather for a tree walk ever experienced, to job changes and competing demands, it was a challenging year for this team, but they did a great job to achieve a solid Bronze Award.

We really liked the cross-campus collaboration for different challenges and competitions, with campus waste reused in a number of really exciting ways for some of them.

Well done, and here's to that elusive Gold Award in 2019.


School of Environmental Sciences Teaching Labs


Bronze Labs Award

One of the strongest stories to come out of the ENV Teaching Lab this year is their cold storage management.

  • Fridges and freezers are routinely cleared out, defrosted and switched off when unnecessary.
  • Filling any empty space with clean, reused polystyrene helps to reduce the amount of energy by reducing air to cool.
  • Labelling samples, and providing an up-to-date tracking system or log on or near freezers sounds simple but can drastically reduce the amount of time that lab users need to keep the door open, thereby saving energy.


By collaborating with other labs and groups, the Teaching Lab is strengthening its lab procedures and engagement materials.

Congratulations on your Bronze Award.


NBI Graduate School Office


Bronze Award

A brand new team this year, the Norwich Bioscience Institutes Graduate School Office team managed to achieve a convincing Bronze award and some photo competition wins in less than a month – a really impressive feat!

As quite a small office, it was fantastic to see the whole team being active and involved.

We loved this team's amazing personalised posters! From an Obama-themed 'Yes we scan' to promote double-sided printing and scanning over photocopying, to lights-out reminders, these were a joy to see.

Pre-Green Impact activities include allotment veg-sharing, charity work and fundraising for Norwich FoodHub and for Guide Dogs for the Blind, community litter picks and purchasing green electricity at home.

With an academic team member already signed up, roles assigned within the programme, and plans in place to extend out into the wider building, it will be exciting to see what the team can achieve next year.


Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB)


Bronze Labs Award

Our first team from the wider Norwich Research Park to sign up, the QIB team did a great job at a really busy time.

While planning for a full building move this summer, the team started to audit and review their labs to encourage good practices and identify opportunities.

As with a lot of Green Impact labs teams, we think they were surprised by the sheer amount of good work that goes on behind the scenes.

Following best practice for ultra-low temperature freezers, such as consolidating freezers, auditing the efficiency of older units, and increasing temperature of some units to minus 70 degrees are examples of great energy saving practices, which we hope transfer to the new building in June 2018.

The organisation already recycles plastics in the form of tip boxes and chemical bottles, once washed out. They have looked into the feasibility of recycling decontaminated plastics, but potential with health and safety risks mean this has been put on hold for now. This is a good example of how Green Impact can help to identify future projects.

The labs are looking to improve awareness around the use of disposable plastics – such as spreaders, media reservoirs, and inoculating loops, and encouraging reusable alternatives.

An impressive first year, and a great example of how Green Impact can be of practical use.


Science Analytical Facility - Offices

Bronze Award

Congratulations to SAF for gaining a second award for the non-labs workbook!

Sustainable UEA hosted the 2016-17 Green Impact Awards in June 2017.

Green Impact aims to make workplaces more sustainable by encouraging local behaviour change and communal greening activities.

The ceremony was hosted by Catrin Darsley, our Sustainable Development Manager, and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Ward. NUS representative Jess Naylor also presented on behalf of the National Union of Students

Congratulations to all participating teams.

Special award: environmental hero

Robert Jenkins, Norwich Business School (NBS)

Robert felt passionately about reducing paper waste and decided to run a Green Impact project to address the issue of uncollected lecture handouts. At first, it proved a little difficult to get students to engage with the project but Robert persevered and ensured that the project was a success: all students have learning resources in their preferred format whilst achieving a reduction of 50 sets of handouts each lecture.

This project has given a voice to those students who don’t want handouts, and has moved away from the assumption that everyone wants paper resources.

To further reinforce this approach, effort was made to reduce the physical size of the handouts by printing multiple slides per sheet and printing double-sided. Editing lecture notes to accurately reflect key, necessary content (i.e. not videos, filler pages, or colour images) has helped to further reduce pages printed. Material was also offered in a variety of digital formats, ahead of each lecture. Assuming 40 handout sets less per lecture, and a mean number of slides as 72 per full lecture, reducing this to a maximum of 36 slides per handout has saved 10,000 sheets of A4 on one module. This is 20 reams of paper, or around 1 tree!

Robert is keen to celebrate the success by having his students plant a tree on campus. It’s also hoped that NBS colleagues will consider their paper use – and Robert’s influence has been a key factor in influencing them.

Special award: student leadership


The Everest Challenge organisers, INTO

Cindy Anggrenia, Trudy Johanna Lajuk Allo, Hau Yan Regina Lo, Hyojin Seo, Le Khanh Vy Doan

This team showed exceptional creativity in designing and managing INTO’s Everest Challenge, involving fantastic posters and complex formulae spreadsheets to collate data. The Everest Challenge hopes to encourage both energy-saving and increased wellbeing by asking participants to climb the equivalent height in stairs to Mt Everest.

The group initially asked for participants, then organised an introduction presentation attended by over 40 people. Each flight of stairs in the building had a barcode at each floor. As you climbed a flight of stairs, you scanned the barcode with your phone (using the QuickMark app to save your progress). At the end of the week, you emailed the team your progress and they compiled a leader board. The challenge was to complete this in just a month, with everyone’s progress contributing to achieve the goal.

During the Challenge, this group of students have been both resourceful and extraordinarily organised in keeping all forty-plus participants on track and informed of their progress climbing the 'mountain'.

At the end of March, everyone was given the good news – they had summited Mt Everest (plus six Eiffel Towers)! This team has helped to raise awareness within the INTO Centre of how much people depend on the lifts and take them for granted. The project acted as a reminder that the stairs are an option, with the added benefits of saving electricity and increasing fitness.

Special award: innovation for engagement

Alice Manson, The Enterprise Centre

Alice Manson, Front of House Coordinator for the Adapt Group at the Enterprise Centre, brilliantly led the TEC Green Impact team this year. Her original ideas and organised approach helped the team achieve Silver even though she went on maternity leave part way through the programme.

Alice’s ‘Walk to Mordor’ challenge got staff from across the building engaged with Green Impact. Participants from the Adapt Low Carbon Group, front desk, and staff from the companies that rent desk space in TEC submitted their step counts on a weekly basis. Using some very detailed distance calculations, Alice worked out how far the team had progressed and updated an amazing map in the shared staff area.

21 people took part. By week 2, they had successfully navigated Bree and the steep lands of the Trollshaws. The Stone Trolls and Rivendell provided entertainment in week 3. Weeks 4 and 5 were full of danger – the Mines of Moria and the woods of Lothlorién brought challenges for our brave adventurers…

By the end of week 6, they had trekked 997 miles – and taken in the delights of the Fortress of Trees, Caras Galadhon. The team reached Mount Doom part way through week 9, after 1779 miles, destroying the One Ring and saving everyone from Sauron’s evil.

We knew that The Enterprise Centre was one of the UK’s greenest commercial buildings, but it’s not every day that you literally save the world…!

Special award: environmental improvement


UEA Grounds Team, Estates & Facilities Division

The Grounds Team have been providing habitats and enhancements with new creativity this year. After being approached to buy some insect hotels, they realised that there were free, secure and attractive options already available. Using logs from previous tree works on campus, they drilled holes and placed the resulting habitats around UEA grounds.

The logs provide safe hibernation and nesting space for insects, particularly solitary bees. They will continue to benefit biodiversity as they biodegrade over time, creating new food and crevices. The use of local materials obviously have a low carbon footprint from no transport, too!

Other site improvements have included the building of slow worm pits at Lusty Hills. Slow worms are neither worms (as the name suggests) or snakes (as their appearance suggests!), but a type of legless lizard. They are harmless to humans and, as with all species on campus, shouldn’t be disturbed if you see one.

With the Vice-Chancellor’s permission, the Grounds Team are also developing the Wood Hall grounds to be more focused on biodiversity, including increasing meadow areas and leaving a visible ditch line to support flora and fauna.

Gold award winners


Gold Award

There was so much enthusiasm and creativity from this team! Their noticeboard has featured everything from Kermit the Frog doing yoga, to electrical item recycling messages from magpies. Accommodation worked with Broadview Lodge on a water-saving project, and organised a campus-wide Thermal Thursday promotion and photo competition. This raised nearly £100 for the charity ‘Crisis for Christmas’, the equivalent of giving five people hot meals and a haircut for Christmas Day.

The team ran Green Impact in the Accommodation Office, with some projects with students and in the residences. It will be exciting to see what they can achieve next year...


Gold Award

This team achieved the highest points score from the non-labs workbook, with a very successful year of different projects and initiative. They created a calendar of events, such as biodiversity walks, to connect Green Impact with the Focus on Month programme, giving structure to their plans.

The Library’s Collection Development Policy now works on a "digital first" basis. Where possible they are buying e-books and e-journals instead of multiple print copies. This has meant a reduction in the number of print items being purchased and transported (with the associated packaging).

This team has had great collaboration with other teams this year, from taking their paper-wastage awareness display on tour, to a shared ‘tog swap’ for the Big C cancer charity, to meeting with other teams to share advice. A student waste audit helped identify improvements to bin locations, and an audit of all taps and the times they run for has led to UEA’s plumbers seeing if taps can be adjusted for water efficiency.


Chemistry and Pharmacy Teaching Laboratory

Gold Labs Award

This team’s success story has continued this year, as the team has worked to help expand the number of Green Impact labs teams as well as to embed good working practices in their own area. Working with Estates, the Chemistry and Pharmacy Teaching Labs now use no water for condensing, saving a huge amount of water, and associated energy and financial costs. This project won the ‘Research and Development – Institution’ 2016 Green Gown Award; a national accolade.

They have introduced a mechanism for equipment sharing with School researchers, which could have much wider applicability across the University. The team’s Project Assistant, Emily, is also finalising a ‘UEA Sustainable Labs Guide’ which will hopefully be of real value to lab users.

From the auditor: "The team is doing some fantastic work, and it would seem that everything they can do to improve sustainably they are doing. They already have a lot of systems in place, so I think next year they will be able to focus on more difficult areas like procurement. They are a brilliant example to follow."

Silver award winners

School of Economics

Silver Award

This team is involved in widening participation across the School, such as organising sustainability-related trips and developing research projects on campus.

Five members of the ECO Green Impact Committee also formed a ‘Healthy Lunch’ Group, which plans to continue going forward: a great idea for encouraging breaks from the desk and good staff morale and wellbeing.

Estates and Facilities Division


Silver Award

The key to a lot of the Estates team’s success this year has been collaboration. Sophie, their Project Assistant, did a fantastic job running a student design competition for a new Park&Ride bus identity, and the team has particularly enjoyed working with other teams.

A Fairtrade coffee morning worked well to get people from across the Division together for an informal break, which the team wants to run again. Estates did a good job at sharing the monthly newsletters and key information across the Division, and used their high-visibility noticeboard to good effect.

We’re excited to see what projects they come up with for next year — keep up the great work!


Silver Award

INTO have had good support from management this year, with strong commitment to Green Impact policies.

A number of large-ticket purchases have been made with environmental consideration, including a solar-powered cardboard compactor, recycled plastic picnic benches, a solar PV array, and a switch to using environmentally friendly cleaning products. We have been impressed by how comprehensive the INTO programme has been. Students have run competitions, as well as calculated field trip carbon footprints as part of their studies. Various people have been involved in biodiversity walks and the INTO veg plot, as well as collectively identifying top environmental impacts.

School of Mathematics

Silver Award

There were some great initiatives from the Maths team this year! In the 'Tour de UEA' cycle event, staff and students across campus raced to save the most CO2 by cycling/walking instead of using the car. We loved the pun-tastic posters, and hope the monitor lizard stays active…! Robert linked to School bulletins and social media to get messages out, and raised staff awareness by using staff induction materials.

From the auditors: "The team was enthusiastic, well prepared and has done a great job overall in making a Green Impact! In particular we were impressed by the high level of graphic design, and the overall aesthetic impact of the range of posters produced, which did a great job at both pushing specific schemes/issues, but also advertising and raising awareness of the Green Impact project."

Norwich Business School (NBS)

Silver Award

There was a massive level of enthusiasm and coordination from across the School. It was particularly good to see a team involving admin and academic staff as well as students.

A high-impact pilot project looked at cutting paper waste from student seminars and lectures, and resulted in 1 tree saved across 10 lectures. Well done to Robert and the School for being so forward-thinking — it will be really interesting to see how the programme roll-out goes!

Actions such as the 'UEA walking lunch' Twitter group, and following up on a building energy audit, pull in people from across the campus and illustrate how the team work well together as well as go out of their way to look for ways to join with UEA-wide initiatives. It’s been a very impressive first year!

The Enterprise Centre


Silver Award

Building users are already doing a great job at using their low-carbon building in a sustainable way, for example by always advising visitors to use alternative methods of transport to get to UEA. The team used Green Impact to good effect by moving on to actively encouraging green behaviours from tenants and visitors.

The two student Project Assistants, Sarah and Zayneb, organised and ran an awareness event in the Hive to promote reusable water bottles – a really high-visibility event during Go Green Week and a great promotion idea (did you know that a litre bottle of water costs around 150 times more than tap water?!).

This was the Enterprise Centre’s first year entering Green Impact, and we know there are some exciting ideas brewing for next year already. Well done, and keep up the great work!

Science Analytical Facility (SAF)

Silver Labs Award

A proactive and enthusiastic team, whose recent achievement of the International Standard for Quality Management (ISO 9001) supported their Green Impact work. The team have done well to improve existing systems and awareness materials around the facility, and to monitor lab equipment energy use. They have really managed to make Green Impact work for them this year.

Your auditors were impressed by a freezer audit leading to an identification of excess freezer space, and the team moving to a smaller unit – this is exactly the right response! Thank you for being part of the programme this year, and we’re excited to see what you will achieve next year.

Bronze award winners

ARM LSB 0.20

Bronze Award

First year for this team, and they have made a great start, with an organised approach. We particularly enjoyed the use of humour in their messages to their office, and their creative approach. Some great ideas to use their position within ARM as a way to make a positive difference across UEA. Fantastic start!

School of International Development

Bronze Award

Great to see two students really getting behind this team’s workbook this year. Michael and Hayeong developed their own posters and ran a UEA-wide water-saving photography competition. Local support have supported the programme well, including putting themselves forward as plant caretakers and helping with communications. Well done!

School of Environmental Science

Bronze Award

Brilliant use of existing School communications, and of key times of the year such as a ‘reverse Secret Santa’ donating items to a local housing trust. Some amazing plant life, too!

From the auditor: "A really well-organised submission! I was impressed by this strong Bronze Award application, and look forward to seeing what the team achieves for Silver next year."

Interdisciplinary Institute for the Humanities (IIH)

Bronze Award

The team of two, Beverley and Joy, did a great job of using Green Impact to help pull together their small team of academics. From working together to identify key environmental impacts to taking part in shared lunchtime walks, it was a good example of the potential of Green Impact to connect people. Wonderful start!


Bronze Award

The ITCS team started their workbook relatively late on and still achieved a Bronze Award, which speaks for George’s dedication. Their auditors were impressed by the energy efficient heating and cooling system in the UEA data centres, where the technology used in the system rivals that of Microsoft and Google. The programme was funded by Salix, and the 10-year loan was paid back in 5 years because of the energy savings made from the project. Well done this year, and here’s to next!

School of Biological Sciences Teaching Laboratory

Bronze Labs Award

This team used Green Impact to evidence existing activity: 20 criteria for the Award were already being done or in place, and 4 were done as part of Green Impact. New posters were put up to further embed existing activities, for example closing fume cupboard sashes, and the lab already have a number of good practices in place. We’re excited to see what they achieve next year!

On Friday 22 April, Sustainable UEA hosted the 2015-16 Green Impact Awards.

Green Impact aims to make workplaces more sustainable by encouraging local behaviour change and communal greening activities.

The ceremony was hosted by Catrin Darsley, our Environmental Officer, with a presentation by NUS Sustainability Project Officer, Jessica Naylor, and an address from Professor Neil Ward, the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Congratulations to all participating teams.

Special award winners

Special award: innovation and engagement

Matthew Bennett, Chemistry and Pharmacy Teaching Lab: The StarFin Project

Innovation is at the heart of the ‘StarFin’ project that the UEA Chemistry and Pharmacy teaching laboratory has accomplished in partnership with chemistry equipment manufacturer Radleys this year.

The project engaged students, academics, technical support staff and commercial partner Radleys in the drive to reduce the impact of laboratory activities whilst creating a novel apparatus that has the potential to reduce energy and water consumption in labs worldwide.

The project has been commended by the Director of Learning and Teaching for Chemistry, Professor Simon Lancaster: “The sense that our students have gained: that sustainability is an economic as well as a social imperative, will be invaluable”.

Special award: environmental hero

Sarah Harper, UEA Library

Sarah Harper was nominated for the Environmental Hero award in recognition of all of her hard work and enthusiasm for Sustainability Champions at the Library. Through her dedication in this voluntary role, Sarah has organised and marketed many successful campaigns throughout the year, and has played a vital role supporting and encouraging sustainable practices both at work and at home among colleagues.

The most visible aspects of Sarah’s contribution to green efforts have been her eye-catching displays (created using recycled materials) promoting the Library’s sustainability campaigns throughout the year. Sarah’s resourcefulness and creativity are evident in the photographs of these displays, each of which has included facts and figures as well as ideas for individuals to reduce their impact in the relevant area. One example was ‘The Everest Challenge’, with a group competition to count steps each day and hopefully reach the top of Mount Everest. This was so successful that they ended up changing the target for the edge of space!

These displays and new ways of presenting issues have raised awareness and discussions among both Library staff and users. They have been particularly effective in catching the attention of people who are not otherwise involved in sustainability activities.

Some of Sarah’s displays will be touring UEA buildings soon — keep an eye out, and share photos with #SustainableUEA!

Special award: student leadership

Hans Pfalzgraf (BIO), MED Champions

As Project Assistant to the MED Champions lab team in the BCRE building, Hans provided general support as well as coming up with the idea for their traffic light sticker system. This has been used in a number of other institutions to help drive energy saving from non-essential lab equipment, and will have real benefit here.

Hans also began work with the Project Assistants from the Chemistry and Pharmacy Teaching Lab team on the challenging process of creating a ‘UEA Sustainable Labs Guide’. This required considerable research in his own time, which he has fit in alongside the demands of being a third-year student.

This is something that the Sustainability Team has wanted to create for a while, and will be a strong starting point for ongoing discussions with our colleagues in the Faculty of Science as well as on the Norwich Research Park.

We would like to recognise Hans for his commitment to sustainability and increasing awareness of good lab practice at the University.

Special Award: Student Leadership (Runner-up)

Emily Mason (ENV), Team CliMED Change

Emily was a key support for the MED building team. She coordinated their workbook by uploading evidence and checking that all necessary items had been completed before the workbook was submitted.

In addition to organising and putting up posters, Emily also helped by designing her own engagement materials. She set up meetings between the team and was very professional in how she approached the Green Impact challenge alongside her own studies.

Emily helped to lead the auditors for Team CliMED Change around the building, and generally helped to ensure that the team achieved their targeted Bronze Award.

Gold award winners

Chemistry and Pharmacy Teaching Laboratory

Gold Labs Award

This team aimed for Silver but managed to achieve the Gold labs award – the highest achievement for any UEA lab team yet!

Opportunities for savings and follow-up projects were identified through energy and water audits on lab equipment and user practices. One particular project, the StarFin collaboration, involved student engagement, research collaboration, and resource efficiency savings.

From the auditors:

"It was interesting to realise that UEA is able to do research on sustainability alongside other lab activities like teaching, with more in development. Green Impact is not just on behaviour change, but is impacting on research."

"There is such a huge cumulative work that went into making this lab more sustainable. It is great to see how much can happen in just a few months."

Silver award winners

UEA Library

Silver Award

This team has shown amazing commitment., enthusiasm and originality. Strong internal communications and a brilliant re-use hub, taking everything from used stamps and pens to items needing a new home, are just two examples of the Library's Green Impact team's engaging style.

Campaigns have included around energy, recycling, paper reduction and water saving. At Christmas, a recycled tree ornament competition saw entries from across the Information Services Directorate challenge each other for the prize.

From the auditors: "The team seem very committed to Green Impact! The team seems very keen, lots of staff turn up to events and Sustainability Network meetings."

MED Champions (BCRE Laboratories)

Silver Labs Award

This team viewed the Green Impact workbook as 'just good labs practice'. They are a really good example of embedded sustainability and the potential for UEA laboratories.

Projects included a traffic light sticker system to encourage energy saving by clearly showing whether the equipment could be switched off when in use. The team also arranged for the plastic Star Lab pipette tip case inserts to be collected for recycling.

The team also started looking into opportunities to replace environmentally-risky chemicals with safer alternatives. As a result, Ethidium Bromide has been replaced with Invitrogen SYBR safe stain as part of Green Impact.

From the auditors: "The team seemed really keen and on the ball. Lots they’re planning to improve, and they should be looked up to for working hard towards green goals while still getting set up in the new building."

Bronze award winners


Accommodation Office

Bronze Award

The team really impressed auditors with how much they had managed to achieve within a short space of time. A number of plants help to clean the air, and a new green-themed noticeboard provides a great focal point. A team travel survey also identified potential opportunities for changes to staff commuting.

From the auditors: "Considering the time you've had to complete these criteria, you've made a lot of changes quite quickly without realising how much progress you've made!"

Team CliMED Change (Norwich Medical School)

Bronze Award

The MED staff bulletin was used well to help with awareness-raising, and travel events were organised at both campuses for BCRE and MED staff. The team are developing the teaching of sustainable healthcare in taught modules, a fantastic initiative.

Student? Get involved, and join UEA Healthy Planet Soc!

School of International Development

Bronze Award

Started by student interest, the DEV team worked behind the scenes to set up systems for recycling, and shared ideas on energy saving. The auditor was impressed by the dedication of the team lead, which included a personalised cycling poster and some great ideas for next year’s Green Impact.

A great start!

School of Economics

Bronze Award

The ECO team worked really well together, with strong coordination and creative ideas. Lots of research went into their actions, such as encouraging stair use over taking the lift and a detailed exploration of how to get to campus.

Environmentally Caring Bunch (FMH: Edith Cavell Building)

Bronze Award

The auditors said that this was "Definitely a fitting name!" – the team's enthusiasm and creativity included selling old mugs, unsuitable for visitors, for 20p to raise money for refugees in Calais. Next year, the team would like to involve more students to widen their impact.

The team have also set all of their printers to duplex as a default. This has the potential to save considerable resources: in 2014, UEA used over 22 million sheets of white A4 copier paper!

School of Environmental Sciences

Bronze Award

Collaboration was key to this team's success. The team involved ENV students as well as both administrative and academic staff. Students helped to write material for the School Bulletin, and the team used the School's social media accounts well to share their efforts.

A good, firm foundation for next year!

From the auditors: "Good at providing evidence, and engaged well with students. Their way of presenting the audit information was quite clear and simple."

Estates and Buildings Division

Bronze Award

Their auditors really enjoyed meeting the people and spaces behind the scenes at UEA. The team have created a new, central noticeboard and a central stationery re-use hub for staff in the Division to use instead of buying new.

From the auditors: "This is just the start of something new; there is no reason to stop now!" "They were really keen to show us all the stuff they had done; could tell they were really passionate about sustainability."


Bronze Award

Great teamwork and a supportive community have really helped INTO's team this year. One action was to set every staff member a paper challenge to use 10 fewer sheets each. Since then, staff have on average saved 100 sheets of paper each, and admin paper use is down from 16% to 9% of the total use!

Other actions have included student projects such as designing energy-awareness stickers for every accommodation room, and helping to promote and carry out green habitat volunteering sessions on campus.

From the auditors: "We were really impressed with everything INTO are doing, they are clearly really motivated and making a big difference. We suggest that next year you continue your great work but try and do larger and bigger projects involving more students too!"

School of Mathematics

Bronze Award

The auditors were impressed by the team's creativity in posters and campaigns. The 'cycle for citrus' idea gave a free clementine to cyclists, and there was a change to Fairtrade for the School tea and coffee club.

The team has also investigated software changes to enable overnight PC shutdowns in MTH, which aren't currently possible but that would mean energy savings across the School.

From the auditors: "The Green Impact Day was a useful insight into auditing. It was great to see the ways how university departments are incorporating sustainable actions."

Queens Crusaders (FMH: Queens Building)

Bronze Award

This team implemented a double-sided printing policy, and created their own switch-off stickers for meeting rooms to remind people to turn off the lights. They also started recycling items beyond the usual waste streams, including academic books and texts. The team enjoyed being part of Green Impact: "Increasing awareness has been really good. As a team, we can talk about these and accomplish missions together."

From the auditors: "They were really enthusiastic and passionate about being part of Green Impact."