The Green Impact Students' Unions Awards
Green Impact is an accreditation scheme for environmental best practice in students’ unions, aimed at both Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE).
MMUnion first signed up to the Green Impact Scheme (then Sound Impact) in 2007 and since then has year on year improved on its performance and accreditation.
This year MMUnion achieved a Gold Standard Excellence Award having demonstrated leadership and commitment to environmental sustainability.
This highly prestigious status has only been awarded to a handful of students' unions who have achieved Green Impact Gold standard for two years running.
The purpose of the Green Impact Awards is to:
- Celebrate environmental best-practice in unions.
The Green Impact Awards comprises a list of criteria, each relating to a different action that will help the Union to reduce its negative impact on the environment. For example, to gain the Bronze Standard, each union entering the scheme needs to mark all of the twenty-four essential criteria to say whether or not the union is meeting it. There are also a number of bonus criteria that are optional - unions are encouraged to answer as many of these as possible to pick up extra points and a higher score that will put their Union in the running for Silver Standard or even a Gold Award.
MMUnion have been signed up to the scheme since 06/07 and achieved the Gold Award last year. MMUnion is committed to continuously working towards lessening our environmental impact and is working towards the Gold Award again in 2011/12.
If you want to get involved directly with environmental issues you can contact your student president at firstname.lastname@example.org or look at joining one of our Environmental Societies.
To find out more about Green Impact and the criteria we need to meet, visit the green impact website or downoad the documents below:
What we are doing at MMUnion
Here at MMUnion we already have several initiatives in place to help reduce waste, recycle more, reduce carbon emissions and educate students and the public alike in the issues surrounding the environment.
In July 2009, photovoltaic (PV) panels were installed on the roof of our building at 99 Oxford Road by the University as part of a £480,000 project part-funded through the Government's Low Carbon Buildings Programme, which gives 50 per cent funding to renewable energy projects. Panels were also installed on the All Saints Building and Sir Kenneth Green Library
The conversion of sunlight to electricity by the cells will generate 40,900 kWh of energy per year - enough power to light 7200 100-watt light bulbs, power 960 student laptops, boil 40 kettles or supply electricity to 10 houses.
In addition to being pollution free and requiring virtually no maintenance, the PV panels are set to massively reduce MMUnion’s and the University's carbon footprint – saving 22,000 kg of carbon emissions per year – and electricity bill. It is estimated that the project will have paid for itself within 12 years.
Live Meter Readings
Dr John Hindley, MMU's Environmental Sustainability Manager, said: "MMU uses more than 28 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year, so onsite energy generation is going to deliver real benefits in terms of both financial savings and reduced carbon emissions. Live meter reading displays in the All Saints and Student Union Buildings will also educate MMU students and staff about the power being generated and consumed on campus."
He continues: "The PV panel project is just one element of MMU's sustainable development strategy. Along with the recently introduced energy rating scheme for university buildings and 'Zero Waste' project across halls of residence, MMU's £120 million Hulme super-campus is aspiring to be the greenest in the UK with ambitious aims to have a zero carbon footprint."
Committed to carbon reduction
Tim Pryce, Public Sector Manager at The Carbon Trust, said: "The installation of PV panels at MMU alongside their work on energy efficiency shows the University's commitment to reducing their carbon footprint and becoming more energy self sufficient. Raising awareness of environmental issues is one step towards tackling them and the live meter reading displays will get students and staff thinking about how they can use energy more responsibly."
MMUnion’s Carbon Footprint
This year MMUnion has reduced its Carbon Footprint by an amazing 13 %!
MMUnion has worked hard with both the University’s environment team and People and Planet to provide recycling facilities for staff, officers and members. At the moment facilities in Manchester are more established but we hope to work together to provide comparable facilities in Cheshire.
Currently there are facilities available to recycle the following:
Paper via the recycling bins in offices, reception and the print room in Manchester and via the collection point at Crewe. We are able to recycle: All mixed paper but not Lever Arch files, Ring binders, Laminated paper, Plastic cover sheets, General waste and Staples.
Cardboard via collection by house services.
Plastic and Glass Bottles via the recycling bins around the building and in reception in Manchester and at the recycling point in Crewe. Also through the collections procedure in the Met.
Aluminium Cans via the recycling bin in reception and next to the drinks machine on the third floor in Manchester.
Toner Cartridges via the recycling bin in the print room and the collection scheme operated via reception at Manchester.
Books via the Read International collection bins in both Manchester and Crewe.
Mobile Phones via the collection scheme operated via reception in Manchester.
Stamps via the collection scheme for the RNIB operated via reception in Manchester.
Envelopes currently kept for reuse by several members of staff. If you want to offload any saved envelopes in Manchester please pass them on to reception or Lesley in the general office.
Batteries via the recycling bins around the buildings at both Crewe and Manchester.
Catering Oil via the collections procedure in the Met.
Electrical Items should be disposed of in accordance with WEEE Regulations. Please contact a member of house services for assistance.
Clothing: via the recycling point at the rear of the Union in Manchester
There are lots of ways to minimise our carbon footprint, for example using public transport or cycling to work or to meetings. Other options include:
Car Sharing: If you would like to share the travel arrangements to work visit the Car Share website.
Reducing Domestic Air Travel: At current levels, air travel creates at least 6% of the UK's total carbon dioxide emissions. The Department for Transport estimates that this could rise to a third of all emissions by 2050. Trains emit significantly less carbon per person than planes. For example, the train from London to Edinburgh uses only a third of the carbon dioxide emissions from flying. So if you were planning to fly home at the end of term, consider using the train instead.
How to Find Us
MMUnion is conveniently located near to Manchester City Centre and is easily accessible via public transport, by cycling or by walking. We are at the heart of the Manchester Metropolitan University Campus, on the busy Oxford Road corridor within easy walking/cycling distance of both Oxford Road and Manchester Piccadilly Railway stations and Piccadilly Bus Station.
If you are planning to visit us by bicycle plan your route Here. By following this link you will be able to access an interactive cycling map with information on on-road and off-road routes, cycle parking and cycle shops across Greater Manchester.For further details on cycling facilities on the Manchester Metropolitan University and Manchester University Oxford Road campuses Click Here
If you are planning to visit us on foot Click Here to plan your route. This tool even offers you the opportunity to add a few local attractions and landmarks to your journey should you have the time to see a bit more of Manchester!
More about environmental issues:
Recycling and Renewable Energy
Shopping with a Conscience
Community Actions & Campaigns
Upcoming Activities & Ongoing Campaigns
Useful links to help you do your bit: