Green Impact awarded UNESCO prize for education for sustainability

Press Release: 14/12/2016

NUS reps collecting UNESCO prize

The National Union of Students (NUS) has been awarded a prize by UNESCO for work on education for sustainability through their green business scheme, Green Impact. Winchester City Council 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 other organisations.

Green Impact has enabled 379 organisations to engage 22,238 staff and 3,240 students in positive environmental and social sustainability behaviour change since year. This has resulted in 270,421 completed actions ranging from staff turning off their PCs and monitors overnight to inviting staff to feed back ideas for saving energy.

Cllr Steve Miller, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Estates and the Local Economy, said:

In running my own business, green business makes sound sense financially, as well as being good for the environment. Not only does it help me to reduce my annual fuel bills, but it also ensures my business is well-placed to appeal to the increasingly ‘green savvy’ consumer.

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

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 launched at Winchester City Council in September 2016, and this year NUS are using the prize money to provide small grants for the student movement and Green Impact participants to continue their local sustainability work.

Businesses in the Winchester area who are interested in taking part in Green Impact should visit: www.greenimpact.org.uk/wcc