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Environment and Energy

For eight years in a row, Cambridge University students have found time in their busy exam schedules to help audit our Green Impact teams. This year, more students than ever joined in and we wanted to say a huge thank you! 

Green Impact is a scheme developed by the National Union of Students (now SOS-UK), bringing staff and students together to enable positive changes in environmental practice. At the end of the Green Impact year (April), trained student auditors assess the sustainability performance of Cambridge departments and Colleges, giving constructive feedback and helping determine the level of award the team have achieved.  

This year, we were lucky enough to provide training to a record number of student auditors from almost 30 different disciplines and 24 different Cambridge Colleges. An amazing 48 students, ranging from first years to PhD students, contributed their time and skills to assess sustainability actions across the University! Due to covid-19, the audits had to be moved online at the last minute, but the students rose to the challenge and adapted to the situation with absolute professionalism.

Marcel and Amy are two of the 2020 cohort of student auditors and have shared their experiences with us: 

 

"My name is Marcel Hedman and I'm currently in my third year studying physical natural sciences. As part of my degree, I have had the opportunity to explore the future of batteries and how they can facilitate the development of renewable energy sources. This research has spurred on my interest in sustainability and was a driver towards me joining the Green Impact audit team this year. Sustainability is often associated with extreme protests and radical action, however, this is just one aspect and the auditing experience highlighted to me how small changes in our lifestyle can have a big impact. It was great to see the enthusiasm that University departments have for making sustainable choices and it reflected a side of the University that is often not seen. I encourage everyone to get involved with Green Impact because it is a topic that affects us all and everyone has a role to play, no matter how small." - Marcel Hedman, Churchill College.

 

 

 

“I’ve been interested in sustainability since childhood but, as an English undergraduate, sustainability can often seem completely unrelated to my academic life. I enjoy pursuing sustainability in my free time however, and last year I audited for Green Impact for the first time. Throughout the training process and the auditing itself, I learnt a lot about how sustainable practices can be implemented in institutions like Cambridge, as well as the unique challenges that can be faced when trying to do that. Following my experience as an auditor, I was able to encourage my College to set up its own Green Impact team (as well as Sustainability and Climate Crisis committees), and we’ve already started to see some progress! I enjoyed it so much that I signed up again this year and, whilst the remote aspect meant that I didn’t get to tour any biodiversity projects, it was still incredible to see what sorts of things people across the University have been doing for sustainability. I’d definitely recommend auditing to anyone - it gives you a nice day off from exam stress, you pick up lots of skills and get to see lots of exciting projects and innovations along the way!” - Amy Bottomley, St John’s College.



While interested students will have to wait until next year to become a student auditor, you can still get involved with the Green Impact team in your College or department to make a difference in your place of study. Contact us if you’d like to find out whether your College or department are already involved. If they’re not already signed up, why not take a leaf out of Amy’s book and help start a Green Impact team?