Greener Unions

Green Impact Students' Unions

Green Impact Students’ Unions is an environmental accreditation programme with an awards element, designed specifically for students’ unions. 

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Green Impact started working with students’ unions in 2006, and now we have over 100 students’ unions taking part every year.

For decades students’ unions have been at the forefront of social and environmental campaigning. But with the majority of students’ unions not being metered for the utilities they use, and with sabbatical teams changing annually, many of our members struggled to get to grips with their own environmental impacts.

Green Impact provides a practical framework (achievable, quantifiable actions in an online workbook format) for greening students’ unions, covering actions around waste, travel, procurement, biodiversity, energy use, and student engagement.

Sign up to take part in 2014/15 right now.

What’s involved?

Students’ unions compete to gain either a Working Towards, Bronze, Silver or Gold accreditation, by completing as many actions listed in our Green Impact workbooks as they can.

The programme is catered for both commercial and non-commercial students’ union. The two workbooks for each programme can be accessed by the links below. Registration for 2014/15 is now open.

The commercial workbook :

The non-commercial workbook :

If you are unsure as to whether you would be classified as a commercial or non-commercial students union please ask us.

The programme culminates with our prestigious annual award ceremony, where top performing unions will receive special recognition. Read about the Green Impact 2014 awards ceremony for students’ unions here.

Key Dates

  • Launch – 14th July 2014
  • Sign up deadline – 15th August 2014
  • Special Awards launch – Late August
  • Special Awards sign up deadline – 19th December 2014
  • Submit your workbook – 20th March 2015
  • Submit your Special Awards entry – 20th March 2015
  • Audits will take place in April and May
  • Awards Ceremony – July 2015

Special Awards

Students’ unions can take part in our special awards to get recognition for exclusive initiatives or programmes that they are running.

To read about this year’s winners click here.

To find out more about this year’s special awards click here or talk to us about them.

Green Impact Excellence

Students’ unions that have achieved Gold standard for at least two consecutive years will be given the chance to get involved in a larger scale project, over and above the accreditation criteria, embedding themselves as a key player in greening their wider institutional or off-campus community.

For information click here or read a case study about the Cheltenham Chilli Jam Company


Throughout the year students’ unions are supported by a dedicated Green Impact project officer from NUS who advises on any queries, runs good practice webinars and is also present at many national events running various workshops. NUS also offers students’ unions in depth support through full day environmental audits or training through our E&E Support Package.

This year we will be running a series of introductory workshops throughout NUS’s student officer development programme.

There will also be a number of regional meet -ups throughout the year.

Details of these events will be posted around through EANDE mailing list soon. To sign up to the EANDE mailing list, just email us.


First year participants

Large commercial: £315
Small Commercial: £160,
Non commercial: £0

Consecutive year participants

Large commercial: £160
Small Commercial: £80
Non commercial: £0

You could also sign up to the E&E Support Package and get your Green Impact fee included in the price.

Large Commercial: £565
Small Commercial: £360
Non Commercial: £255

NB. These prices are for students’ unions affiliated to NUS. To discuss options as a non-affiliate, get in touch.

Sign up now.


Find out if your union is already a participant and how they did last year.

Not already taking part? Get Involved!

If you have any questions please drop us a line

Student Life

Find out more on how NUS works with their ethical and environmental projects in students' unions

Go to ethical and environmental