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Degrees Cooler

Degrees Cooler was an NUS 2009-2011 led collaboration between Student Switch Off, Green Impact Universities, and People & Planet’s Going Greener campaign to promote sustainable living on campus.

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The programme's positive approach encouraged staff and students, unions and universities to work together to share ideas that promote sustainability and implement change themselves on a local level.

Staff and students at the twenty Degrees Cooler universities across the country were involved in this flagship behaviour change programme (funded by Defra’s Greener Living Fund) which aimed to positively impact upon 4 key behaviours: recycling more, saving energy, eating local sustainable food and reducing flying.  

Degrees Cooler delivered this through the partnership of 3 projects: the NUS’s Green Impact, supported by the EAUC, The Student Switch Off, and People and Planet’s Going Greener campaign. Change Agents UK recruited and trained 20 Greener Living Assistants and the London Sustainability Exchange monitored and evaluated the successes of the whole programme.

The following snippets of success provide a taster of what’s been achieved through Degrees Cooler

  • Student Switch Off engaged 14,119 students as Eco-Power Rangers and reached 81,204 students living in halls of residence.
  • Student Switch Off saved over 1,800 tonnes of CO2
  • Green Impact engaged 2,803 staff through Green Impact teams and reached 22,256 staff in participating departments.
  • Green Impact resulted in 10,620 greening actions being completed as a direct result of the scheme.
  • Going Greener reached 70,599 students and staff through events, campaigns and projects.
  • The programme employed 20 recent graduates as Greener Living Assistants through Change Agents UK, to add capacity to the projects and increase their employability within the sector.
  • All three projects delivered positive swings in target behaviours, with swings of up to 15% between the baseline and follow-up surveys.  

Post-funding, Student Switch Off and Green Impact have been retained by their Degrees Cooler universities on a self funded model, plus have grown to 44 and 46 institutions respectively, and 10 universities have employed Greener Living Assistants. 

Green Impact has gone international through a pilot in Sweden, plus in 2011/12, NUS is piloting the Green Impact model in a number of hospitals, schools, local authorities and small businesses.

For more information head to the Green Impact website

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