Green Impact Students’ Unions audits
This year over 60 students’ unions received a Green Impact audit from a member of our Environment and Ethics team. Through the audits, unions have the opportunity to ask questions and are given advice on how to improve their environmental performance. Based on their compliance, they get awarded an accreditation (Working Towards, Bronze, Silver, Gold). This is also a great opportunity for unions to feedback on the programme and offer any suggestions on further improvement.
Unions who did not receive an audit this year, will definitely be getting one next year (a union is to receive an audit at least once every two years).
A couple of common findings from this year’s audits:
- Recycled paper is NOT the same as recyclable paper – all paper is recyclable. It is important that you read the small print on the packaging, and don’t take a recycling sign as a guarantee that the paper is recycled.
- It is important to note where your paper is made. Getting recycled paper from Brazil is not ideal – think of the transport miles!
- Do mini-audits/checks of products delivered by your suppliers. This is important for products like Fairtrade tea and coffee – the Rainforest Alliance label is not the same as the Fairtrade label. In a similar manner, look at the coding of eggs – every year we find unions who are ordering free-range eggs but for one reason or another get delivered eggs from caged hens.
A fuller list of improvements/suggestions/good ideas will be available later on in the year.
We look forward to seeing all the participating unions at the NUSSL Convention on the 27th of March 2013 when they will receive their award.