Unite Students, the UK’s leading developer and manager of student accommodation, has become the first in its sector to embrace the National Union of Students’ (NUS) Green Impact scheme.
Green Impact is an NUS environmental accreditation scheme used by 50 universities and colleges, and 150 students’ unions.
The programme encourages organisations to become more environmentally friendly while offering development opportunities for staff and students.
Around 30 Unite ‘Sustainability Champions’ will work with students to bring in Green Impact nationwide in all 130 Unite properties. Work will include:
- Behavioural change towards greener living and working
- More recycling, cycling and growing facilities
- Giving students recognised experience and skills
Unite Students managing director Richard Smith said: “It’s vital we judge ourselves by those same high standards universities and students’ unions set for themselves, some of whom have been using the scheme for more than five years.
“Empowering 43,000 students and staff in 23 cities to make change happen is exactly the right way to get those standards met.’
Students will boost their employability by volunteering to audit the specially tailored Green Impact workbooks, and receiving NUS’ auditor training, approved by the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA).
NUS Green Impact programme manager Jo Kemp said: “Unite Students committing to Green Impact is a great example of the scheme moving beyond the wider education sector.
“We’ve had a very positive experience helping Unite Students get to this point, and look forward to seeing creative solutions from a very talented team there.”
In April, Unite announced it will be reinvesting its profits over the next two years – £40 million – into a series of initiatives to provide a home for success which supports students’ academic careers.
These include Wayne Hemingway-designed interiors and installation of LED lighting across the entire range of properties.