Green Impact Project

What is Green Impact?

The Green Impact project ( is a national accreditation project working within 105 unions, over 50 universities and colleges and now expanding into NHS trusts, local authorities and beyond. Each programme is supported by the national union of students' 'Green Impact team' and recognises the potential of staff and students to change the way institutions behave, from the bottom up.

Information about University of York wide Green Impact can be found here:


Health Sciences Green Impact

Here in Health Sciences we have a team of staff who are currently working towards the project’s Green Impact goals. We have already started making changes, and you may have noticed the mixed waste recycling bins which are appearing around the Department, as just one example of our work.

In order to achieve the goals the team is working through the Green Impact workbook, which provides a structured and practical step-by-step approach to making improvements. In 2016, we attained the Gold Award. Once we attain the Gold Award for a second time, we can then begin working on a special project of our own chosing. It is the simple things people need to consider such as turning off your pc at the end of the day or using the projectors in meeting rooms to display minutes rather than printing them out, for example.

Excellence Project


Departmental Impact

We have identified our five most significant environmental impacts within the Department. This document can be found here: Top five environmental impacts (MS Word , 173kb).

To help reduce the amount of paper used in the Department the following document highlights alternatives to printing: Departmental tips for reducing printing (PDF , 337kb).

Management Plans

Health Sciences has produced a sustainability statement which details our commitment to sustainable practices: Health Sciences sustainability statement (PDF , 136kb).

You can also view our Lighting and Equipment Management Plan (PDF , 331kb).

Waste disposal is a one of the University's main sustainability impacts. Recycling helps reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, reducing this impact and financial cost to the University. Mixed recycling bins can be found throughout the Department. For more information on waste management please see:

Did you know...

  • If you have any unwanted CDs or DVDs these can be recycled by placing them in CD/DVD confidential waste bags, which are available from the mail room or by emailing Small volumes of CDs or DVDs can also be destroyed by shredding in the machine located in SRB area 3.
  • British Heart Foundation collection banks are now located at every college on campus. Unwanted clothes and books can be placed in the collection banks. Our nearest collection bank is in Alcuin College next to the launderette.
  • Locally sourced and biodiversity friendly products have loads of benefits, from reduced transport miles, to helping protect the rainforests or local water supplies. FSC certified wood products, Rainforest Alliance products, responsible clothing choices such as People Tree, and alternative cleaning products such as Method or Ecover are all good places to start.
  • Want to save up to £230 on your fuel bill per year? The Energy Saving Trust has a great website on tips to drive smarter.
  • Skype and video conferencing are available in the Department as an alternative to travelling to external meetings. Please speak to the IT Team (x1300) if you would like more information on these facilities. Teleconferencing units are also available to borrow through Sandi Newby (x1344).
  • Heating costs increase by the equivalent of 8-10% for every 1 degree Celsius increase. Please heat your area to a comfortable temperature and remember to dress appropriately for the time of year. If you wish to cool your room please turn down the thermostatic radiator valve before opening a window. For those lucky enough to have air-con, please have the settings to cool no lower than 24 degrees celsius following the University's Heating and Cooling guidelines. Also please ensure that doors and windows are closed in air conditioned rooms when the air conditioning is on.
  • A dripping tap wastes 5,000 litres of water per year which is equivalent to 20,000 cups of tea! Please report dripping taps and other water wastage to the Facilities Helpdesk.
  • Water is available freely throughout the Department, to save you having to buy water in plastic bottles. Drinkable water is available in staff kitchens, and for students, the Kitchen@Alcuin are happy to provide free water throughout the day.
  • Campus is easy to get around on bike or by foot. There are lots of health benefits to both walking and cycling. Fancy a walk at lunchtime? Why not try the YorActive Trail
  • Paper catalogues are largely unnecessary and waste resources and postage. Signing up to digital copies of supplier catalogues and removing yourself from unwanted junk mail can save over 14kg of CO2/year. 
  • When ordering a banner consider the use of a cardboard alternative (such as ECO Banner Stands) available via Design and Print. Cardboard banners are reusable and will pack down when not in use. They are less durable than the vinyl ones but they are also recyclable and are particularly useful for short term campaigns where the material will be out of date within a short period of time (e.g. annual campaigns).

Get Involved

Currently we have a number of staff involved in the project, but we are really keen for students to participate as well. We regularly hold meetings and would like to invite all Health Sciences staff and students to attend and contribute to the project.

If anyone is interested in getting involved please contact Jonathan (

Contact details

Jonathan Ayto

Tel: 01904 32(1536)