Sustainable UCL


Green Impact Success in 2020

10 June 2020

The past few months have demonstrated our adaptability at UCL, particularly under fluctuating workloads, so we are delighted to announce that despite this, more departments than ever completed the Green Impact programme this year!

Photo of the UCL Portico taken through the branches of a blossom tree

Green Impact is an international accredited behavioural change programme that allows departments and divisions, across our university, to improve their environmental impact, support UCL's Sustainability Strategy and engage with colleagues and students in essential sustainability issues.

Green Champions, in collaboration with student volunteers, worked tirelessly all year round to implement Green Impact in their work spaces. Their commitment to this did not falter as UCL predominantly moved to remote working. Instead, they adapted to the situation to continue to promote sustainability and remain connected with their colleagues and students.

Overall I think it's great that the programme has been able to adapt with the Covid situation and we are able to continue via MS teams and not be cancelled. The overall awareness of Green impact has increased a lot with the UCL Sustainability team and people are changing, which is excellent!”

                                                                         Abi Li (Man Yi), Lab Manager, Institute of Ophthalmology.

Between the 27th – 29th May, the Sustainable UCL team worked with SOS-UK to deliver IEMA accredited Environmental Auditor Training to 28 student and staff volunteers, who then carried out the auditing process that concludes the Green Impact programme, further building the network of sustainability-conscious students and staff at UCL. This is in addition to the 36 Green Impact Project Assistants (GIPAs), who volunteered their time, alongside their studies, to create and facilitate sustainable practices and initiatives at UCL.

I found it a really insightful experience getting to know the different initiatives (small or big), that UCL departments are taking and [I am] impressed, generally at the guidance that these audits are able to offer the Green Impact teams. I thought both the training and the auditing itself to be a smooth experience and would love to be part of something like this again in future."

                                                                          Kana Nomoto, Postgraduate Student, Bartlett School of Planning.

The Impact:

We are currently reviewing the full extent this positive impact will have, at UCL and beyond, but we estimate that the direct results of the Green Impact programme have saved £19k and 80 tonnes of CO2 this year! That’s the equivalent to planting over 1,300 trees!*

This will only improve as the audits for LEAF (Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework) - a UCL programme addressing sustainability issues in labs - are currently under way, with a further 45 departments taking part.

An additional 10 departments have submitted an incredible 34 bespoke sustainability projects this year, looking to tackle disposable plastics, encourage behaviour changes around waste and recycling, embed sustainability into departmental policy, connect with colleagues and staff on wellbeing initiatives and much, much more.

Join us in celebrating their inspiring commitment at the virtual Sustainability Awards Ceremony on July 15th 2020.

See all the departments that took part in Green Impact 2019-2020:

Anatomy Lab, Rockefeller Building,

Arts and Sciences BASc,

Bartlett Library,

Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management,


Careers Team,

Central Library Services,


Cruciform Hub,

Dementia Research Centre,

Division of Surgery,

Ear Institute & Action on Hearing Loss Libraries,

Electronic and Electrical Engineering,

Epidemiology and Public Health,

Finance and Business Affairs,

Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health Library,

Greek and Latin,

Information Studies,

Innovation & Enterprise,

Institute of Archaeology Library,

Institute of Clinical Trials & Methodology,

Institute of Neurology,

Institute of Ophthalmology,

Institute of Ophthalmology Library,

Institute of Orthopaedics Library,

IOE Library,

Language & Speech Science Library,

Main Library,


Medical School,

MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology (LMCB),

Office of the Vice-Provost (Advancement),

Planning Team,

Psychology & Language Sciences (PALS),

Queen Square Institute of Neurology Library,

Royal Free Medical Library,

School of Pharmacy Library,

School of Slavonic and East European Studies Library,

Science Library,

Senate House Hub,

Space and Climate Physics,

Student & Registry Services,

The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources,

UCL Consultants,

UCL Nursery,

Wickford Store (Library Services).

Get in touch to sign up as a Green Champion and join your department, or start a new team!


*On average, one tree can consume approximately 60kg of CO2 from the atmosphere.