Sustainable UCL



The following resources have been created to help teams complete Green Impact.

Each resource has been organised into Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Sustainability Plans, and signposted towards the relevant criteria. 

All criteria are linked to UCL’s signature campaigns and sustainability foundations. You can find more resources and information on these commitments here

Find out more about Green Impact here. 

Starter Pack

We have created a Starter Pack containing the key information about Green Impact, including key dates and deadlines for this year. Download the document here

Build Your Team

While promoting Green Impact is an aspect of workbook criteria (e.g. Gold criteria 0042), it is also useful for your team to recruit new members, helping you to achieve more. Feel free to be creative in engaging new teams and team members.  

We have created a graphic and email template to promote Green Impact across your communications channels. We recommend that senior management sends out these engagement emails to encourage staff to sign up to Green Impact. 

Email to recruit Green Champions.

Water Saving Resources

Find water saving resources here.

Energy Saving Resources

Find energy saving resources here. 

Sustainable Travel Resources

Find cycling and walking resources here, including cycle parking signage on the cycling resources page.

Find resources for reducing the environmental impact of your travel here.


You can apply for funding to support your Green Impact work after creating a Sustainability Plan. This Sustainability Plan is a bespoke plan which focuses on the unique sustainability opportunities and challenges that are connected to your area of work. You can find the steps to creating a plan in the workbook or at the bottom of this page.

Please arrange a meeting with your Sustainability Business Partner to discuss creating a Sustainability Plan and your request for funding, before filling in the funding application form

The deadline for applying for funding is the 2nd of February 2023.


Criteria O002: Join the UCL Green Champions MS Teams site and Mailing List

UCL is run sustainably: We have joined the UCL Green Champions MS Teams site and Green Champions Mailing List. 

To stay up to date with everything Green Impact, ask questions, connect with other Green Champions, share ideas and resources, join the UCL Green Champions Network on MS Teams and the Green Champions Mailing List.  

You can unsubscribe to both at any time. 

Criteria O003: Contact your Business Partner and Faculty Lead Green Champion

UCL is run sustainably: We have introduced ourselves to our Business Partner in the Sustainable UCL Team, and our Faculty Lead Green Champion if we have one.

Your Faculty Lead Green Champion should be your first point of contact for any questions you have about Green Impact. If you do not have a Faculty Lead Green Champion, or if they cannot answer your question, then you can contact your Sustainability Business Partner in the Sustainable UCL Team. 

  • Contact Max Vidotto to get you in touch with your Sustainability Business Partner 
  • Contact your Faculty Lead Green Champion here.
Criteria O007: Encourage staff to switch off heating and cooling 

Positive Climate: We have encouraged staff to switch off cooling and heating controllers in our office and meeting rooms. 

Heating and cooling that is left running overnight is a significant energy user,

You could discuss switching controllers off in your team meeting, or request that members of staff switch off contollers via a newsletter or email.

If you experience any issues with the controller, please fill out this form.

This does not apply if you don't have walled controllers.


Criteria O008: Encourage staff to optimise their computer energy usage 

Positive Climate: We have encouraged staff and students to optimise their energy usage on their computers. 

This includes:
- Creating good ventilation for your laptop: this can be done by using a laptop stand, and making sure to regularly clear the fans of dust;
- Unplugging your laptop once it is full of battery;
- Adjusting your laptop settings so it goes into ‘sleep’ mode when left idle for a few minutes;
- Shutting down your computer when you’re not using it, and unplugging it.

This could be communicated via email, posters or screens. 

An email template you can send to your colleagues can be found here.

Poster templates have been created in line with Sustainable UCL’s branding: please download them and adapt the text according to your needs.

There are 3 different posters, each relating to one of our signature campaigns:  

Criteria O011: Encourage students to complete the Student Sustainability Induction

UCL inspires action: Our students have been encouraged to complete the Sustainable UCL: Change Possible induction

It is important that all students receive a sustainable education at UCL. Contact your Faculty Tutor to ensure all students within your faculty have the opportunity to complete the module.

You can find it here.

Criteria O012: Replace old posters and use our poster template

The Loop: We have taken down and recycled our old posters. If we create new posters, we use Sustainable UCL's template.

We have pre-made posters available, that you are free to download and put up around your building:

The Loop - bins and recycling posters and more

Positive Climate - energy-saving posters and more

Poster templates have also been created in line with Sustainable UCL’s branding: please download them and adapt the text according to your needs. 

There are 3 different posters, each relating to one of our signature campaigns:  

Criteria O018: Purchase items from Warp-It

The Loop: Our department, faculty or business area purchases items from Warp-It before buying new. 

Warp-It is UCL’s main redistribution platform, allowing staff to find sustainable second-hand items and rehome their used resources. It can be used for any surplus reusable items (as long as they are for university use, not personal use); most commonly furniture, stationery, electrical items, or educational resources are listed. 

Criteria O021: Create accessible and inclusive events and communications

UCL is run sustainably: All our events and communications are accessible and inclusive. 

Accessibility and inclusivity are important for all staff to consider, regardless of whether they are completing Green Impact. UCL has various guides and resources to help you ensure that your events and communications meet accessibility and inclusivity requirements, giving everyone at UCL the opportunity to contribute to its sustainability goals. 


Criteria O023: We have promoted the Nearby Nature Campaign 

Wild Bloomsbury: We have promoted the Nearby Nature Campaign to students and staff

The UCL Wellbeing Tram are collating a list of local green and blue spaces (such as rivers, ponds, lakes) and creating a map that UCL members of staff and students can use if they wish to visit these spaces. This is to highlight areas that can improve physical and psychological wellbeing. 

Promote the campaign through emails and newsletters by linking the Nearby Nature Campaign.

You're welcome to contribute to this map by filling out this form.

You're also welcome to share the Nearby Nature map itself across your channels. 



Criteria O034: We include sustainability in our induction tours.

Positive Climate: We include sustainability in our student, departmental, faculty or staff induction tours. 

- What your department or faculty is doing to run sustainably
- Sustainability Research being undertaken
- How students can get involved including the ambassador programme, student council and living lab programme
- How students can join your green team e.g. through the Sustainability Ambassador programme
- How to recycle
- Nearest water fountains, cycle parking and shower facilities
- Where to find calm, quiet and nature to boost wellbeing.

Here are some pages to help inform you on some of the mentioned items:

The Loop - Recycling at UCL - one of our three major sustainability campaigns here at UCL.

Being Well at UCL - Recognising the importance of practicing self-care, showing kindness and managing compassionately.

Student Support and Wellbeing - Offering a safe space for all students to discuss anything confidentially that might be affecting their studies.

Map of water fountains across UCL.

Map of cycle storage units and showers.

Criteria O036: Include a sustainability statement in job descriptions

UCL is run sustainably: We have worked with Human Resources to include UCL's sustainability statement in the job descriptions for all new staff. 

By including environmental good practice in job descriptions, it helps create culture change as new staff will be on board with environmental issues from their first day. It can also help to attract greener staff to apply for jobs in the department. Create your own statement or use the following statement: 

'The staff member has a responsibility to carry out their duties in a way that embodies UCL’s environmental and social sustainability values, actively supporting UCL’s Sustainability Strategy, policies and objectives within the remit of their role.'

Your HR rep should be able to include it in all new job descriptions.

Criteria O037: We want to highlight suppliers providing too much packaging

The Loop: We have flagged to UCL Procurement any suppliers who are providing too much packaging, or have contacted the suppliers ourselves.

Many departments have greatly decreased packaging by contacting suppliers directly themselves, or by completing a form to report this to UCL's central procurement service. Complete the form here.

Criteria O040: We reduce food waste at events

The Loop: We reduce food waste at events.

If you order food, you can ring UCL's catering suppliers to discuss food quantities, so you are not ordering more than you need.

Read this document to which will provide you with some ways in which you can reduce food and drink waste at your events. 

You are also welcome to have a look at further resources:

Gather & Gather's Corporate Social Responsibility

UCL's Sustainable Food website

UCL Powered by Plants campaign

Gather & Gather's offer at UCL 



Criteria O044: Add sustainability to your website

UCL inspires action: We have promoted our sustainability commitment on our website. 

If your department has its own webpage, we recommend adding a 'Sustainability Page' containing information on what the department is doing to reduce its environmental impacts. You should confirm the changes you have made with your Sustainability Business Partner before publishing. It should include: 

  • Information about UCL's Sustainability commitments and a link to the Sustainable UCL webapge.
  • Your department, faculty or business area's commitments to sustainability covering operations, teaching and research.
  • Key contacts of Faculty Lead Green Champion, or Green Champions.
  • Information on how students and staff can get involved.

Best practice examples: 

Criteria O045: Apply for a Student Sustainability Ambassador by the 24th of October

UCL inspires action: We have applied for a Student Sustainability Ambassador by the 24th of October to work with us throughout the year.  

Students are incredibly valuable to teams. They have lots of exciting ideas, can engage with students and create blogs, newsletters, social media posts and posters. It will also help students when applying for jobs and will enhance their knowledge of sustainability.

Apply for a Student Sustainability Ambassador by the 24th of October here.

Sustainable UCL will train and support them; you can find out more here. 

Criteria O058: Complete UCL's plastic reduction form

The Loop: We have completed UCL's plastic reduction form to report any single-use plastics we have removed. 

UCL is working to reduce its plastic consumption: we have designed a form for teams to report the single-use plastics they have removed. This will allow us to track plastic use and reduction across UCL, shaping future action. You can complete this form more than once. 

Access the form here. 

Criteria O060: Establish a wellbeing scheme

Wild Bloomsbury: We established a wellbeing scheme e.g lunch-time walks or movement, meditation moments, cycle to work day etc.  

View examples of engagement activities below:

Criteria O061: Coordinate a faculty-wide sustainability induction

UCL inspires action: We have worked with our Faculty Tutor to coordinate a faculty-wide sustainability induction for students. 

See what other faculties have done here: 

Criteria O062: Give a live sustainability induction

UCL inspires action: We give a live sustainability induction annually to our students using Sustainable UCL's induction slide template with notes. 

Download our induction slides and amend as needed.

View our training on how to give a sustainability induction here. 


Criteria O064: Complete UCL's green infrastructure form

Wild Bloomsbury: We have completed UCL's green infrastructure form to report any spaces which could be greened, or spaces which have greenery. 

As part of UCL’s Sustainability Strategy, UCL is committed to creating 10,000m2 of additional biodiverse space across Bloomsbury by 2024. Completing the form below will help UCL baseline its existing green infrastructure and showcase opportunities for enhancing it. 

Fill in the form here

Sustainability Plans

Complete a Sustainability Plan

Prior knowledge of sustainability is required: Once teams have a good understanding of sustainability through undertaking either the Office or LEAF workbooks to Bronze level, we recommend creating a Sustainability Plan. We have created a template that you can use, or (and this is preferred) you can integrate sustainability into an existing operating plan for your business area. 

Understanding the Sustainability Plan is key: This Sustainability Plan is a bespoke plan which focuses on the unique sustainability opportunities and challenges that are connected to your area of work. Teams can choose whether the plan should cover the whole faculty or just their department. 

Check for existing plans: First, please check with your Sustainability Business Partner whether there are any existing Sustainability Plans within your department, faculty, library, or business area. If there are already plans, you can feed knowledge into them. Where plans are absent, you can follow the steps below to develop a plan.

Co-host a workshop: Co-host a sustainability workshop with your Sustainability Business Partner in your department, faculty, library, or business area. Ask senior management to send out the invite. It is good to invite everyone but ensure academics, professional staff and students are all present. Download slides for the workshop here. 

Create your Sustainability Plan using this template.

Applying for funding: If necessary, apply for funding by the 2nd February 2023 through this form. Please note that Sustainable UCL will not fund office plants, posters or sustainable merchandise e.g. reusable cups. The department, business area or faculty must undertake the planning for the project. For example, it is not enough for the department to identify that lights or windows need replacing - they will have to work with Estates to create a project for this, work out the funding and then seek this from Sustainable UCL.The maximum for a funding bid is £2,000, however, Sustainable UCL may consider other higher bids where they make a significant contribution to UCL's Sustainability Strategy. Projects will be chosen for funding by Sustainable UCL, based on how impactful and closely aligned to the UCL Sustainability Strategy they are. Please arrange a meeting with your Sustainability Business Partner to discuss this, before filling in the funding application form.

Get senior sign off: It is useful to work with senior management throughout the process to ensure sign off. Please get in touch if you need support with this.

Discuss your progress: Meet your Sustainability Business Partner to discuss progress - we recommend meeting termly for support.

Write a case study: Once plans are created we ask that you create a case study to share your work and encourage others to do the same. 

See examples of previous plans for inspiration: