One for all, all for one- How to grow your GI team

The Green Impact blog is being handed over to the ACS teams this week! This post is by Andy Woffindin, team lead for the ACS group. If you or your team would like to contribute to the blog, email

Five years ago, ACS had no involvement in Green Impact at all. Now, we have 15 staff involved in 8 workbooks ranging from staff offices, working partners, and commercial outlets, utilising the newly developed Catering tab in the workbook. But how did we do it?

Perseverance, patience, gratuitous violence? andy blog 1

Staff buy-in can be a real challenge, After all, we’re not just asking for help making a poster with a catchy slogan or completing the work book, we are trying to change behaviours, opinions and habits. Something not everyone has the motivation or interest to do.

We tried the ‘bottoms up’ approach- slugging away to very little affect. Little lonesome me with my carbon trust stickers and recycling bin under arm. Not to say I didn’t get anywhere; in 2011/12 I was blessed with an extremely proactive and engaged student Project Assistant. Our combined hard work, blood, sweat and tears were rewarded with achieving Gold standard. This was followed in 2012/13 with another fantastic Gold as well as an award for Most Improved.

Would 2013/14 be another year where my little office would achieve its Gold, tick that box and move on? Or would we take the next step? Expand the borders of Green Impact, and take ACS by storm?

Obviously this would need a new approach. I couldn’t do it all, I needed help, but how? This is when I changed tack, and went straight for the jugular. By actively engaging with the Directorate and upper management, in one move I could quickly increase staff awareness, raise the profile of Green Impact, and empower others to dedicate time to the campaign. This was further helped by the introduction of the ‘Champion Role’, to justify dedicating time to the workbook and act as a two-way communication between the department and the Energy & Environment team within EFM.

It has also been recognised by the Directorate that Green Impact and environmental issues are vital in the University, and in ACS and UNICUS my own role has changed significantly to encompass this.  My old role has since been filled with a like-minded person who has proved to be a vital ally on the challenges we have encountered and overcome and last year 2014/2015 we won the best newcomer award plus overall the departments obtained 5 Gold, 2 Silver and a Bronze (not a bad haul at all!).

So here we are. 5 years on, 2015/16, 8 teams representing ACS, Andy blogUNICUS and Engie (a working partner) and 4 GIPAS. Has the perseverance paid off? That’s a big YES  – Green Impact now reaches all staff – whether permanent or casual – across all locations here at the residences. It just goes to show that one small step in the right direction does pay!


Here's some other posts you might want to read!

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