Green Impact Sheffield
The University of Sheffield

What is Green Impact anyway?!


March 13th, 2014 - Posted under: Green Impact 2012/13 - Leave a Comment

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I’ve always found it relatively easy to be that eager individual in team meetings, who volunteers themselves for everything and anything. When the opportunity arose it took a grand total of 20 seconds for me to raise my hand. I’m quite a competitive young lady and wanted to assist HR in maintaining their silver standard and competing for gold. Other reasons to become a member of the Green Impact team included having a more active role in the department’s projects and initiatives and of course helping the environment. However I didn’t anticipate how becoming involved would raise my own awareness. Other than closing taps tightly and putting my empty beer cans in the blue bin, I slowly began to realise I had no idea about how to be Green.

The Green Impact workbook gave me an insight into all the different areas and activities that could be improved and introduced in order to make HR more Green. Creating the Google+ Community worked better than we expected as the majority of the department not only joined the community but actively took part in the campaigns and competitions we hosted using this platform. Soon people were discussing the topic of Green Impact at their desks, in the kitchen, in the paternoster and even in the ladies (I’m not sure about the men’s).

I was given the responsibility of raising awareness for Fairtrade Fortnight 2014 (24 February – 9 March). I usually enjoy being the lead on projects but this one scared me a little, my knowledge of Fairtrade was let’s just say…limited. I had the bright idea of hosting a competition where each member of the Green Impact team brought in a Fairtrade item and a non-Fairtrade item. I then took a photo of the items which I posted on the Google+ Community and asked HR to guess which items were Fairtrade and which weren’t, for a chance to win all the items. (I’ve added the picture below, see if you can guess which of the items are Fairtrade!)

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A competition I thought would be relatively easy, proved to be quite difficult. Other than bananas, I couldn’t think of what to bring in and writing text to accompany the Google+ posts became quite challenging. Fairtrade to me had always just been about the logo, one that appeared to be on quite a few products in the supermarket that society felt were the ‘good’ products in comparison to those which didn’t have the logo. However it was only once I began to research Fairtrade, that I realised the Fairtrade Mark represented the concept of better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for workers in the developing world.

I spent quite a long time reading articles and researching Fairtrade in preparation for HR’s gruelling questioning. I wouldn’t class myself as a Fairtrade expert or in fact a Green Impact expert, but I definitely feel less like a fraud and as though I’ve served a genuine purpose in being part of the HR Green Impact team.

Sara



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