The project, funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), received 105 applications from student unions all over the country. The Green Fund will save an estimated 4,000 tonnes of CO2, involving thousands of students from Newcastle to Greenwich.
NUS vice-president for society and citizenship Dom Anderson lead the panel that selected the winning unions. Anderson commented that the chosen projects would transform local communities as well as student lives’, helping to place English universities on the global map for their sustainability credentials.
NUS will provide between £150,000 and £300,000 for the successful projects, supported by their unions, making HEFCE’s investment the largest injection of funding NUS has received ever.
The project will aim to engage students with their local community as well as fostering a sense of environmental responsibility and change within higher education institutions.
Anderson said: “I’m personally looking forward to getting out to these student unions to see for myself the bridges built between unions and communities, the opportunities opened up for students, and the meaningful impacts being made on our environment.”
The head of sustainable development at HEFCE, Andrew Smith, stated: “We are delighted with the response to Students’ Green Fund. It shows that students are committed to sustainable development, and the projects will make an important contribution to universities and colleges.”
Sheffield, one of the university unions who successfully pitched for funding, will use the money towards a partnership programme with three of the main HE institutions in and around Sheffield, called ‘Sheffield Plate’.
The president of Sheffield Union, Ally Buckle, expressed excitement over the coming project and the reach it will have, involving a possible 83,000 students and local Sheffield residents.
Sheffield’s project is only one of many, including participation from Roehampton, Staffordshire, and Newcastle.