We spoke to Jess Lobo about Green Impact at LSE and the wonderful Green Impact Project Assistants they recruit at LSE to help with their work.
Green Impact is a national environmental award scheme run across the country, now in its eighth year at LSE. It sees departments ranging from the Library to the Halls and LSE Cities to Catering, form a Green Team and complete simple actions to help to reduce their department’s environmental impact. Every year we recruit a group of students to be Green Impact Project Assistants (GIPAs) who play a crucial in supporting the teams. This year we’ve trained 16 fantastic student volunteers. We met some of the students and ask them about their first impressions.
Ming Cai Chung, BA Geography
‘I applied to be a GIPA because I’m interested in the tangible ways in which we can make our school more green. I am most looking forward to working with my team to explore measures to make their office and work lives more sustainable.’
‘Generally, sustainability and environmental issues are regarded as ‘niche’ areas that tend to be relegated in the priority list. I applied to be a GIPA because I wanted to show that even small, ground-up initiatives and projects can play a part in promoting a more sustainable environment.’
Noshin Suleman, MSc International Relations
‘Most volunteer projects start with the same impulse to want to use your time constructively, meet like-minded people and to try to have (hopefully a net positive) impact. Being a GIPA had the added benefit of making all this easier to accomplish.’
Noshin has been paired with the Finance Green Impact team, who have already started their project – launching a bra recycling campaign! She’s looking forward to starting with the team.
‘I think being a GIPA is a great way to contribute for a more sustainable world while gaining experience and learning new skills. I think it’s fabulous that LSE has joined this initiative and the great performance it has had during the years. We will work to keep the high standards!’
The students attended a training workshop to learn all about Green Impact and some of the key skills they will need throughout the year. Over the next two weeks they will be matched with a team and get to work helping them complete actions and plan ideas for the department’s Green Impact project.
Sawney, MSc Development Management
‘I am looking forward to working with the LSE Staff implementing teamwork skills and applying creativity in every possible corner for a better future.’
Troconis, Msc in Environmental Policy and Regulation
‘I’m excited to meet the team that I will be working with for the next 8 months and being able to effectively support them in achieving their Green Impact project! I think being a GIPA is a great opportunity to gain practical skills that will further refine my profile after completing my master’s at LSE.’
Rodrigues, MSc Environment and Development
‘I am most looking forward to working with the faculty and gaining some tangible sustainability project management skills. I am also excited to see the variety of projects that the department come up with.’
Alexandra will be working with the LSE Cities Green Impact team this year. Their first event is a vegetarian potluck lunch, in which everyone in the team brings a vegetarian dish to share!
LSE Cities are just one of 20 departments that have signed up to take part in Green Impact 2016-17 so far, with more teams signing up throughout the year. Joachim and Pallavi will both be supporting the Library’s Green Impact team. Last year the Library got a Bronze award, and this year they’re going for Gold!
So what are you nervous about?
Roth, MSc Development Studies
‘I am looking forward to assessing the environmental impacts of the department I will work in. I am interested to see what ideas we will develop through time for helping to create sustainable projects, but I am perhaps a bit nervous about meeting new faces in the department!’
Prabhakar, MSc Development Studies
‘I am looking forward to engaging in extensive interaction with my team and coming up with some very unique and creative ideas for solving the environment problems, however I am nervous about the next term. Especially the March time as we will have our dissertation, submissions, Green Impact, job applications and we will have to prepare for the exams as well. But this is what makes the experience at LSE so different and it gives you an experience worth remembering for the lifetime. I hope to manage the Green Impact work well and achieve good results as a team.’
Joachim adds, ‘I realised at the training how everyone was really committed to the cause! I think it is great to empower students in this way and give them confidence as it is through these initiatives that bigger changes can take place.’
Green Impact runs until March, when the departments are audited and receive a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum award for their work. We’re going to be following the GIPAs to see what they’re up to, so look out for more blog posts over the year!