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Staff and Student Environmental Programmes

Queen's Environmental Programme

The new engagement programme, Queen's Green Award, aims to bring staff and students together to enact more strategic, deeper change at the departmental level, embedding good environmental practices across their activities.

Register your interest

Queen's Green Award

Queen's University has been delivering the Green Impact programme as one mechanism to engage and encourage positive environmental behaviours here at Queen’s and embed good environmental practices.  

With more demand than ever from students to lead their institutions towards a sustainable future, and a huge number of engaged staff wanting to do more at a strategic level, has resulted in us moving away from Green Impact and launching our own programme. 

Queen's Green Award will enable Schools and Directorates to develop a bespoke environmental action plan and address on a more strategic level the areas in which they can have greatest impact.  

To register your interest in the programme, please fill in the registration form, accessed via the button above, or email

Queen's Sustainability Champions

Sustainability champions form a University-wide network of individuals who are leading positive change for sustainability in their own areas and in a range of ways. They support the work of the Environmental Sustainability Team by initiating activity in their own areas that really makes a difference on a local level.

If you have an idea that might help to support sustainability in your area then becoming a sustainability champion might be a good way to help you put it into practice. If you are interested in meeting and learning from how others across the University are creating positive change in their own context, this network could offer a great way to keep in touch with others.

  • What is a Sustainability Champion?

    Being a Sustainability Champion means being an advocate for good environmental practices within the University; and being passionate, interested and willing to learn about the environmental issues which are impacting at a local, national and global level.

    You will be part of a network of volunteers who have a keen interest in doing their bit to reduce the environmental impact of the University.

  • What will you be doing?
    • Be a point of first contact for staff on environmental issues
    • Make staff in each area aware of University environmental initiatives
    • Work with other champions to promote good environmental practice
    • Identify and suggest opportunities for environmental improvement in their area and the wider University
    • Participate in walkabouts with fellow champions and other members of staff to identify environmental improvement opportunities
    • Provide feedback from staff to the carbon management team on environmental initiatives/opportunities
    • Provide feedback to other staff, managers and the carbon management team on progress in implementing environmental improvements in individual Schools/Directorates
    • Liaise with other champions across the range of Schools/Directorates.
  • What support will you receive?

    Sustainability Champions will receive the support, awareness, skills and tools you need to foster sustainability in your department. This will be via a number of different avenues:

    • Continual support from Queen’s Environmental Team
    • Receive a monthly e-Zine highlighting initiatives, information and ideas
    • Attend sustainability-focused educational events and networking sessions
    • Develop skills through sustainability-related training sessions
    • Access funding opportunities
  • How do you Apply?

    To apply please email

Take Action

  • Save Energy
    • Shut fume hoods when not in use.
    • Turn off lights when leaving a room.
    • Turn off small appliances when not in use.
  • Reduce Waste
    • Ensure your department has a sufficient number of recycling bins with the correct label – Plastic Bottles, Metal and Paper.
    • Go paper light – start monitoring your departments paper usage and encourage staff/students to cut down on their printing.
    • Reject single-use plastics.
    • Make sure your department is recycling batteries, books, cardboard and ink cartridges.
    • Consider rolling out ‘Ban the Bin’ within your office.
    • If you are in need of furniture, or you have a surplus, make sure you sign up and use WARPit.
  • Maintain Equipment


    • Encourage regular (at least annual) cleaning, defrosting, and maintenance of fridges and freezes. Also ensure temperature set points for all fridges and freezers are checked regularly to ensure that they are at energy efficient temperatures.


  • Purchase Sustainably
    • Ensure all tea, coffee, and sugar is Fairtrade.
    • Make energy efficient purchasing choices and purchase Energy Star certified equipment.
    • Think before you buy: Check out Warpit.
    • Host an annual cleanout or spring cleaning.
  • Travel Sustainably
    • Promote and encourage staff to live green by traveling sustainably to and from Queen’s – make sure staff are aware of the ‘Annual Commuter Travel Loan Scheme’ for public transport, and the ‘Cycle Plus Scheme’.
    • Attend an Active Travel Month Event.
    • A Travel to Work Survey is conducted within Queen’s every two years – please take part and have your say, and help shape sustainable travel at Queen’s.
  • Improve Biodiversity
    • Take part in the RSPB Birdwatch. If you would like a bird box near your office window contact the Environmental Team.
    • Consider growing your own fruit and vegetables – this can range from planting your own vegetable patch, to growing tomatoes or chillies at your desk.
    • Invest in an air purifying plant and green your office!
  • Conserve Water
    • Departments will encourage staff to report any dripping taps to Estates via Planon.
    • Staff/students have been informed about where free drinking water is available.
    • Support, and promote, NI Water Campaigns which take place throughout the year - 'Water Saving Week', '3 Ps' and 'Join the Refillution'.
  • Queen's Campaigns
    • Promote the ‘Big Christmas Switch Off’ campaign – there is £250 up for grabs which you can spend on an event for your department.
    • Bring your Green Idea to life with the Queen’s Green Fund! With £20,000 available to assist with a range of staff and student led projects, what’s your green idea?
    • We want you and your Green Team to attend one of our Green Week events. Or get creative, and think of an event you could host during Green Week!
    • Take part in the Big Autumn and Spring Clean Up. 

Sustainability Posters


Environmental Leadership Programme

Students have a key role to play in helping Queen's University reduce their environmental impact. By joining the Environmental Leadership Programme, Queen’s students can gain practical experience in environmental management and improve their employability prospects, all whilst playing a key role in helping the University achieve its low carbon vision.

Apply Now

The Environmental Leadership Programme provides a structured environment where students can learn and develop new skills through a Degree Plus scheme and also contribute to achieving the University’s low carbon vision.

Through the programme students will learn and develop employability skills. This includes developing their knowledge and understanding of environmental issues, working within a team, and oral and written communication skills. Students will also develop their project management skills, as they create and develop a project of their own. They will be required to attend a number of workshops, one of which will develop auditing skills through training in environmental auditing. Auditing ability is a highly transferrable skill and plays a key role in many organisations. They will also help ‘Green at Queen’s’ run a number of campaigns including Recycle Week, Green Week and many other projects. This will enable the development of event marketing skills, including the use of various promotional strategies.

  • What's Involved?

    The Environmental Leadership Programme is composed of three key activities - workshops, volunteering and environmental projects.

    A wide range of workshops take place throughout the academic year:

    • Sustainable Development Goals 
    • Creating our Greener Future 
    • How to be an Environmental Storyteller 
    • Climate Change Agreement Simulation
    • Advocating for the Environment 
    • Green Week Event Planning
    • Audit Training


    Volunteering can include time spent with Belfast Hills, helping staff ‘green teams’ implement initiatives and projects within the University, the Green at Queen’s Society or any other environmental volunteer work you conduct within Belfast.

    Environmental Leaders are encouraged to create and develop a project of their own. Students will be supported in writing an application for ‘Queen’s Green Fund’, hopefully resulting in their project receiving funds. We will then support students in implementing their project throughout the academic year.

    For Environmental Leaders to achieve a Degree Plus Certificate, they need to attend a minimum of 6 workshops and complete 20 hours of environmental volunteering.

  • Degree Plus

    Degree Plus is a method for accrediting work related learning and skills that current Queen's students develop through extracurricular activities that are relevant to graduate job markets.

    The award is open to all full-time and part-time undergraduate and postgraduate students. If you complete Degree Plus you will receive the award alongside your degree when you graduate.

    Students who engage in Degree Plus have the opportunity to demonstrate to employers and others that they have gained valuable work-related skills and experiences needed for workplace success.

  • How to Apply

    To sign up, please return your completed application form to 

    For more information please contact