HEFCE announces plans to invest 5 million in higher education sustainability

4th April 2013

NUS will run a £5 million Students’ Green Fund
The EAUC is delighted to announce its close involvement with new HEFCE £5 million Students’ Green Fund which will be launched at our Annual Conference on Thursday 18 April.

Iain Patton, EAUC CEO comments:
"The EAUC will be a member of the NUS-led Fund Steering Group to select successful bids. The Students’ Green Fund comes at a critical time and will encourage collaborative sustainability initiatives through students’ unions putting students in a new place – the sustainability driving seat.

The fund will help students to engage with our members who typically have responsibility for the university or colleges’ sustainability performance. We know that when sustainability staff and students come together and work in partnership, the result can be powerful.

This is an exciting time to be a student in the UK, and with HEFCE as their new champion, there is hope."

NUS will run a single-round bidding competition in summer 2013, to allocate the funding. The funded projects will then receive the funding over two full academic years (2013-14 and 2014-15).
The Students’ Green Fund will encourage local collaborative sustainability initiatives through students’ unions, putting students in the driving seat for sustainability engagement initiatives, as well as supporting them in their role as agents for change.
NUS is determined to create a social norm of sustainability in institutions. The ground work laid by initiatives such as Student Switch Off in university dormitories, the sustainable food programme, Student Eats, and Green Impact, will be strengthened by the Students’ Green Fund.  
HEFCE recently signed up to NUS’ national environmental accreditation and awards scheme - Green Impact. Run by trained students, Green Impact uses a series of online workbooks to help staff achieve a range of green targets. These include increasing recycling of food and drink packaging, reducing energy use, sourcing sustainable products, and promoting the use of public transport.
Steve Egan, Deputy Chief Executive, HEFCE said: 
“We are very pleased to be able to support this excellent student led initiative. It has the full support of the sector and will play an important role in helping meet challenging carbon targets and wider sustainable development goals.”
Danielle Grufferty, NUS Vice President Society and Citizenship said:
“We are really excited to build on the sustainability work begun by NUS through Green Impact. HEFCE’s investment in students indicates a firm commitment to producing those who are both qualified and sustainably literate when they graduate.”
For more information please contact: Eimear.galvin@nus.org.uk, 07880385137 or visit www.nus.org.uk/sgf

National Union of Students
NUS (National Union of Students) is a voluntary membership organisation which makes a real difference to the lives of students and its member students' unions. We are a confederation of 600 students' unions, amounting to more than 95 per cent of all higher and further education unions in the UK. Through our member students' unions, we represent the interests of more than seven million students.

Higher Education Funding Council for England
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) promotes and funds high-quality, cost-effective teaching and research to meet the diverse needs of students, the economy and society. Our responsibilities are to distribute funds, safeguard quality and assure the stewardship of public money. We work closely with universities, colleges and other partners to develop policies, achieve excellence and impact in education and research, and to provide opportunities for all those who have the ability to benefit from higher education. For the academic year 2013-14, HEFCE will allocate £4.47 billion to 129 universities and higher education colleges and 203 further education colleges. www.hefce.ac.uk 
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