Students' Unions

Green Impact Students’ Unions (GISU) is our flagship sustainability support package and awards programme for the student movement. It’s designed to help unions run effective projects and campaigns, using our power as the student movement to create lasting change.

Although it’s called ‘Green Impact’ it’s not just about planting trees or getting your recycling in order. Many Green Impact students’ unions use the framework to build impactful projects and campaigns around climate justice and equality, curriculum reform, health and wellbeing and much more. Joining GISU means joining our network. We provide opportunities to partner with other unions, hold networking events and share good practice through resources and case studies. Our vision is that students graduate from further and higher education equipped to deal with the global challenges we face, and we believe students’ unions play a key role in helping students gain the skills, knowledge and experience needed to make this happen. We created the Green Impact toolkit as a framework for union staff, officers and students to collaboratively address key issues to lead on embedding sustainability and social justice across campus, the curriculum, and wider society.

View the GISU 2020-21 offering guidance here.

If you have any issues with the sign-up form below, please try submitting through Internet Explorer, rather than Chrome.

How it works

Green Impact Students’ Unions (GISU) works on an annual cycle. Launching each autumn, unions try to implement change throughout the academic year, submitting work in late spring, receiving an audit in early summer, then awards are announced in July.

Each participating union will be given access to the online toolkit which houses all the actions we’d like SUs to work on through for the year. If you’re interested in what the actions are before you sign up, you can see the 2018-19 action summary here. If you have a more specific question please contact us. Unions part of our GISU network will have access to a resource bank to guide, inspire and support them throughout the year. If you are a union that does not partake in GISU you can email us to request a specific resource.


Over the months you will be making progress on campus and within your students’ union, setting up, embedding and delivering campaigns and initiatives. There are a number of ways you can receive support over this period:

  • Resource bank – we have an online resource bank accessible to all GISU participants, this will house guidance documents, templates, case studies and webinar recordings.
  • Peer to Peer – We have a great network of SU sustainability contacts through our ‘NUS Sustainability, Ethics & Climate Action’ Facebook Workplace page. This is a great place to join in the discussions, share ideas, pose questions or provide insight.
  • Email – we run a monthly SOS-UK newsletter, housing updates for students’ unions as well as other sustainability articles, sign up for this here. We will send updates and communications on GISU to all SU contacts listed in the current year’s sign-up form.
  • Phone call Mid-Way – Early 2021, we will offer calls for all participating SUs to check-in with your progress, offer support and guidance and to gather your feedback.
  • Ad hoc support – if you’re struggling at any point throughout the year, or would like to suggest an idea for a future webinar, case study or news piece, please get in touch through the GISU inbox.
  • Training & Networking – if you’d like more tailored on-site or remote training for your staff, officers or students, you can request to purchase this when signing up for GISU or get in contact with us.
  • Learning and development opportunities – Students’ Unions participating in GISU will receive a 10% reduction in price to SOS-UK’s Learning Academy offerings. Offerings particularly relevant for SUs include the Officer Sustainability Bootcamp, Course reps & sustainability, campaign planning and carbon literacy training.

Use the get in touch form below to ask us any questions and find out more.

Dates for the diary

Launch: 31st August 2020

Annual sustainability survey: 26th October – 15th November 2020

Student Sustainability Summit: w/c 2nd November (virtual)

GISU midway ‘check-in’ calls: w/c 1st February 2021

National SDG teach in: 22nd – 28th February 2021

Submission deadline: 3rd May 2021

Audits: June 2021

Awards confirmed: July 2021


Read our article announcing the award levels achieved by unions in GISU 2019-20. 




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