Environmental Impact

Close up of leaves on a tree


At Hertfordshire Students' Union we are proactively trying to reduce our impact on the environment..


We recognise that we have a significant impact on our environment. We want to do better. Over the past few years this has become a priority for our organisation and, as such, we have taken steps to reduce our impact by focusing on these key areas:

  •  Working to reduce - and ultimately eliminate - our use of single-use plastic
  •  Using recycled or sustainably-sourced products where possible
  •  Our energy consumption
  •  Waste management via the University's recycling facility
  •  Reducing the amount of printed materials we publish


Check out our Advice and Support Centre's 5 ways to beat the energy bill price hike, and these top tips for saving energy designed especially for students.

We also have a smart action plan for some of the work we will do this year.


Our Commitment

We've entered into Green Impact again for 2021 and are working through the criteria to highlight areas we can improve. Green Impact is an environmental accreditation and awards scheme run by the National Union of Students, bringing staff and students together with their wider communities to enable and showcase positive changes in environmental practice. Your Students' Union is always focusing on being more environmentally friendly. Have you seen things around campus that aren't environmentally friendly? Let us know!

Our Progress
Introduction of the NUS Green Impact Award
  • •  Using this framework to highlight and model our work, ensuring we work in a positive, sustainable way


  • Improving our Recycling
    •  We've ensured all SU areas have recycling points within them
    •  We have food waste bins in our office kitchen to ensure it is sent to compost
    •  We've removed all bins except the correct recycling and waste bins
  • Reducing our Plastic Usage
  •  Moving from plastic bags to tote bags for Freshers
  •  Switching to paper and biodegradable straws in The Forum Hertfordshire
  •  Use of crockery where possible to reduce the use of disposable items
  •  We no longer use plastic front covers when binding dissertations at our Welcome Desks

  • Reducing Water and Power Waste
    •  We will continue to use harvested rainwater for the toilets within The Forum Hertfordshire
    •  We'll continue to work with the University to plan each week of the building management system, turning off ventilation and heating in our biggest spaces when they are not in use
  • Reducing Food Waste
    •  We partnered with the University to introduce 2 Community Fridges on campus, helping to reduce food waste
Student Involvement

We'd love to hear your ideas! Please send them to our VP Community if you have any suggestions. Students are also invited to join the Students' Union's Sustainability Working Group. Let us know if you would like to get involved

Have a passion for gardening? You could get involved in the University's Community Garden. For more information - or to register your interest - email community@herts.ac.uk



Students interested in environmental and sustainability projects should check out The Green Movement Society, a society that works closely with the Students’ Union and the University

Another outdoorsy society is our Allotment Society who are passionate about gardening and growing your own veggies

Top Tips

As a Students’ Union we have a responsibility to ensure that our students' carbon footprint is as small as possible. You can take some really simple steps to do this:

  •  Make sure you turn off taps when you’re done with them
  •  Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you actually need
  •  Turn off computers, televisions and the like when you’re done. An astonishing 80% of wasted electricity comes from things being on standby!
  •  Resist the urge to just whack up the heating, even if you have all-inclusive bills in your accommodation. Wear a jumper or grab a blanket to get nice and cosy
  •  Consider walking more if you are able to. Take a look at Walkit for a handy route planner



Everyone has things that they don’t use anymore, tucked away in corners or under their bed. If you’re not using things, don’t be tempted to throw them away where they'll end up in landfill. Charities are always looking for second-hand gems. Just because you're not in love with something anymore, doesn't mean someone else won't adore it. Charity shops in Hatfield include Isabel Hospice, Scope and Debra. Not only will this be much more beneficial to the environment than chucking something away, you'll be making a huge difference to a charity too!


  • When you have waste or rubbish, please recycle rather than sending it to landfill. Check out Hertfordshire County Council's recycling guidance here. You can find your closest household recycling centre here. You could also consider upcycling! Very on-trend and super environmentally friendly. Take a look at some great upcycling ideas here