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Frequently asked questions

How does Green Your Scene work?

  1. Register your team
  2. Read your Green Your Scene guide and starting working through the criteria
  3. Submit your completed Activity Report and supporting evidence via your Google drive folder
  4. Share your success with our success advisors
  5. Celebrate your contribution

What can I expect?

Green Your Scene requires a fair amount of team motivation. Teams succeed in this programme when they are equally passionate and determined to complete the actions at hand.

Consider whether you and your team members are prepared for this commitment before you register your team, as the programme is designed to enable teams to get stuck into the actions with little support.

The Sustainability Office are here to help, however you should be prepared to dedicate time and effort to the programme in order to be successful in the award levels.

How does Green Your Scene fit in with other environmental changes I am making?

Green Your Scene is the perfect way to bring together all the pieces of environmental work you’re already doing, and record their collective impact.

If you’re doing something bigger or more structured, Green Your Scene provides a perfect way to share your success, your learnings and help spark interest in sustainability.

Green Your Scene can break staff and students out of silos, get people talking, and engage more and more people, to bring our whole University on board.

Should Green Your Scene teams be a standard size?

Teams need to be two people or more. Teams should cover a physical location – a floor, department, building or college etc.

One area or building can have multiple teams – split by office/unit/floor/department/service etc – or a team can cover an entire department and college teams.

You can make a decision on a case-by-case basis, but we do recommend keeping team sizes manageable.

How does this relate to my work?

Promoting sustainability is just as good for you as for the environment – it makes your work space or college more efficient, integrates people, and helps motivate staff and students.

Plus, the programme is so flexible you can take action on any personal or professional sustainability interests. Green Your Scene can be integral to your working day or something completely different, if you want to develop new skill sets.

Is Green Your Scene flexible?

It is really flexible, so you can take action on whatever interests you most, or seems most suitable for your team.

What does the criteria cover?

Our Green Your Scene Guides go beyond the narrow confines of environmental action and could broaden your view of sustainability.

The guides help you drive change in everything from energy use and waste to engagement and health – and so much more.

Can’t we just do this ourselves?

Green Your Scene gives structure to your sustainability efforts – making it easier to assess our University’s progress – and will connect you to a national network of organisations using the same mechanism to drive positive change.

Does Green Your Scene take much time?

It’s completely up to you.

Set realistic targets about what you can achieve in a year of Green Your Scene, then spread your efforts over as much time and as many people as you like – make the programme work for you.

Do I have to complete every action in the Green Your Scene guide?

You don’t have to do every action.

Teams can choose from a range of actions – you can select the ones you want to complete to gain an award at any of our three levels. You have the flexibility to do things you enjoy, are passionate about, and have the influence to change in your space.

What support do you offer?

The Sustainability Office Engagement Co-ordinator can answer questions or get support for you. Green Your Scene also includes student volunteers called Activators who can help you with event management, social media coverage, and highlighting the work you are doing etc.

The Sustainability Office also has many more resources for teams who register for Green Your Scene, to help with engagement and encouraging the changes you want to see.

Is there a deadline for registering a Green Your Scene team?

Green Your Scene registrations open in February each year and are open for a month. Registering at the start of the year means your team has time to complete the actions across the year and take advantage of training and support available from the Sustainability Office. If you miss the registration period and would still like to get started with Green Your Scene, contact the Sustainability Office to discuss your options.

Is there a deadline for completing the Activity Report?

Activity Reports will be due on the 3 September 2021.

How is our work towards Green Your Scene measured?

Teams will complete their Activity Report by 3 September 2021 via email Once reviewed your team will get an email to confirm you have submitted for a Green Your Scene Award.

The Activity Report and any evidence will be assessed by the Sustainability Office and if applicable a meeting to visit your team on site will be arranged so that any achievements that aren’t immediately visible can be shown/demonstrated/discussed.

My team received a Seedling Award last year, can we start on a Sapling Award or do we need another Seedling Award first?

Green Your Scene is all about continual improvement, so every award is valid for two years only.

Your team needs to achieve a Seedling Award every second year before moving on to a Sapling Award or a Kōwhai Award. But if you have accomplished Seedling once, your team should achieve it again relatively easily and quickly. Also, if your team maintains the actions all year, you should be able to tick off multiple actions at the start of the next year.

How do the awards work?

The Green Your Scene Awards have three levels – Seedling, Sapling and Kōwhai.

Seedling Award – Achieved by completing all the seedling actions in your team’s guide, across all themes. Seedling level requires teams to achieve all specified criteria to demonstrate that they can follow basic good practice and raise awareness of sustainability amongst staff and students.

Sapling and kōwhai level requires teams to go further, by embedding efficient processes and environmentally friendly ways of working. Departments and colleges must also promote a culture of sustainability by engaging with staff and students.


Sapling Award – Achieved by completing 75 per cent of the actions in your team’s Sapling guide, across at least four themes.

Kōwhai Award – Achieved by completing 90 per cent of the actions in your team’s Kōwhai guide, across at least five themes.

Residential Colleges

Sapling Award – Achieved by actioning at least eight proactive/creative steps from four (or 5?) themes.

Kōwhai Award – Achieved by undertake an additional Kōwhai Project. More information on Kōwhai Projects in the ‘Green Your Scene Guide – College’.

Please note: teams must complete all Seedling actions before they can achieve an award at the Sapling and Kowhai levels. Additionally, at sapling and kōwhai level, activities can’t be counted twice. For example, if your team runs a stair challenge, we won’t accept this as evidence for criteria within the travel and the wellbeing criteria.