On June 3rd the QMUL Sustainability team, in partnership with the National Union of Student (NUS), ran our 1-day IEMA approved volunteer Environmental Auditor opportunity. It was a great chance for QMUL students to learn about the importance of auditing in the sustainability sector, and get some practical experience of conducting audits. The day kicked off with a workshop which taught our volunteers about sustainability initiatives at QMUL, and introduced them into how to conduct an environmental audit. After that the volunteers went and conducted environmental audits across QMUL.
Their mission was to conduct audits of our staff Green Impact teams. Green Impact is an office-based environmental accreditation scheme with a competitive streak. Staff in offices across QMUL form teams and compete to implement the most actions from a workbook of environmentally-beneficial criteria between September and May of each academic year. They can win a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum award for their efforts. The volunteer auditors are pivotal in helping us to determine how much the staff teams have completed.
In this post, one of our volunteer auditors, Kenny Vo- a 3rd year Mechanical Engineering student at QMUL- provides an insight into why he took part in the training, and the skills he’s gained from it:
I wanted to participate in this training because I recently discovered that my interests lie in the environmental sector when I took my environmental engineering module. It was a challenging and interesting module with practical coursework involving river modelling – as a result, I wanted to explore more of the practical aspects of environmental engineering, since I believe this career path makes many positive changes. Subsequently, my curiosity lead me to the NUS Green Impact scheme which was conveniently happening on campus so I leapt at the opportunity!
The workshop was easy to settle into with a simple icebreaker to help us get to know each other. A presentation was then given by Jess and Jesse who were running the environmental auditor training workshop. It was short and sweet, telling us that NUS Green Impact is a simple scheme to make positive, mindful changes to our behaviour in regards to sustainability – and be rewarded for doing so.
After the introduction, the hands-on work began where we were shown how to actually be auditors. We were split into groups and given checklists to use as a guide while performing our audit on various departments in the Mile End and Whitechapel campuses. It was an interesting experience being able to see into the departments and talk to the people who keep Queen Mary running smoothly.
From this workshop, I have been able improve my analytical skills while scrutinizing evidence given by departments to say they have achieved certain criteria. However, I feel I mostly gained interpersonal skills from performing the audits themselves. Being put in a situation where you’re meant to be assessing someone while trying to keep them relaxed is no easy skill – now I slightly empathise with job interviewers, as crazy as that may seem.
Finally, this workshop could not have happened without Jess and Jesse and I’d like to thank for them the opportunity!
– Kenny Vo
The QMUL Sustainability team would like to thank all the students who took part in the workshop. The Green Impact teams that they spoke to commended their professionalism, and mentioned how personable the auditors were. We wish all of our Green Impact auditors the best for the future!
If you’re interested in learning about further environmental or sustainability career development opportunities at QMUL, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.