2014 Press Releases

Green Campus bound for Europe

28 Nov 2014
Pictured: Daniel Schaffer, newly appointed CEO of FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education) and President of UCC, Dr Michael Murphy, with representatives of An Taisce, Dr Yvonne Ryan and Dr Michael John O’Mahony with students and staff of UCC's Green Campus Programme, including Professor John O Halloran,Vice President for Teaching & Learning and staff from Buildings & Estates, UCC, including Barrie Curley, Estates Administrator, Mark Poland, Director of Buildings & Estates and Paul Prendergast, Buildings Officer (image by Gerard McCarthy).

The UCC Green Campus Programme will represent Ireland in the final stages of the European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE), the only Irish presence across the entire competition.

Run by the European Commission, the EBAE enters its final stage with 17 European companies shortlisted across five categories out of 152 total entries from 22 countries. The UCC Green Campus Programme is one of only four businesses shortlisted in the environmental management category.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Lyon, France on Monday 1 December 2014.

UCC was selected to take part in the EBAE, which recognises eco-innovation companies that successfully combine innovation, competitiveness and outstanding environmental performance, when they emerged as runners-up in the Environmental Management category of the Ibec Environment Awards.

UCC’s student-led Green Campus programme promotes good environmental practices by both staff and students and is modelled on the Green Schools Programme. It deals with every aspect of UCC’s environmental practices including litter and waste management, biodiversity, energy efficiency, procurement, water-use and transport issues.

Daniel Schaffer, newly appointed CEO of FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education) recently paid a courtesy visit to UCC. UCC was the first university in the world to be awarded the status of a Green Campus by FEE and An Taisce in 2010, a feat it retained in 2013.

Key achievements of UCC’s Green Campus programme since its launch in 2007 include:

  • Increased the level of recycling from 21% up to 75%, saving approx. €900,000 in waste disposal costs
  • Saved 750,000 m3 of water through projects such as installing waterless urinals, an early warning system to indicate a leak on the main water supply and encouraging leak reporting
  • In past 5 years cycling among staff has increased from 6% to 12%
  • The total campus energy consumption has been reduced by 9% through a university-wide campaign and various energy saving projects
  • UCC’s approach to sustainability saw it climb to 2nd place in the Universitas Indonesia (UI) Greenmetric World University Rankings in January 2014
  • The programme has won numerous other awards in the last two years including a Green Award, Excellence in Environment Award, Leader in Sustainable Energy Award and a Best Green Public Sector Award
  • UCC was the first University in the worldwide to be accredited with ISO50001 for our Energy Management programme in 2011
  • See Green Campus website for more at http://www.ucc.ie/en/build/environment/greencampus/

Dr Michael Murphy, President of UCC, welcomed the news, praising the energy, dedication and good citizenship demonstrated by students and staff across the university.

Professor John O'Halloran, Vice President for Teaching & Learning at UCC, who has been heavily involved in delivering the Green Campus programme, commented: “This achievement is reflective of UCC’s mission to remain a truly ‘Green University’ thanks to our student-led, research informed and practice focused approach.”

Ibec Green Business Executive Anne Murphy remarked: “Taking part in the awards is a great opportunity for the UCC Green Campus Programme to promote best practice and showcase Irish innovation on an international stage. It was tough to select the organisations for the European Awards as we had a record number of 50 entries, companies both SMEs and multinationals taking part in the Ibec Environment Awards." 

More information on the awards can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/awards/

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF