Dublin Institute of Technology and UCC

Situated in the heart of Dublin City , DIT have strived to create a sustainable existence. A research team in the college aim to link Irish and European organisations and academics with DIT staff interested in issues relating to sustainability. This is the first step by the DIT Sustainability Group to share ideas on the topic.

In contrast to UCD, which has a very practical sustainable policy, DIT is leading the field in terms of research and analysis of different types of sustainable living. Yet through new ventures like their Grangegorman campus, DIT are putting into practise what they have learned from the research project.

Sustainable living research in DIT is under a number of headings:

Building: A Strategic Energy Management Programme has seen the college produce annual energy savings (6,287,000 kWh) and environmental impact savings (1,967 Tonnes kgC02). The design of the buildings allow for savings in energy and a reduction in the environmental impact of energy used. DIT 's Grangegorman development will have state-of-the-art sustainable theories and practice in place from the planning stage, right through to the site’s completion. It is hoped that by putting sustainability high on the agenda when building the campus, it will filter through to future users. 

Energy: DIT ’s energy research is closely linked with the Dublin Energy Lab, which conducts research across a range of disciplines with key research efforts organised into the themes of; electrical power, energy policy, low carbon buildings and solar energy.

Environment: The college's environmental health research includes climate change, air pollution and health.

University College Cork (UCC)

In 2013 UCC reaffirmed its standing as the world’s first Green Flag campus by becoming the first university in the world to retain its Green Flag status. The Green-Campus Programme is based on the successful Green-Schools Programme and provides an ideal way for fostering environmental awareness in a third level institution in a way that links to everyday activities and study, and ties in with operational requirements of a complex multi use facility.

The Green Campus Programme promotes a partnership approach to environmental management in third level institutions. This is a modification of traditional environmental management systems which tend to be management driven. The Green-Campus programme identifies the campus as a community and places significant importance on the inclusion of all sectors of the campus community in its environmental management and enhancement. The Green Campus Programme does not reward specific environmental projects or implementation of a new technology, rather it rewards long term commitment to continuous improvement from the campus community in question. 

Through its implementation of the Green Campus Programme, UCC have made significant inroads on improving their environmental performance. Recycling rates have increased from 21% in 2007 to 75% in 2012, with a plan in place for this figure to exceed 90% in the coming years. The total campus energy consumption, which relies exclusively on green provision, has been reduced by 9%. The number of UCC staff members cycling to work has doubled from 6% in 2007 to 12% in 2012. The campus landscape, external spaces and public walkways have seen marked upgrades. Some of the most significant outcomes include a cumulative saving on waste of nearly €1,000,000 in the last 6 years, as well as over 750,000 M3 of water have been saved since 2007.


Other Sustainable Community Initiatives

IRDA Energy

From September 2010 to February 2012 six island energy groups from Ireland and Denmark participated in a joint project to produce energy action plans. The Irish islands of Clare Island , Árainn Mhór and Bere Island participated, together with the islands of Anholt, Fejø and Tunø in Denmark. The project was a training programme for the sustainable use of energy on small islands. Energy groups from each island were being trained by experts in the field in putting together frameworks for the development of a sustainable energy strategy for their island.

The project has heightened awareness of energy efficiency and the use of sustainable sources on the participating islands and provided an example of good practice for other small islands currently using inefficient energy sources. It has led to: immediate economic gains; environmental benefits; and employment opportunities for island communities. The project culminated in a final conference where the energy action plan for each island was presented to a wide audience.

This project has highlighted the importance of sustainable energy planning to the economic and environmental performance of small islands. Other islands have now started to formulate similar energy plans. The cooperation between islanders benefited the strategic planning as communities shared experience and knowledge. The focus on sustainability and green energy gave the islands positive attention from politicians

Sustainable Clonakilty

Sustainable Clonakilty was developed by a group of people in the greater Clonakilty area as a forum for exchanging ideas and helping each other to reduce their carbon footprint. Their guiding principles are:

·          Reduce wasteful use of scarce resources;

·          Reduce use of polluting substances;

·          Reduce negative impact on nature;

·          Meet human needs fairly and efficiently.

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