RCSI wins Best Green Campus Award in Education Awards

  • General news

RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences was announced as winner of the Best Green Campus Award at the annual Education Awards ceremony on 6 April, 2022.

The Education Awards recognise, encourage, and celebrate excellence in the third level education sector on the island of Ireland from both State and privately funded institutions.

The award was made to RCSI in recognition of its strong commitment to making a positive environmental impact and contributing to a sustainable future. The award recognises the commitment of RCSI’s team to sustainability and its commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Commenting on the award, Professor Cathal Kelly, Vice-Chancellor, RCSI, said: “RCSI understands its responsibility to create positive environmental change. We achieve this by managing resources efficiently and supporting environmental causes aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“Over the last three years in particular staff and student volunteers have worked to reduce our carbon footprint by integrating efficient energy use, reducing waste and increasing recycling, while enhancing biodiversity throughout our campuses. Much of this work takes place behind-the-scenes and the recognition of it is a great celebration and a tribute to our team for their leadership and commitment to sustainability.”

RCSI’s Green Campus committee comprises volunteer staff members and students who make every effort to ensure that the committee is as representative of the campus community as possible. Its objective is to ensure the sustainable use of resources across its campuses, to research environmental issues through its academic departments and to educate its students on environmental responsibility.

To date, the committee has introduced a variety of initiatives across the areas of biodiversity, waste management, and energy efficiency that have succeeded in reducing gas consumption at its campuses by 40%, improving energy efficiency by 38%, significantly reducing the use of reusable coffee cups in its campuses and the successful use of harvested rainwater in its toilets.

Some of its key initiatives have included:

  • The securement of a 200 native tree saplings donation and the planting of native trees, installation of boxes for birds and a wild flower meadow at its campus in north Dublin.
  • The opening of a 12,000 square metre sustainable building in York Street that achieved LEED Gold accreditation for its best-in-class sustainable practices. RCSI currently has two building designs like this at planning stage and aims to achieve LEED Platinum and Gold accreditation for both projects upon completion by 2025.
  • In waste management, RCSI employs the 'Reduce, Recycle, Recover' waste system in its waste and resource management in line with EU best practice. All general waste collected is sent to the Waste to Energy Plant in Dublin where it is transferred into renewable energy to support the generation of electricity for over 100,000 homes. The target is to reduce total amount of waste by 1% annually and increase recycling by 2%.
  • In terms of energy management, RCSI has taken the significant step of achieving its 2020/2021 targets through the support of the university community, as well as the focused implementation of energy efficiency measures through capital projects and planned preventative maintenance.
  • Water consumption has been minimised in all campus buildings and student accommodation.
  • RCSI has made considerable efforts to leverage the use of technology to enhance awareness of environmental issues amongst staff, students, alumni and visitors

Find out more about the Education Awards here.