Sustainability practices at RCSI celebrated with national award

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The RCSI Estates team collecting their 'Sustainable Business Team of the Year' award.

RCSI’s commitment to making a positive environmental impact and contributing to a sustainable future has been recognised at the 2024 PWC Business Post Awards.

The university’s Estates team was named as the 'Sustainable Business Team of the Year' for their leadership in embedding sustainable practices across the university’s campus.

The awards seek to recognise organisations who are making the principles of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) a central part of their way of doing business. 

RCSI has a deep professional responsibility to enhance human health, which is intertwined with planetary health. The university’s community of staff and students is committed to contributing to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and working with others to making a positive and lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities in Ireland and around the world. 

Some of the sustainability measures implemented by RCSI include:

  • Establishing a Sustainability and Climate Health Committee to ensure a cross-university integrated approach to promoting sustainability
  • An energy performance initiative at 26 York Street which has seen the building’s gas consumption reduce by 73%, and its electricity consumption decrease by 27%
  • A Green Labs initiative that will see all RCSI labs accredited by the end of 2024
  • Water conservation works that have resulted in a 62% reduction in water use since 2019 through the implementation of several water efficiency initiatives
  • The elimination of single-use plastic from the campus – all take-away food cartons on campus are compostable.

“This award is a very important validation of our commitment to sustainability across our campus”, said Bryan Sheils, RCSI Head of Campus Services. “It reflects a significant piece of work led by our Estates team, with their Catering, Cleaning, Energy and waste partners and vendors. Some of this work is visible but a lot of it is behind-the-scenes. This external recognition is a great celebration of that effort.”

It was a record year for the PWC Business Post Awards which saw over 150 entries from 100 businesses across Ireland. 

David McGee, ESG Leader, PwC Ireland, said: “The Awards celebrate those who have gone above and beyond to protect our planet and create a fairer world for all. By highlighting and recognising these efforts, we will hopefully motivate others to up their ESG ambition and realise that sustainability is an opportunity to future-proof their business.”

RCSI is currently ranked first in the world for its contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goal 3, Good Health and Well-being, in the Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings 2023. It is committed to integrating the UN Sustainable Development Goals into its work.

This is achieved in part by incorporating sustainability into its education programmes, ensuring its activities are environmentally responsible and by leveraging its role as leaders in health care to influence positive progress across the sector.