Dr. Maria Kirrane the sustainability officer with University College Cork briefed the Interreg Europe Intensify project partners and stakeholders this morning about the efforts made by students to engage with the college and improve its sustainability.
The students efforts resulted in the formation of the green campus project in 2006. A committee was formed made up of members of the colleges environmental society, students union and college staff. It is a bottom up approach that embeds sustainability throughout the campus.
The colleges success is built on a number of other key factors as well, including a flexible framework based on continual improvement, the involvement of all stakeholders in the college, linking to the community and learning on and off campus, and being entirely voluntary leading to “organic” change across member institutions.
The green campus project aims to influence behavior by using the ISM (Individual Social Material) model developed by the Scottish Government.
The approach taken by the students in the college has resulted in University College Cork being the awarded the ISO50001 (Energy Management) certification in 2011. In 2007 the college became a global pilot for the adaptation of green flag "eco label" by universities worldwide. In 2010 the college received the green flag award from the International Foundation for Environmental Education. The college has received many other awards for sustainability as well. For example in 2018, UCC became the first university in Europe to be awarded a Gold Star from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
You can watch the video of Maria's presentation on you tube by clicking on the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4lgzemFJo8.
You can view a copy of Maria's presentation here.