Hub sustainability project hopes to reduce energy consumption

A Hub sustainability project is being implemented by the Estates Office at DCU in a bid to reduce energy consumption in the Hub and make DCU a greener campus.

The initiative aims to cut down energy consumption rates in DCU’s main student centre (which also incorporates Spar and the NuBar) by 15% in the months of February, March and April. According to Estates Officer Richard Kelly, the campaign is an idea to see how they can get students involved in saving energy and help DCU work towards attaining the ‘Green Flag’ status.

Students’ Union President Paul Doherty is fully behind the new initiative. “Without even realising it, we use a huge amount of energy that we can easily decrease. This is a great initiative and we are hopeful to reach our target.”

If the Hub’s energy-saving target is achieved, 12.4 tonnes of CO2, the equivalent extraction from a large woodland area, will be saved, as will 25 per cent of DCU’s annual energy bill.

Tips for saving energy in the Hub will be advertised around campus during the campaign months. The recommendations include: switching off lights in rooms when they are not in use; switching off machines such as printers when they are not in use and switching off PCs at night.

At the launch of DCU’s Green Flag initiative in March 2012, university President Prof Briain MacCraith paid tribute to all those who work towards making the campus a cleaner and more sustainable environment. The scheme hopes to see DCU achieve Green Campus certification by An Taisce in the near future.

University College Cork became the first third-level institution in the world to achieve the internationally-recognised ‘Green Flag’ award in 2010. The university was awarded the status following a three-year student-led ‘green campus’ programme.

Speaking at the award of the status to UCC, Dr Michael John O’Mahony of An Taisce said “hundreds of thousands of students have been brought up with green schools, sometimes starting at pre-school. It is critical that the chain not be broken once they complete the Leaving Cert. It needs to continue into 3rd level, and from there into their professional as well as their personal lives so they become life-long ambassadors of sustainable living”.

Sarah Bermingham

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