DCU has received the An Taisce Green Flag last week after two years of hard work, proving the university’s dedication to a sustainable environment.
The Green Committee has grown by 100pc since they registered in 2012 and have completed a difficult seven step programme and a site visit to get the Green flag.
Manager of Sustainability in DCU, Samantha Fahy said “These are real projects that students actively engage in … the students have very little time so what I’m trying to do is embed it into the DCU programme, especially for fourth year projects”.
DCU engineering student Ms Mariane Galpo said “renewable energy is a big part of modern engineering, we focus on the cost of transporting and building alternate energy sources which is related to what the Green Committee does”.
“We want the SU to take into account sustainability issues whenever they make a financial decision’” she added.
A DCU metal water bottle will be on sale in the hub in the coming weeks and this is expected to cut down the amount of waste caused by traditional plastic bottles.
The Green Committee is not directly funded by the university which Samantha said is their biggest challenge, but the Students’ Union and the DCU Water Institute among others have contributed to the cause.
There are also plans to introduce re-usable coffee cups, promotion of walking and cycling and having water points around campus to refill bottles and reduce waste.
Already the Committee have improved the Campus’s sustainability in terms of waste, energy, biodiversity and transport. Segregated bins were introduced to the hub, native Irish trees were planted on campus, and they’ve also adopted the Ballymun road which they clean regularly under a community initiative.
Due to their efforts DCU is now in the top 15pc of colleges in terms of World University sustainability rankings, UI Green Metrics. “This is measured in energy consumption per student, how it’s embedded in courses and their amount of sustainability related research”, added Samantha.
Renovation of the DCU community garden is another achievement by the Green Committee. The garden is located past the library and all students can avail of it by becoming a member and getting an access card off security.