On Wednesday 19th February, UCC will celebrate 10 years of becoming the first University in the world to be awarded a Green Flag from the Foundation for Environmental Education. UCC ran the pilot Green Campus programme, with support from An Taisce, after a group of students, who had come from Green Flag schools, came up with the idea. The students wanted to have a say in how the university managed its environmental impact and saw the Green Flag programme as the ideal opportunity to engage with management.
In the ten years since being awarded the Green Flag, UCC has reduced its total waste tonnage per year by 25%; carbon emissions have fallen by over 35%. All of UCC’s campus habitats have been mapped and a reduced mowing regime introduced to support wildflowers. UCC is the only university in Ireland to have its own “Farm to Fork” programme and the first to launch a “single-use plastic free café”. Our Green Library campaign received international recognition saving 930,000kWH in energy consumption – the equivalent of powering an average home for 207 years of taking a town of 500 people off the grid for a whole year. We have fully divested of fossil fuels.
To mark the occasion, the Glucksman Gallery will be showcasing pieces from their Creativity and the Climate theme. For the past number of years the museum has partnered with UCC Green Campus and worked with communities and schools from across the region on creative projects that explore topics such as biodiversity, urban sprawl, climate change and individual responsibility. This exhibition showcases artworks by children who have participated in projects such as A Greener, Brighter Future (2016), Blueprints (2017), People and the Planet (2018), and Future Forms (2019). You can visit the exhibition from the 13th to the 23rd February.
On the 19th February over 90 students from 20 local Green Flag schools will join us on campus to celebrate with us and learn together. The students will be given a Green Tour of campus from J.P. and colleagues in the Visitor’s Centre and will hear about projects like our Green Library campaign, our Farm to Fork initiative and “Single-Use Plastic Free Cafe”.