Life Sciences and Energy

UCC only Irish contender at European Business Awards for the Environment

By Business & Finance
24 September 2014

UCC will represent Ireland in the final stages of the European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE), which is run by the European Commission.

The UCC Green Campus Programme is one of only four businesses shortlisted in the environmental management category and the only Irish representative across the entire competition.

Altogether, 17 European companies have been shortlisted across five categories out of 152 total entries from 22 countries. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Lyon, France on December 1st 2014. UCC was selected to take part in the EBAE, which recognises eco-innovation companies that successfully combine innovation, competitiveness and outstanding environmental performance, when they emerged as runners-up in the Environmental Management category of the Ibec Environment Awards.

UCC’s student-led Green Campus programme promotes good environmental practices by both staff and students and is modelled on the Green Schools Programme. It deals with every aspect of UCC’s environmental practices including litter and waste management, energy efficiency, procurement, water-use and transport issues.

The news comes as Daniel Schaffer, newly appointed CEO of FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education) pays a courtesy visit to UCC today. UCC was the first university in the world to be awarded the status of a Green Campus by FEE and An Taisce in 2010, a feat it retained in 2013. Schaffer will then travel to Cork University Hospital to assess its own Green Flag application.

Key achievements of UCC’s Green Campus programme since its launch in 2007 include:

  • Increased the level of recycling from 21% up to 75%, saving approx. €900,000 in waste disposal costs
  • Saved 750,000 m3 of water through projects such as installing waterless urinals, an early warning system to indicate a leak on the main water supply and encouraging leak reporting
  • In past 5 years cycling among staff has increased from 6% to 12%
  • The total campus energy consumption has been reduced by 9% through a university-wide campaign and various energy saving projects
  • UCC’s approach to sustainability saw it climb to 2nd place in the Universitas Indonesia (UI) Greenmetric World University Rankings in January 2014

The programme has won numerous other awards in the last two years including a Green Award, Excellence in Environment Award, Leader in Sustainable Energy Award and a Best Green Public Sector Award.