National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway) have officially launched its community- based sustainability strategy. The strategy outlines 20 measure the university plans to undertake to ensure their campus is more environmentally-friendly, as well as to promote sustainability research.
Among the proposed measures, the college aims to reduce their total energy consumption by 33% and their water consumption by 20% as well as compile a biodiversity management plan. The college aims to achieve these goals by 2020. The sustainability strategy is supported by a group of 20 students and faculty members who will work to oversee its implementation.
The measures are being implemented to “promote sustainability through education, knowledge exchange, research, corporate social responsibility and shaping future agendas”. The strategy was launched by Senator Alice Mary Higgins at an event held on the NUI Galway campus, which was attended by students, faculty members and members of the community.
In launching the strategy, Higgins stated: “It is wonderful to see NUI Galway recognising the crucial role that they and other third level institutions can and should play in shaping a sustainable future on our shared planet. This strategy demonstrates more of the positive joined up thinking seen in the university’s recent commitment to divestment from fossil fuels following a successful campaign by staff and students.”
It was also revealed at the launch at NUI Galway has reached a recycling rate of 70% by Dean Pearce. Trinity’s recycling rate was 49% last year, just 1% short of the goal College at set for 2016.
The event was also attended by many organisations who gave presentations on their roles in the promotion of sustainability in Galway City. Many of these organisations contributed to Galway’s success in winning the European Green Leaf 2017. As conveyed the speakers, the university aims to become a leader in the transition to a more sustainable future. It also intends to improve the reputation of the university globally and ensure that they are recognised for their world-readiness and work in tackling societal challenges.
Earlier this year, NUI Galway announced they would be divesting from fossil fuels, a move made in Trinity in 2016. Around the same period, Trinity established a new committee to advise the Provost on issues of campus sustainability and achieve membership of the International Sustainable Campus Network this year.