Trinity joins International Sustainable Campus Network

Trinity has become the first Irish university to join the network

  Outside the Examinations Hall steps this afternoon, the provost announced that Trinity has joined the  International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN). Trinity is the first Irish university to join the network.

As a member of the ISCN, Trinity will aim to participate in global exchanges with sustainability leaders, while setting sustainability targets and reporting annually on their improvements and initiatives.

Last October, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) voted to support the efforts of TCD Plastic Solutions in its aim to achieve a plastic-free campus. The group hopes to do this through raising awareness of plastic pollution and replacing single-use plastic items on campus with compostable alternatives.

TCD Plastic Solutions group presented their petition to Provost Patrick Prendergast, with nearly 4000 students having signed the petition.

The ISCN’s global forum comprises of 80 members and represents colleges and universities from over 30 countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. The forum enables its network to exchange information, ideas and best practises for achieving sustainable campus operations and integrating sustainability in research and teaching. Other members of the network include the University of Edinburgh, the University of Oxford, Yale, Princeton University and Harvard University.

The ISCN Charter includes actions to increase sustainability through campus-wide planning and target-setting, increasing green technology in college buildings. As a member of ISCN, Trinity will report annually on reaching its sustainability goals, and what initiatives the college had undertaken during the year.

In Front Square today, Prendergast expressed his delight in Trinity’s acceptance into the ISCN. “It is a testament to the work of Trinity staff and students developing a sustainable campus. Together with other leading universities who are also members of the ISCN we will do more to make our planet a more sustainable place to live, work and study,” he said,

Trinity’s Sustainability Coordinator, Joe Borza, also welcomed the news. “Joining the ISCN shows Trinity’s commitment to both national and international leadership in sustainability. It ties in strongly with the Green Flag for the campus awarded by An Taisce and builds on the student-led work of the Green Campus Committee.”

“One of the key themes of the current Green Week’s celebrations is Inspiring Sustainability, and we look forward to utilising the ISCN to get and give inspiration on sustainability to universities and students around the world,” he said.

In 1993, the Green Campus Committee was established that comprised of students and staff alike and the Sustainability policy was formally adopted by the College Board 15 years later. An Taisce certified Trinity as a Green Flag campus in 2013.

The College Strategic Development Plan (SDP) 2014-19 has also incorporated sustainability actions and initiatives into strategic college management and operations. In order to further this commitment, the provost’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability and Low Carbon Living was established in 2017, while staff, as well as students, have signed up to Sustainability Networks as ambassadors.

Cian Mac Lochlainn

Cian Mac Lochlainn is an Economics and Politics student, and a Contributing Writer for Trinity News.