Green Week '24 - 'Healthy Planet, Healthy People'

Posted on: 19 March 2024

This has been Trinity’s 22nd year marking Green Week. The event started in 2003 to honour the late Professor Simon Perry, who started the College Recycling and Environment Committee, now known as the Green Campus Committee.  After his untimely passing in 2002, the Green Campus Committee decided to hold the first Trinity Green Week in his honour, and the College’s Green Week has grown in strength every year since.

Green Week '24 - 'Healthy Planet, Healthy People'

Vice President of Biodiversity and Climate Action Jane Stout kicked off the week at the Sustainability Leadership Awards with an update on Trinity Sustainability’s progress.  She said:

“This year in Trinity, the Sustainability Strategy was approved, supported by Board and being implemented by senior management. We’ve trained over 300 of Trinity’s senior staff in climate leadership as well, so we are making progress. This is taking us from thinking about what we do through a green lens once a year during Green Week to doing it every day. And when we’re making decisions, not just looking at costs, but asking what are the energy requirements associated with this work? What is the impact on nature? What is the impact on our health and wellbeing? Is this decision fair and just and equitable? There will be difficult decisions to be made but we are progressing.”

Provost Linda Doyle then spoke on the great capacity and leadership of Trinity students.  Earlier in the year she met with those that attended COP 28 and recapped “I have to say it was really exhilarating, both in terms of their understanding of it in not just all the climate issues, but a deep understanding of the politics in play. And I felt actually, I was surrounded by young people who will know how to influence the world.”

Jane Hackett, Sustainability Manager, then began with handing out the Sustainability Leadership Awards.  She said that these awards serve to commend the work undertaken by staff and students from Trinity who have taken the initiative to become climate and biodiversity leaders within their studies, as part of their work or voluntarily within their community.  This year there were 13 awards given to a total of 24 people:

Lily Hassett (undergraduate student)

Lily is Editor in Chief for Evergreen magazine, the student-led sustainability magazine for Trinity College Dublin. In the role, Lily has edited, pitched, and inspired dozens of articles highlighting sustainability issues. By communicating effectively, and acting as a leader for her fellow students, she has encouraged writing that is diverse, scientific, and accessible. She has redesigned the publication to have a beautiful aesthetic along with thought-provoking writing. Lily has also made Evergreen a welcoming place for students by hosting socials, and has created a community for students concerned about the climate crisis to empower themselves by communicating through writing.

Emma King (PhD researcher, Zoology),


Gaia Scalabrino (Executive Director of NatPro, Trinity Centre for Natural Products Research)


Trevor Woods (Senior Technical Officer, Pharmacy)

Emma is a PhD student and manages the Nature+ Energy project. On the side, she is the chair of the Zoology Green Lab committee, a group of staff and students in Zoology. Her leadership was instrumental in bringing the whole of the Discipline of Zoology from a Bronze Green lab score (55%) to a the highest score of Green (97%) within just one year.

Gaia has grown the NatPro Centre in TCD embedding sustainability and quality principals from the beginning. She led the NatPro team at TCD to the highest Green Labs score and is involved with the national Irish Green Labs.

Trevor promotes sustainable practices at every opportunity and was instrumental in leading the School of Pharmacy Teaching Lab through the Green Labs certification. He runs outreach events with school students on microplastics and other environmental impacts, above and beyond his normal day-to-day work. 

Mairéad Hurley (Assistant Professor in Education)

Mairéad is deeply committed to advancing sustainability education and fostering collaborative approaches to address complex societal challenges. As a leader of the groundbreaking Trinity-led Horizon Europe education initiative, LEVERS, Mairéad has played a pivotal role in embedding collaboration and interdisciplinarity in climate education across diverse learning settings. The project spans formal and informal education, adult education, and community education, emphasising the importance of a transdisciplinary, lifelong-learning approach to science education. 

Sarah Jane Cullinane (Assistant Professor in Business),

Felix Mezzanotte (Assistant Professor in Law),

John Gallagher (Assistant Professor in Engineering),

Carlos Rocha (Associate Professor in Natural Sciences)

Cecily Roche (Associate Professor in Pharmacy and Academic Developer in Academic Practice)



Sarah-Jane, Felix, John, Carlos and Cecily were recruited in 2023 as Trinity’s first Fellows for Education in Sustainable Development. Led by Sarah-Jane, they have, among other things: worked with a huge range of staff and students across college, both through formal committees, and informal consultation; articulated the skills and competencies for ESD; co-designed a foundational interdisciplinary sustainability module with students and staff, which will be rolled out as a pilot in 2024/25 academic year; held the first citizens assembly on ESD in Trinity; and contributed to a LERU publication on integrating ESD in the curriculum.

Patrick Veale (Environmental Technical Officer, Engineering)

For the past 20 years, Patrick has been leading the fieldwork efforts of Trinity academics, research staff, and students in Engineering. His work involves helping to construct research sites, install instrumentation and collect samples from a wide range of field sites across Ireland. This often involves extremely long days in the field across all seasons, often in adverse weather conditions, as well him having to spend significant time travelling to and from such sites.

He has spent countless hours wading through the bogs, rivers, and lakes of Ireland, as well as going way beyond the call of duty dealing with the delights of failing septic tanks. All of this has also helped us to develop better understanding and solutions for the more sustainable use of water.

He also played a key role in research to develop more sustainable solutions to air pollution as well as the advancement of solar energy technology, taking samples of polluted air in traffic jams and working on the roofs of buildings.

Adele Grazi (Assistant Professor, Psychology)

Adele has invested a huge amount of her own time and energy in producing a "Net Zero Heros" documentary series. This series will bring to the general public an insight into how many diverse people in academia (TCD in particular) and in many other sectors are researching and innovating to tackle the climate crisis. 

Adele and her team have been working tirelessly to design, script, shoot and deliver this series of documentary episodes focused on sustainable practices across a wide range of thematic areas. A lot of time, effort and self-financed money were put into the project which speaks to the importance this project has for the team. The end product looks impressive, and is a testament to the hard work put into the project.

Susie Bioletti (Keeper, Preservation and Conservation, Trinity Library)

Susie has championed environmental causes and the urgency of the climate crisis at both national and institutional level over many years, and was an early advocate in the Library for practical climate action. She also lives by her convictions and leads by example as a role model for the personal choices she makes about sustainability in all aspects of her life.

As a preservation expert in historic buildings, she has monitored the environments of the library’s buildings and worked to decrease the overall carbon footprint of the Library. 

Within the library, Susie has implemented multiple practical ways of reducing waste, increasing recycling, and introducing a ‘circular economy’ approach. Her Conservation studios became the first lab in the country to recycle rubber gloves.

And finally, on a personal level, Susie was very involved with the biodiversity project to keep bees on the university campus – even signing herself ‘Keeper of Preservation, Conservation…and Bees’!

Susie Bioletti has been a stalwart exponent and leader in sustainability in the Library and in the university, and we wish her every happiness in her retirement.

Sinéad Wallace, (Lighting Designer and Acting Sustainability Manager, The Lir Academy)


Eve D'Alton (Director of Technical Training and Facilities Management The Lir Academy)

Sinéad Wallace, is Lighting Designer and Acting Sustainability Manager, and led on developing and delivering a dedicated Sustainability Policy and Action Plan for The Lir Academy, three years ahead of schedule. She has a passion for sustainability and recognised the importance of taking responsibility for training students to be more aware of the impact that performance-making has on the environment.

Sinéad’s work is being realised through the championing of it by Director of Technical Training and Facilities Management, Eve D’Alton. Eve has galvanized our technical tutors to onboard them to a new way of sustainable working and teaching of our technical students, and worked with Trinity colleagues to be more robust in how the Lir approaches, uses and disposes of resources.

Martha O’Hagan (Associate Professor, Business School)

Martha is Director of undergraduate Teaching and Learning in Trinity Business School. In the 18 months of her tenure, she has introduced four modules directly related to the roots of ecology and management. These will be rolled out in 2024. The students are incredibly lucky to now be able to choose natural capital accounting, the commercial determinants of health, sustainable finance and climate governance. Martha has also taken on the challenge of integrating the new Trinity ESD module into our mandatory first year Business programme. She encouraged many of us to dig deeper into the foundational assumptions of our respective disciplines and led by example. This is an educational nomination, of a colleague who inspires us all.

David Byrne, (Director of Accreditation & QA, TBS)


Quentin Crowley, (Associate Professor, School of Natural Sciences)


Jenny Salmon,(4th Yr Law Student & National Youth Delegate for Climate Change)


 Johnny (Jan) Dabrowski, (UG JH Geography & Political Science
Consultant and Coordinator of the Climate Education Coalition at EARTHDAY.ORG)


Elizabeth Rymut, (MSc Environmental Science student & Environmental Journalist)

Trinity COP representatives

David and Quentin travelled to Dubai to represent Trinity at COP28. Trinity achieved Observer Status for the UNFCCC COP in 2023 and it was a unique opportunity to attend the international conference of parties to share the work that Trinity is doing, learn from others and create networks to scale up climate action.

Quentin started a university wide collaboration with EIT Climate-KIC (Europe's main climate innovation initiative), Dr Crowley co-created an international education programme in Climate Innovation with an EU-wide consortium encompassing academic and industry partners.

Jenny Salmon is a LLB student who represented Irish youth at an international level at COP27 in Egypt. She was chosen as Ireland’s Climate Youth Delegate for COP28 and as part of her role she carried out a youth climate delegate survey to determine help amplify the voice of youth as part of the Irish delegation to COP. 

Johnny is a 1st year student who developed his passion for civic engagement in high school in Warsaw and became a member of climate movement by joining Fridays For Future. He works with and as part of COP28 he participated in bilateral meetings with the Minister of Youth of Romania, Minister of Climate of Poland and COP28 Youth Champion as well as speaking on the panel with Canada’s Climate Envoy. 

Elizabeth Rymut is a MSc Environmental Science student who is also an environmental journalist. Elizabeth was a virtual attendee at COP28 and decided to volunteer to moderate a panel discussion to inform the Trinity community about the COP process, lessons learnt, key areas for action. As an environmental journalist her mission was to follow youth action and voices and as a journalist, it is imperative for her to not only inform herself but also inform others especially at a time when misinformation & disinformation is listed as the top global risk by the World Economic Forum for the next 2 years.

Nicole Hennessey (undergraduate and Green Campus Committee Secretary)

Nicole is an MSc student studying Smart & Sustainable Cities. She was nominated for an award based on her work on the Green Campus committee where she successful ran the college wide Trash to treasure. She organised all the activity in relation to this initiative which collected items from students moving out at the end of term, the storage and sorting followed by the sale to the new students at the start of the new academic year . The initiative not only diverted waste from landfill but also supported incoming students by offering affordable items for resale at a time of a cost-of-living crisis. Nicole is also the Secretary for the Green Campus committee and has spearheaded the creation of new sub-committees to increase recruitment and engagement across college.

Katie Byrne (Senior Executive Officer, Trinity Communications)

Katie Byrne in Trinity Communications has brought the work of Trinity Sustainability to life through leading on sustainability communications with creative storytelling and information sharing.  Through her sustainability communications work Katie aims to inspire students and staff from a variety of disciplines to get involved in sustainability, and to promote sustainability initiatives to the College community such as Fellows in Education for Sustainable Development, Climate and Biodiversity Action Week etc.  Initiatives she has driven include creating social media campaigns and generating content, writing news items and press releases, and producing eye-catching graphics and videos. 

Mary-Lee Rhodes, (Associate Prof TBS) and Declan Cahill (PhD Candidate)


Darndale Urban Forest Project ‘Darndale Donut’.

This initiative required enormous focus and direction from Mary Lee and Declan.  They used their roles, skills, and connections into the wider community to not just complete the project but to do so in a way that created maximum environmental and social benefits.  They brought together stakeholders within College - academic and professional staff, students, graduates, TAP, and outside College -  Darndale community leaders, Dublin City Council local representatives, the Gardai, and Darndale Primary School students and teachers to plan, resources, and plant  "The Darndale Donut" - a 3000 tree native forest.  There were many other potential sites in Dublin that would have been 'easier' to plan - requiring a fraction of the co-creative engagement and management of the process.  Mary Lee and Declan’s commit to 'nature based solutions' - actions that address societal challenges by protecting, sustainably managing, and restoring natural and modified ecosystems, benefiting people and nature at the same time, meant that they approached a research project task with maximum focus on environmental and social benefits, rather than ease of operationalization. They are true Sustainability Leaders

On Tuesday, there was a Sport and Climate talk held in the Pavilion and chaired by Michelle Tanner, Head of Trinity Sport.  Speakers during this session were Sean McCabe, Bohemians FC; Lisa Cafferky, Trinity Sport; Míde Ní Shuilleabháin, GAA Green Clubs; and Jamie McKeown, World Rugby.  The speakers emphasised the need for sports clubs to take action, however small, and to not let perfection be the enemy of progress. 

Jamie McKeown from World Rugby emphasised the need to embed sustainable practices into your planning, adding “80% of our sustainability gains happen in the planning and preparation phase.”

Sean McCabe from Bohemians said that football draws everyone in, adding “If we can respond to the community by providing a sustainable space, the benefit goes back to the community and brings them together.”

Ongoing events during the week included the Sustainable Sculpture Exhibition, clothing swap shop, disposable free in the Perch and a film screening at the Douglas Hyde.  The week included talks on Health and Climate, a plant swap, a tour of the urban garden, Climate Ambassadors meeting and much more.

Thank you to the Green Campus Committee and the hard work of students and staff that made Green Week such a success.  If you would like to join the Green Campus Committee and/or get involved in Trinity Sustainability’s mission, email


Media Contact:

Katie Byrne | Public Affairs and Communications | | +353 1 896 4168