Trinity Awarded An Taisce’s Green Flag for Second Time

Posted on: 04 May 2016

Trinity College Dublin has been awarded the prestigious ‘Green Flag’ for the quality of its environment as part of An Taisce’s Green-Campus programme for a further three years until 2019. The Green Flag was awarded initially in 2013 when Trinity became “the first university in a capital city in the world to receive a Green Flag”.

This Green Flag is the result of many years of work by students and staff aimed at improving environmental management and creating a more sustainable campus. The awarding of the An Taisce internationally recognised  ‘Green Flag’ for a second time follows a written submission by the Green Campus Committee and a rigorous ‘on site’ assessment by an expert panel.

Welcoming guests to the award ceremony in the Public Theatre, Noel McCann, Campus Services Manager and Treasurer of the Green Campus Committee explained “the students have created a foundation – we will have to build on in the coming years. Speaking at the ceremony, Anthony Purcell, Development Manager, An Taisce Education Unit, commended the significantly increased student engagement with the Green Campus Programme when compared to the initial submission in 2013. This includes input from the Students’ Union, the Graduate Students’ Union, Envirosoc, the Trinity Divestment Campaign and other societies and student interest groups.

Trinity’s Registrar, Professor Shane Allwright, outlined how Trinity’s Strategic Plan’s specific sustainability targets include the establishment of a Sustainable Campus Advisory Group which will be complementary to the Green Campus Committee and will report to the Provost. Professor Allwright said that Trinity is aiming to be the first Irish university member of the International Sustainability Campus Network.

The flag was presented to Lynn Ruane, President of the Students’ Union and Áine O’Gorman, Chair of the Trinity College Environmental Society. Áine referred to the Green Flag as a unifying element for the University as it involves the entire College community on an equal basis, and how it should also be ‘a catalyst for action’ to ensure the long-term sustainability drive in Trinity.

The Green Campus Committee continuously reviews green initiatives on campus. In February it spearheaded the introduction of a ‘No Balloon Release’ policy during Green Week after taking into consideration littering, threats to marine life and use of a finite resource, helium gas. Trinity is the first university in Ireland to introduce such a policy.