Trinity Green Week 2020: Food and its impact on climate change

Posted on: 20 February 2020

Provost Dr Patrick Prendergast launched Trinity’s annual Green Week at an event in Front Square on Monday, February 17th 2020 with guest speakers Senator David Norris and Green Party member Saoirse McHugh.

This is the 18th Green Week, making it the longest running Green Week in Ireland; promoting environmental stewardship to all of Trinity’s stakeholders annually in February with an exciting and diverse range of events and activities.

Green Party member Saoirse McHugh, Provost Dr Patrick Prendergast, Senator David Norris, Students’ Union Environmental Officer Ruby Barrett

Green Week focused on ‘Food and its impact on climate change’ this year.

Events and activities for 2020 included:

  • Vegan food crawl around Dublin to highlight meat free options
  • Tours of our new near-zero energy building (NZEB) Trinity Business School
  • Climate justice panel with former Chancellor Mary Robinson
  • Mindful eating as a student workshop discussing human health meets planetary health

Members of the Trinitones a cappella ensemble performed at the launch, with Students’ Union Environmental Officer Ruby Barrett leading the ceremony and introducing Provost Patrick Prendergast, Senator Norris and Saoirse McHugh.

Trinitones perform to a busy Front Square at the launch

Food was chosen as this year’s theme because food waste is the third largest contributor to climate change globally.  Over 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted each year across the globe. Food waste creates methane gas which contributes to global warming and the production, distribution, processing and transport of food consumes huge resources.

Trinity has adopted four objectives to reduce our consumption of resources and migrate to more sustainable food choices:

  1. Reduce paper use by 20%
  2. Increase sustainable food use by 50%
  3. Reduce large (5 gallon) bottled water use by 50%
  4. Reduce disposable materials use

Acknowledging Trinity’s work in sustainability at the launch of Green Week, Senator David Norris said:

This is the largest crowd of any Green Week I’ve ever seen. Trinity continues to lead with action to tackle climate change.

Speaking on the significance of the theme of this year’s Green Week 2020, Provost Dr Patrick Prendergast added

Plant-based diets have significantly lower carbon footprints, both in terms of growing the food and the gases released through waste/decomposition.  Almost a quarter of Trinity students identify as vegan or vegetarian. This month a vegetarian lasagne is on offer in the Buttery. On its first day of serving, it sold out in two hours. The Trinity Business School has a policy of ordering only vegetarian or vegan food for their school meetings, conferences and functions. And in the Dining Hall and The 1592, we’re planning more vegetarian celebratory dinners, such as for the Scholars’ Dinner – why not?

The full programme of Green Week events is available at:

Media Contact:

Katie Byrne, Senior Executive Officer | | +353 1 896 4168