Trinity College Dublin today joined the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) to participate in a global exchange between campus sustainability leaders to further best practices. In signing the charter at a ceremony that kicked off the annual Green Week, Trinity became the first Irish university to be accepted for its commitment to the ISCN’s sustainability goals.
Joining the ISCN represents the next step in Trinity’s long-standing desire to promote sustainability and encourage its staff and students to live more sustainable lives. The Green Campus Committee, populated by students and staff alike, was established in 1993 and the Sustainability policy was formally adopted by the College Board in 2008. An Taisce certified Trinity as a Green Flag campus in 2013, while the College Strategic Development Plan (SDP) 2014-2019 incorporates sustainability actions and initiatives into strategic college management and operations. Additionally, to drive this commitment, the Provost's Advisory Committee on Sustainability and Low Carbon Living was established in 2017 and staff and students have signed up to Sustainability Networks to act as ambassadors.
Today, the university takes the next step by joining the ISCN, whose global forum of 80 members represents top-tier colleges and universities from over 30 countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. This forum supports leading colleges, universities, and corporate campuses in the exchange of information, ideas, and best practices for achieving sustainable campus operations and integrating sustainability in research and teaching.
Trinity is the first Irish university to be accepted into the ISCN, where it joins members like the University of Edinburgh, the University of Oxford, Yale, Princeton University and Harvard University.
Provost of Trinity, Dr Patrick Prendergast, said: “Trinity is delighted to be accepted into the International Sustainable Campus Network (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 ISCN we will do more to make our planet a more sustainable place to live, work, and study.”
Registrar, Professor Paula Murphy, added: “The acceptance of Trinity College as a member of the International Sustainable Campus Network is an endorsement of our deep commitment to addressing the challenges we all face in how to live and operate in a more sustainable way. Each of us has a moral obligation in this respect and as a University we are committed to showing leadership, embedding the principles of sustainability in our teaching, research and operations, and working with our students in facing these challenges.”
The ISCN Charter organises campus sustainability into three core principles – 1) buildings and their sustainability impacts, 2) campus-wide planning and target-setting, and 3) the integration of research, teaching, facilities and outreach. It requires a commitment at the highest level of the institution, and includes annual reporting on sustainability goals, initiatives, and performance.
Sustainability Coordinator, Joe Borza, said: “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.”
Bernd Kasemir, Secretary of the ISCN Board, said: “We are delighted to welcome Trinity College Dublin into the ISCN and look forward to providing a platform for international value exchange and partnership on campus sustainability.”