Trinity College Dublin began its journey towards sustainability as far back as 2001 with the establishment of the first environmental committee on campus. The Recycling Committee was established by the late Professor Simon Perry and a team of students, to address the growing concerns among students about the lack of readily available recycling facilities on campus at the time.
Since then, environmental awareness at Trinity has grown among staff and students, and other initiatives have taken root. Trinity was granted a ‘Green Flag’ by An Taisce in 2013, the first university in a European capital city to obtain this recognition. The Green-Campus Programme is an international programme which recognises campuses that are actively engaging in environmentally preferable behaviours.
Environmental initiatives have been ongoing in Trinity for many years, involving both student and staff activities. Building on this history, Trinity actively renewed its commitment to sustainability and the Green-Campus Programme in the University’s Strategic Plan (2014-2019), where Trinity aims to demonstrate institutional leadership by being a sustainable campus.
In an effort to achieve this new objective, Trinity has established the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability and Low Carbon Living, which drives sustainability at senior management levels. An annual sustainability report is published and a carbon footprint action plan is underway.
The student body has also driven evolutionary leaps in sustainability at Trinity: in 2016 Trinity became the first university in Ireland to divest from fossil fuel investments thanks to a student-led campaign.
The senior management team of Trinity has drafted, voted on, and implemented a number of policies and strategies which encourage environmentally preferable behaviours and drive our campus sustainability initiatives:
- College Sustainability Policy
- Policy on Waste Management and Recycling on Campus
- Trinity Strategic Plan (2014-2019)
- Green Flag Campus (2013)
- International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) membership
In preparation for achieving the Green Flag, Trinity established goals and objectives for:
- energy and carbon emissions
- waste management/litter reduction
- water and waste-water management
- sustainable transport
- resource use
- green procurement
- education and research
- communication and student involvement