GMIT Castlebar Green-CampusThe autumn of 2008 saw GMIT Castlebar embark on aninspirational journey toward greener pastures. Together studentsand staff established an active green-community to expandenvironmental awareness and support practical action. Severalprogressive green policies were introduced guided by The Green -Campus Programme.GMIT Castlebar developed strategies and implemented significantchanges in waste, energy and water management. Followingthree years dedication to the programme in spring 2011 theiraccomplishments were recognised becoming the first Institute ofTechnology in Ireland awarded a Green Flag .“The GMIT Castlebar Green-Campus Committee is unique in many respects and will, I am sure, be an example and inspiration to many more third-level institutions not only in Ireland but throughout the entire network of countries.” Mrs Patricia Oliver. Director of An Táisce Environmental Education Unit.Today the green-community continue to nurture campussustainability currently focusing on initiatives under the themesof biodiversity and transport. Fiona Lynch. G00164477. Feb2012.
The Green-Campus Programme.The innovative programme is an international awardscheme promoting long term, meaningful action toenhance sustainability in third level institutions.The primary aim is to ensure campus communitiescultivate environmental awareness and constructiveaction under the five themes of: Energy; Litter &Waste; Water; Biodiversity and Transport.Award criteria are the successful implementation ofthe seven steps of the programme and ademonstration of commitment to the continuity ofthe programme on campus. Committees must renewapplication for retention of the Green Flag.The GCP is administered in Ireland by An Táisce onbehalf of The Foundation for Environment Education(Fee) operating in over 50 countries worldwide. Fiona Lynch. G00164477. Feb2012.
4 Monitoring and evaluating 5 actions carried Linking the 3 out programme to Implementing curriculum an action plan work 2 6 Undertaking an Informing and Environmental involving the review campus and wider community 1 The seven Establishing a 7 steps of theGreen-Campus Developing acommittee with programme green charterstudents & and are: staff The 7 Steps of the GCP Fiona Lynch. G00164477. Feb2012.
GMIT In the area of waste prevention andCastlebar management GMIT have: o 15 Recycling bin banks set up throughout campus to separate Green- recyclable waste; Campus Actions: o Initiated development of separate food waste collection system for composting; o Improved waste monitoring through increased engagement with waste management company; o Conducted litter audit and introduced initiatives to decrease littering on campus; o Implemented systems in campus canteen such as incentives for ceramic cup use over disposables; o Reduced paper waste through various initiatives like use of Moodle to distribute class notes, moving accommodation listing on-line and installed ‘fine-print’ on computers to reduce paper use for printing. Fiona Lynch. G00164477. Feb2012.
GMIT have improved energy management through:o Energy monitoring, including a review of lighting, heating and heat loss;o Energy use and analysis, tips on reduction circulated monthly to all staff and students;o PC remote shut down in all computer labs;o ESB IE tendered to supply electricity through 100% alternative energy;o Holiday campus shutdowns inspected by the Green-Campus Committee;o Installation of automatic doors to prevent draughts; Installation of thermostatic radiator valves on all radiators. Water use at GMIT has improved through:o Improved monitoring and metering; Maintenance Log for water issues;o Timers placed on urinals have decreased water use by 70%;o Dual flush systems have been installed in new washroom facilities;o Springs adjusted on taps to decrease water flow time. Fiona Lynch. G00164477. Feb2012.
Benefits to the college: Empower students and staff; Actively prevent/reduce environmental impacts; Reduce associated costs; Positive publicity; Passing on experience and best practice; Links to local groups & other programs: e.g. Clean Coasts; Green Home; Benefits to Students/Learning: Improved Learning outcomes; Research skills (Action plan, investigation, setting targets, monitoring progress and reporting progress); Students examined transport patterns and prepared a five year management plan for Green-Campus via curriculum links; One class conducted an environmental review of the college while other classes completed a Building Energy Rating of the entire campus. Transferable skills to workplace: communication, facilitation, teamwork, committee servicing. Benefits to the locality: Strong links forged with community groups including Castlebar Tidy Towns and Smarter Travel Castlebar. Annual participation in National Spring Clean and organisation of river clean ups by the Institute Kayaking Club. Fiona Lynch. G00164477. Feb2012.
Some Notable Achievements60% paper consumption reduction annually 12 tonnes waste diverted from landfill in 6 mthsAn estimated 72 tonnes per year of CO2 saved 2011 electricity usage lowest recorded in 11 yrsSaving almost 1,000 litres of water per day 60kg Print Cartridges recycled for ConcernMobile Phone Collection for Student Scholarship Print Cartridge Collection for Jack & JillEnvironmental policy for purchase of office equip Eco-friendly cleaning products used in campusMonthly Green-Days Monthly Green-Campus Committee MeetingsGreen-Campus Notice board Design of Green Campus logo Fiona Lynch. G00164477. Feb2012.