GMIT Letterfrack raises its first international Green Campus Flag
Green initiatives result in 48% decrease in waste to landfill and 144% increase in recycling
Date Article Written:
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
GMIT Letterfrack has been awarded an international Green Campus Flag by An Taisce. The Mayor of County Galway, Cllr Mary Hoade, officially raised the flag at a ceremony on campus yesterday (Tuesday 21 October) attended by students, staff and special guests.
Students and staff from both GMIT and Connemara West have worked tirelessly over the past two years, implemented a range of sustainable initiatives aimed at reducing waste and increasing recycling. Their work has resulted in a 48% decrease in waste going to landfill, a 144% increase in recycling of paper, a 34% reduction in paper usage and a 30% reduction in waste costs.
Letterfrack is the second GMIT campus to be awarded Green Campus status; GMIT Mayo, which was one of the first ITs in the country to be awarded a Green Flag, was formally approved for its second flag in February this year (2014). Both campuses are among only seven Irish campuses to have Green Flag status.
Dermot O’Donovan, Head of Dept, GMIT Letterfrack, says students and staff are not resting on their laurels. ”We are already working on the theme of Biodiversity which involved us establishing a native woodland plot in conjunction with Connemara National Park earlier this year.”
“International students from Virginia Tech, USA, participated in the planting of more than 3,000 native trees on a site adjacent to our campus. The Community Educational Woodland will help to inform students and the community about the importance of trees and the sustainable management of forestry for timber production.”
“We’re really delighted to see all our hard work pay off and what can be done when people work together for a common cause. This has helped to raise awareness of the importance of the environment and sustainability in all our working lives. To see students and staff and stakeholders engage in the various projects has been very rewarding,” says Mr O’Donovan.
“Also, the reduction in our operating costs is an added bonus and shows how the implementation of environmental policies can help to save companies money in the long run. I wish to congratulate all involved.”
Patricia Oliver, Director of An Taisce’s Environmental Education Unit, paid tribute to the students and staff: “The leadership which has been exhibited by your Green-Campus Committee will be, I am sure, an example and inspiration to many more third-level institutions not only in Ireland but throughout the entire network of FEE countries.”
Karl Elliffe, Head Student Representative, lecturers Sean Garvey and Hugh Mullan, Dr Michael John O'Mahony, An Taisce, Michael Curtin, GMIT Student Representative, Dermot O'Donovan, GMIT Head of Department, and Janet O'Toole, Chair of the Green Campus Committee