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UCC Library Green Energy: How are we doing?

Information on UCC Library's Green Energy Campaign.

Recognition & Awards

Pakman Finalists!

UCC Library was shortlisted as a finalist for the 2018 Packman Awards.

The Packman awards are the annual awards for excellence in Waste Management and Recycling, organised by the Repak Group.pakman logo

Congratulations to the winners, Cup Print, the Ennis based manufacturer of compostable cups.

It was a huge achievement to be shortlisted and even better because we were the only third-level institution on this list.   

A big Thank You to all involved.


Irish Education Awards 2018

The Green Energy team were delighted to receive the Best Library Team award at the Education Awards ceremony held in Dublin on 19th April 2018.

Cork Environmental Forum 2017

photo of green energy team accepting award

The UCC Library Green Energy Team won the “Best Public Sector” category in the Cork Environmental Forum Annual Awards Ceremony in December 2017. The judges commented that the campaign was “inspiring” and the award represented “an outstanding contribution to sustainability in Cork City and County through partnership and participation in the promotion of environmental care.”

UCC Green Campus

image of front of library

The campaign, in no small way, contributed to UCC being named the 9th “greenest” university globally in the UI Green Metric World University Rankings in December 2017. The ethos of the Sustainable Development Goals to “think globally: act locally,” is fundamental to this campaign and has been embraced by staff and students.

Recent Projects

Suggestions/Comments Board:

Our LOL suggestions board on the ground floor allows library users to leave comments and suggestions.

Green Conferencing: 


In a  further step to “ditch the disposable” we have installed a dishwasher in one of the store rooms, so in collaboration with KSG Group, UCC’s catering provider, we can now wash and store real cups, plates, cutlery etc. These are used for conferences and other events instead of paper and plastic.  

The Green Wall

green plants arranged vertically








The Green Wall in the Quad Reading Room (Fishbowl), was installed last June by local Cork company Greenveldt Ltd. 

 Paid for from savings made so far as part of the “save saves scheme”, this eco vertical garden, full of growing plants, has brought nature into this indoor environment thus improving the air quality. It should create a more positive and healthy space for students particularly at exam time, when the room is heavily used.

The living wall is part of the Library’s ongoing efforts to make its operations more sustainable and to reduce overall energy use. 

Air Conditioning Upgrade:  Work on improving the air condition in staff offices in the building continues.


      sign showing 700% increase in recycling rate

Results show that recycling levels have increased significantly - from negligible to >700% !

In addition, through centralised waste disposal, we estimate that 10,000 plastic bin liners will be saved every year.

Energy Savings

poster showing electric switch & light bulb and savings in electricity

We saved 155,000 KWH in 2017, which is equal to a 9% reduction in our energy use. This constitutes enough energy to power a light bulb for 1,770 years or travel around the world 24 times in an electric car!


Another key achievement is the collaboration channels that have opened up between the library and other departments across the university e.g. Buildings & Estates, the Students' Union, but also between local groups such as the Cork Environmental Forum and the Conscious Cup Campaign.


Three other major UCC campus sites are now signing up to the “Saver Saves” scheme. This includes the university’s main quad, which is the base for UCC’s senior management team. Having watched the success of the Library campaign, these sites are putting together their own teams to drive action in their locale.