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UCC Library Green Energy: How are we doing?

Information on UCC Library's Green Energy Campaign.


      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.


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.

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!

Future Projects

  • Green Conferencing:  Plans are underway to eliminate the use of paper ware for catered events in the library. In collaboration with KSG Group, UCC’s catering provider, we will facilitate the cleaning and storing of real cups, plates, cutlery etc. that will be used for conferences and other events instead of paper and plastic.  A further step in our efforts to “ditch the disposable”.
  • Suggestion/Comments Board: A new suggestions board has been installed on the ground floor to allow library users to leave comments and suggestions about our LOL campaign.

  • Air Conditioning Upgrade:  Work will continue on improving the air condition in staff offices in the building.

Recognition & Awards

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.

Click on the image to see other finalists 


Cork Environmental Forum 2017

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.” This recognition, coming from a group that campaigns for better environmental management throughout the region, really proves that we have made a genuine impact.

photo of green energy team accepting award

UCC Green Campus

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.