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UCC Library Green Energy: Welcome

Information on UCC Library's Green Energy Campaign.

News & Events

The Green Wall


green plants arranged vertically

We recently installed a Living  Wall in the Quad Reading Room (Fishbowl)

It was installed by local Cork company Greenveldt Ltd, who will also continue to maintain it.

 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 and already the air quality has improved. 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. 


The Plastic Wave just inside the entrance of the Boole has been created and built by artist and colleague, William Ruane, along with members of the Green Energy committee,  using the bottles collected by cleaning staff over the course of about 8 days. 

In support of the Sick of Plastic Campaign, run by Friends of the Earth, we hope it will make people more aware of the ridiculous amount of single-use plastic we discard on a daily basis. 

Up to 200  University College Cork students signed a Waste Reduction Bill to mark the national Sick of Plastic Day of Action on campus on 20 April .

Library staff teamed up with UCC Green Campus to organise the bill-signing event ahead of the ‘shop and drop’ Plastic Day of Action which happened on Saturday 21 April.

We also gave out free coffee and tea on the day to anyone with a travel mug.

Background to Campaign

In October 2016 the Boole Library signed up to the "Saver Saves" scheme, run by the Buildings and Estates Offices in UCC. Under the scheme the energy budget is transferred to the Library and any energy consumption savings made remain in the library and can be reinvested in future environmental projects, while any overspends are paid for through the Library operating budget.
The Library was selected for this scheme, as it is at the heart of the campus, both geographically and functionally and is one of the most energy intensive buildings, accounting for 10% of the electricity consumption across the entire portfolio of UCC buildings. No other building on campus experiences the same amount of footfall - on average 1.5 million people visit each year.
This was seen as a fantastic opportunity to promote and spread sustainable behaviours across the University.
A Green Team, comprising the UCC Energy Manager, the UCC Sustainability Officer, the Liaison Librarian for Library Services & Environment and other staff drawn from different library units, was set up to monitor energy usage and identify areas for improvement.
As well as energy consumption, the team also decided to look at waste management and water use, as these have a significant environmental impact on the library operations.

Challenges & Objectives

  • Reduce energy consumption
  • Increase recycling rates
  • Reduce waste generation
  • Increase use of water fountains
  • Improve staff/student behaviour
  • Increase engagement levels of staff/students

The campaign seeks to leverage the existing culture to promote good environmental behaviours, as well as nurturing social norms that will help make the library a better space to work and study in. Months of research by the team preceded the implementation of the programme and the combination of a “carrot” (incentives) and “stick” (disposable cup ban) approach ensured success.  

As our target audience is so diverse - students, library staff, university staff and cleaning staff - we appreciate the challenge of keeping everyone on board and so, consistent and comprehensive communications are important in driving the campaign and ensuring everyone is exposed to the message that the library is going “green”.

LOL Love Our Library

LOL Love Our Library

The Love Our library campaign builds on the culture of mutual respect and appreciation we believe exists between the student body and library staff. 

We are very proud of the library and the range of services we offer all our users and we hope that this campaign will promote good environmental behaviours to make the Library a better space for all to work and study in, while also improving its sustainable practices.

Listen to the podcast of a radio interview with two of the team members on Shush Sounds from UCC Library

Read about the campaign in the Students' newspaper