DCU wins Green Award 2021 for reduced water consumption

DCU wins major Green Award for reducing water consumption

DCU has won a Green Award for substantially reducing water consumption across the University.

The DCU Estates Office won the ‘Sustainable Water Achievement Award’ in the Green Awards 2021. The winners were announced on Thursday, June 17th. 

DCU’s bid to reduce water consumption across all campuses saw the Water Consumption per Person (WCP) fall from 13,493 litres per person to 10,662 litres per person in under four years. 

A total of eight organisations - including Munster Technological University and ABP Foods - were shortlisted for the award. 

DCU began its water conservation programme in 2016.

A four-stage approach was devised to align water conservation planning across all campuses.

These four steps were: 

  • The implementation of the DCU water management system,
  • The implementation of a multi-campus water and energy conservation strategy 
  • The formalisation and structuring of all utilities operations
  • The setting up three conservation teams to manage the overall process; an estates office management team, a university management team, and a senior management team

To achieve this, the Estates team carried out campus level water mapping, water audits across all campuses, created an awareness programme, repaired pipework leaks, installed sub-metering and installed efficient sanitation.

In general terms, our overall water consumption across all campuses reduced from well over 250,000 m3 at incorporation, to 225,000 m3 in 2018, and to just over 200,000m3 in 2019.

In 2020 our water consumption decreased by nearly 50% but this reduction was due to the COVID-19 lockdown measures. As such 2019 will be our comparison baseline going forward in terms of setting our goals for 2030; an aggressive and ambitious target of 100,000m3.

Accepting the award on behalf of DCU on Thursday night, Mr Kelly said:

We are delighted and honoured to win the Sustainable Water Conservation Award at the 2021 Green Awards.  DCU impressed through our ongoing emphasis on water conservation strategy and our year on year impressive savings. This award is for all of our community.

On receiving the award Mr Kelly thanked the “Green Awards Team, the Sponsors Irish Water, the DCU Energy Team, Mark Argue, Joe Fallon, Ger McEvoy, the very supportive Estates Office Staff, DCU Sustainability, the senior leadership in DCU, especially the President and COO, and most importantly the Staff and Students across all of our campuses”. 

DCU President Professor Daire Keogh said:

This award is a tribute to the vision, ambition and hard work of the DCU Estates team. Their achievements in reducing water consumption are all the more impressive because they have happened during a time of major growth for the university. 

I also wish to thank our staff and students for their support in embedding sustainability as a priority in all of our activities.’