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Sustainability DCU

Join the DCU Green Committee

SDGs

DCU and SDG's 

DCU’s Strategic Plan 2017-2022 ‘Talent, Discovery and Transformation’ clearly articulates our purpose to address the major challenges facing the world today and to develop the talent and knowledge that society needs.  In tackling the challenges of an era of unprecedented changes, we see unprecedented opportunities: not only to transform the lives of those who will pass through our doors, but also, through them and through our innovation, to transform society as a whole.

 This document attempts to map DCU activities that contribute in whole or part to the SDG goals.  This is currently an non-exhaustive list and additions/amendments should be emailed to sustainability@dcu.ie

DCU SDG

DCU and the SDGs

What is Sustainability about? 

In a normal day we consume resources from the food we eat to the fuel to drive our cars and the electricity that lights our homes and offices. These resources are grown or manufactured from natural materials that come from the Earth and there is only a limited supply. While some of the resources are renewable i.e. they replenish themselves, many are not and therefore will run out. But the bigger issue is that through the manufacturing and consumption of these resources carbon dioxide is produced and over the last 100 year or so the levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere have grown at an exponential rate. The impact of this increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is climate change*. So Sustainability is looking for the fair and equitable balance that is needed to share the earth’s resources between all its inhabitants while working toward reducing our carbon emissions to zero. It is an enormous task that we must all tackle together.

Sustainability DCU seeks to embed a sustainability ethos at DCU that will underpin all our activities here. Our academics and researchers are working on many of the related issues from Education for Sustainable Development, Green Finance and Business models to Water, Waste and Energy research in our new Sustainable Economies and Societies Research Hub. Our Estates Office works hard to not only save financial resources but also to reduce our impact on the environment through energy efficiencies, greater waste management and enhancing the green environment on campus. Our An Taisce Green Campus Committee supports many initiatives across campus engaging both the students and staff in projects where we can together have an impact on increasing the sustainability of our campus.

DCU is leading by example and instilling in our graduates a knowledge and understanding of sustainability with the vision that they will incorporate this ethos in their future personnel and working lives.

DCU's Sustainability policy can be viewed here.


*For further information on Climate Change please see the IPCC Fifth Report:www.ipcc.ch

Follow us on Facebook : 

https://www.facebook.com/sustainabilitydcu

https://www.facebook.com/DCUCommunityGarden

Single Use Plastics at DCU 

DCU Single-Use Plastic Initiatives

Introduction

Dublin City University’s Strategic Plan 2017-2022 commits to placing sustainability at the core of the University’s activities. The initiatives proposed here address a key challenge of waste management in the marine environment (i.e. the widespread availability of single-use plastics) and aims to make DCU an exemplar institution through their elimination on our campuses. Six of the seven initiatives proposed will be introduced in 2018. Full elimination is proposed by the end of 2020.

Rationale Plastic pollution is having a significant negative impact on the global environment, with 10% of all waste attributed directly to one-use plastics.

Plastic affects human health: Toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments.

Plastic spoils our groundwater: A high proportion of waste plastics end up in landfill where the toxic chemicals from plastics drain out and seep into groundwater, flowing downstream into lakes and rivers.

Plastic threatens wildlife: Wildlife become entangled in plastic, they eat it or mistake it for food and feed it to their young, and it is found littered in even extremely remote areas of the Earth. In our oceans alone, plastic debris outweighs zoo-plankton by a ratio of 36-to-1.

Plastic impact the food chain: Even plankton, the tiniest creatures in our oceans, are eating micro-plastics and absorbing their hazardous chemicals. The tiny, broken down pieces of plastic are displacing the algae needed to sustain larger sea life who feed on them.

Plastic costs billions to abate: Everything suffers because of plastic pollution: tourism, recreation, business, the health of humans, animals, fish and birds.

Proposed Initiatives DCU’s Single-Use Plastic Policy Initiatives focuses, in the first instance, on the elimination of the following single-use, disposable plastic items:

• Single-use plastic cups and glasses

• Takeaway coffee cups

• Takeaway food containers

• Takeaway cutlery

• Straws

• Plastic Carrier Bags

• Plastic Bottles

Single-use plastic cups/glasses: Plastic cups/glasses are primarily used for water consumption from water fountains in canteen and restaurant areas and at individual water fountains throughout the campuses. These cups form a large component of the litter stream. In addition such plastic glasses are used in the NuBar and the Helix for drinks. Alternative options include personal water bottles, reusable cups/glasses and compostable glasses.. In special cases reusable plastic/bioplastic glasses can be used. The elimination of single-use plastic cups/glasses is proposed with the following deadlines. Removal Dates DCU Cáfe/Restaurants/Coffee docks: 17 March 2018 Drinking fountains (Unit Specific): 01 July 2018 All Outlets 31 December 2018

Takeaway Coffee Cups: In 2017 DCU consumed in excess of 700,000 non-recyclable disposable cups. Not only are these non-recyclable, but they are also a major contamination factor in the recycling waste streams. It is planned to incentivise the use of personal reusable cups by offering a 20% reduction in costs at all outlets on DCU campuses. The elimination of non-recyclable coffee cups is proposed with the following deadline. Removal Dates All Outlets 31 December 2018

Single-Use Plastic Takeaway Containers: Most single use plastic/tinfoil foodware ends up in landfill. If they are littered or escape from landfill, they can enter waterways where they can fragment and cause serious harm to marine wildlife. Because these items are usually used away from home and in public areas, they tend to be littered more frequently. It is proposed to eliminate single-use plastic containers for food takeaway in DCU with the options available being: • BYO container [restaurant to provide mechanism for pre weighing and post weighing to ensure correct charges]. • Compostable containers Removal Dates All Outlets 31 December 2018

Takeaway Cutlery: Like single use containers, single use plastic cutlery are littered frequently because they are usually used away from home and in public areas. When they enter the marine environment they fragment into smaller plastic pieces and can harm wildlife. It is proposed to eliminate the use of single-use plastic cutlery to be replaced by reusable cutlery and/or compostable cutlery. Removal Dates All Outlets 31 December 2018

Straws: Straws cause significant ingestion hazards for our wildlife. Although plastic straws are used for an average of 20 minutes, they can last in the environment for years and they are one of the top 10 items identified in beach clean-ups. Plastic straws cannot be recycled and fragment in our oceans, making it far easier for wildlife to ingest plastic. It is proposed that single-use plastic straws be eliminated at DCU. If necessary, compostable/biodegradable straws may be used. Removal Dates All Outlets 31 December 2018

Single-Use Plastic Carrier Bags: Plastic carrier bags are one of the most problematic sources of plastic pollution, quite often being the cause of wildlife entanglement and ingestion. They are shown to be targeted by species that mistake them for their food sources and can cause intestinal blockages, causing an animal to starve to death or cause asphyxiation. The impact of plastic bags in Ireland has been significantly reduced following the plastic bag levy. Refuse bags are excluded in Phase I of these initiatives but will be addressed at a later stage. It is proposed to eliminate the use of all plastic carrier bags to be replaced by BYO reusable bags or paper bags. Removal Dates All Outlets 31 December 2018

Plastic Water/Soft-drink Bottles: Beverage containers form a large component of the litter stream. In this context, the sale and use of single-use plastic bottled water and soft drinks, which inevitably leads to littering, mismanagement and escape into the environment, needs to be reduced. Given the existence of commercial contracts with a range of suppliers and the current absence of routine alternatives, it is proposed to engage with suppliers with a view to identifying solutions to this issue but with a commitment to eliminate sale of plastic water/soft-drink bottles on campus by the date specified. Removal Dates All Outlets 01 September 2020

Approved by DCU Executive Committee 20 March 2018

DCU Green Campus and Annual Reports 

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Our aim is to work together with Students and Staff to demonstrate and embed sustainable measures across all our campuses.


DCU has been striving to gain efficiencies and reduce our impact on natural resources and adopt sustainable practices in areas of energy consumption, water usage, biodiversity enhancement and waste generation. More recently areas of green procurement and campus associated transport have been receiving attention in the promotion of sustainable practices.

You can download here a copy of the following documents 

DCU Green Campus Annual Report 2014

DCU Green Campus Annual Report 2015

DCU Green Campus Annual Report 2016

DCU Green Campus Annual Report 2017

DCU Green Campus Annual Report 2018

DCU Green Campus Annual Report 2019

Join the DCU Green Committee

or 

Just have your say

What are our Targets for 2018/2019

 Potential Projects : 

EnergyWaterWaste 
  • Maintain and improve ISO50001 
  • Cross campus engagement
  • 33% reduction by 2020
  • Carbon Neutral Campus
  • Increase Rain/Grey water use 
  • Monitor and fix leaks
  • Single use Plastics 
  • One Dublin Cup
  • Increase recycling awareness
  • Biowaste Pilot in Residences
  • Reduce paper waste
  • Fashion Swap Shops
  • ReCreate your wardrobe
BiodiversityTransportProcurement
  • DCU Glasnevin Comm Garden
  • Biodiversity Areas on SPC
  • School Garden on SPC
  • Comm Garden at AHC
  • Reboot your Commute
  • Cycle Parking
  • Intercampus Sli na Slainte
  • Car pooling
  • BleeperBikes
  • Green Procurement
  • Water Fountains

 DCU is a registered participant of the national Green Campus programme, run by An Taisce and The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). FEE is a non-government, non-profit organisation that operates globally promoting sustainable development through environmental education. An Taisce is the national operator of all FEE programmes in Ireland. In its initial phase DCU is targeting Energy, Waste and Biodiversity. Baseline reports and action plans are under development for implementation in the academic year 2012/2013. This programme engages across the DCU student and staff population and involved strong interaction with local Community through the development of on campus community gardens & allotments and expert seminar series 

What goes in the Bin !! 

Below is some infomation on what can go in your Green and Brown Bins - note this is NOT a comprehensive list and you can find more information on recycling at Voice Ireland 

What can go in your green bin

Green Bin Sample

Brown compost bin

Thorntons bins information lables

Red bin

Green Bin

T Brown bin



DCU Bicycle Service Clinics 

The free bicycle service clinics, run by the Rediscovery Centre and supported by DCU SU and DCU Sustainability/OCOO will recommence next week with the start of semester.  These service clinics are open to all DCU students and staff and are operated on a first come first served basis - they are usually very busy so come early. 

 

Please note that while the bike service is free, you will have to pay for any parts needed.  Also the bicycle mechanics are not miracle workers and cannot renovate a bike in the time allotted for a service - i.e. your bike should be basically road worthy and in need of a service and not a complete overhaul !!  Complete overhauls are available from the Rediscovery Centre at the owners expense !

 

Dates, times and location for Semester 1 2019/20:

 

DCU Glasnevin Campus (Tuesdays 12.30 - 16.00)
Location: Foyer in Albert College (outside AG00) across from Main Restaurant entrance.

Sept 24

Oct 01, 08, 15, 22, 29

Nov 05, 12, 19, 26

Dec 03, 10 


DCU St Patrick's Campus (Wednesdays 12.00 - 15.00)
Location: Undercroft Block F

Sept 25

Oct 23

Nov 20

Dec 11

 


DCU All Hallows Campus (Wednesdays 12.00 - 15.00)  

Oct 09

Nov 06

Dec 04


If you have more suggestion please send them to sustainability@dcu.ie 

How can you make a difference ? 

This infographic shows climate choices. Credit: Seth Wynes/Kimberly Nicholas, Environmental Research Letters, 2017 

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-07-effective-individual-tackle-climate-discussed.html#jCphttps://3c1703fe8d.site.internapcdn.net/newman/gfx/news/hires/2017/themosteffec.jpg


Energy
  • Insulate your home
  • Last out – lights out
  • Turn off heaters before opening windows
  • Lower your thermostat
  • Use a clothes line/rack to dry clothes
  • Use energy saving light bulbs
  • Turn off and unplug for energy savings and safety
Water
  • Shorten your showers by at least a minute.
  • Only boil the water you need.
  • Try not to run the tap.
  • Fix drips
  • Harvest rain water for garden use
Waste
  • Bring you own Mug – many paper coffee cups are NOT recyclable - Many coffee places in Dublin will give you a discount (DCU 10%) when you bring your own mug.
  • Reduce food waste – 50% of all food produced is wasted!  Only get what you need.
  • Stop using plastic bags. Bring your own reusable shopping bags with you wherever you go.  
  • Recycle more – not just in the kitchen at home.
  • Avoid plastic bottled water - carry a refillable bottle instead – there is a map of potable water points on https://www.facebook.com/sustainabilitydcu (include new points if you find them !)
  • Reduce your printing - Print Double-sided if necessary.
  • Use recycled paper for brochures/flyers etc
  • Run digital poster campaigns NOT paper posters
  • Use refills rather than buying new each time.
  • Be conscious of packaging and where possible leave unnecessary packaging in the shop to encourage them to reduce it.
  • Reuse unrecyclable material - Check out the Rediscovery Centre (http://www.rediscoverycentre.ie/) for bicycles, fashion, furniture, paint and lots more
  • Reduce Meat Consumption – Support Meat Free Mondays
Biodiversity
  • Start your own vegetable patch either at home or in the DCU Community Garden
  • Make the switch to natural cleaning products.
  • Know your own environment and its inherent ecosystems.
  • Volunteer for at least one environment-related project in your community—maybe a community garden workday or a beach cleanup
  • Think about the source of your projects – environmentally and ethically
  • Shop local and in season
  • Plant a tree
Transport
  • Walk/Cycle to work/school/college for a healthier environment for all
  • Use/Promote public transport options
  • Think before you jump in the car – is the alternative healthier and cheaper for you.
  • Consider the carbon footprint of your air travel – is teleconference a reasonable option (http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx)
  • Holiday in Ireland
Communications
  • Understand the impact of our actions – sustainable development is our only way forward – understand your impact and role.

 If you have more suggestion please send them to sustainability@dcu.ie and we can add them to the list.  

Making the Post Carbon World 

Not optimism, not pessimism but realism

 Corrie Mountain Wind Farm, Co. Leitrim, image credit: RTG - CC BY-SA 4.0]

Corrie Mountain Wind Farm, Co. Leitrim, image credit: RTG - CC BY-SA 4.0

This is a new pilot live online conversation aiming to empart an understaning of why and how we might make a post carbon world.  MPCW is a free, open-access, online course offered by DCU School of Electronic Engineering in collaboration with the DCU Sustainable Economies and Societies HubDCU Sustainable Campus, and the United Nations Dublin Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development (RCE Dublin, hosted by DCU).

Click Here to go to the MPCW-16 on LOOP 

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE!

MPCW is "extra-curricular", i.e. not for credit. There is no formal assessment, no grade, it will not count for any DCU academic award, and will not appear on any DCU transcript of results.

And with that out of the way: MPCW is intended to provide a concentrated, stimulating, whirlwind tour of some of the biggest issues now facing global human civilization, and give participants some essential tools to play an active, empowered role in changing our shared world for the better!

"Not optimism, not pessimism, but realism."

MPCW gives a high level overview of the challenges posed to global humanity by human-caused climate change in particular, but also considers overshoot of other biophysical "planetary boundaries". It then provides for facilitated exploration of how we can respond (individually and collectively) by actively working to make the transition to secure, just, democratic and authentically sustainable post-carbon societies.

Your MPCW hosts/facilitators are: 

The format is a series of 10 week-long "online conversations". We start each Friday by providing a small set of key online resources on a specific topic, via a dedicated loop online forum created for that week. These resources will provide the focus and context for all our discussions through to the following Friday. The first part of the week (from Friday to Wednesday afternoon) is an opportunity for participants to review, comment, and post questions about the target resources. Then, each Wednesday evening from 6.45pm-7.45pm (Dublin local time) we will have a live webinar event, in which the facilitators will consider the state of the online discussion so far, invite live questions and comments, and suggest further directions for research and debate. (While all participants are encouraged to join all the live webinars, they will also be recorded for later "on demand" viewing.) The discussion then continues in the weekly loop forum until it wraps up on Friday, when we transition to the following week's cycle.

This is a dynamic, "participant-driven" course. While we have a "menu" of specific topics and resources in mind, there will be opportunities for participants to propose specific directions or additional areas that could be dynamically included as the course unfolds.

Week 1 of MPCW-16 starts on Friday, 5th February 2016. Do please join us for what promises to be an exciting and enjoyable learning experience for all concerned!

If you have immediate general questions about the course - e.g., if you have not used loop before etc. - then please post your query on the"HELP!" forum and we'll do our best to respond.  

Here is some background/thought provoking videos

"Does COP21 go far enough to tackle climate change? Duncan Stewart speaks with Barry McMullin"

 Part 1 and Part 2

Climate Change is simple ... - David Roberts

Fossil free Ireland | Dr Cara Augustenborg | TEDxUCD 

More info to follow 

Contact details : sustainability@dcu.ie

 The DCU Community Garden 

The DCU Community garden is open to all staff, students and DCU alumni along with member and organisations from our local community for utilisation as a resource for teaching, research, education, training and community engagement.  

DCU Community Garden - Photo

Directions

The entance to the DCU Community Garden is behind the library on the eastern edge of the Glasnevin campus.  In the most easterly corner of the campus there is a gateway that leads down to a 1.6 acre off grid garden. Please click here for more information on how to get to the DCU Glasnevin campus

How to engage

To become a member of the DCU Community Garden please complete this form

You can also download a membership form here and return it by email to garden@dcu.ie

Here is our health and safety statement for the garden: online here - please read and sign

You can download a pdf here 

Further Information

Contact Samantha Fahy 01-700 7626 or email samantha.fahy@dcu.ie 

  Teaching and Learning

Support mechanisms to enhance and embed the understanding of Sustainable development in all our Graduates so that as future leaders they implement sustainable practices.

While there are many undergraduate and postgraduate modules and programmes that already contribute directly to the teaching of sustainability principles as detailed later in this report, it is an aim of DCU to deliver an understanding of sustainable development to all students through module design, regardless of programme choice.

An outline of the core DCU programmes which at present relate directly to the teaching of principles of sustainability at present is illustrated below:

 

Teaching & Learning Map

Teaching and Learning Map

 Research and Innovation

Support researchers in the development, test bedding, demonstration and promotion of innovative solutions, tech & non tech, which progress us along our path to a sustainable future.

In undertaking a mapping project of sustainability related activities across all faculties and core support units within the DCU, it has become apparent that there exists a strong presence of sustainability focused activity as normative procedures, despite never having been identified as such. [Ref : GIOS, ASU]

 

Research & Innovation Map

 

Research & Innovation Map  

 

GCSO Project

As a member of the Global Consortium for Sustainability Outcomes , DCU is undertaking a sustainability research project investigating the reduction/removal of hot water in sanitary facilities and the associated energy and water savings providing a potential 3-5% savings in our Carbon Footprint. An initial on campus pilot will focus on the user engagement and behavioural change aspects with no immediate turning off of the hot  water. It is hoped that the final GSCO report will provide the necessary justification to seek a change in building regulations across all GSCO partner countries.

According to the World Health Organisation, Health Service Executive and Centre for Disease Control, warm or hot water is no more effective for hand hygiene, yet a huge amount of energy is consumed annually in DCU to heat water to +60degC to avoid legionnaires disease.  As a result of this, a large amount of carbon-dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere, adding the DCU’s greenhouse gas emission. Along with King’s College, London and the University of Toronto, our research has demonstrated that turning off water can reduce greenhouse gas emission by 3-5% on campus. This would be a very significant step towards DCU’s goal of becoming a carbon neutral campus.

 

If you have further questions please contact sustainability@dcu.ie 


 Community Engagement

DCU and Community leader to engage our local community on sustainable activities including such project as the DCU Community Garden.  

 Community Outreach

Encompassing such issues as equal access to social resources, corporate Governance, community, diversity, culture and quality of life, social sustainability is just one aspect of sustainability but one that is often the weakest in terms of representation. DCU has long recognised the merits and responsibilities of engaging with the wider community and contributing to the social and economic contexts of the community in which we are based. The development of a specific ‘Civic Engagement’ mission and the establishment of the DCU in the Community outreach centre in Ballymun is a solid expression of the commitment which DCU has made to community outreach projects. Wider outreach has also been promoted through initiatives such as the Dublin 5th Province project coordinated by DCU and the Irish African Partnership for Research Capacity Building. The launch of Sustainability @ DCU in early 2012 has also opened doorways to engagement through shared learning (Sustainext), accessibility of DCU resources to the public (Community Garden), new partnerships (GIOS) and research opportunities (student exchange ASU). Through DCU’s active Civic Engagement Forum, the University has also been promoting a mutually beneficial relationship between the institute and the community with the aim of delivering a range of activities though which staff and students engage with the needs of communities and seek develop their own social understanding through active citizenship. DCU is committed to playing a positive role in the socio-economic and cultural regeneration of the city, region and nation.  

 Community Inreach

The DCU concept of community engagement also works inwardly whereby ‘needs lead’ research and innovation is given high regard. The DCU Science Shop is a project which allows for a community knowledge exchange to an ultimate end of DCU research and technology having an applied and contributory role to locally identified needs of society. DCU is also strongly engaging its local community in the development of its on campus Community Garden.

Links to DCU in the Community:www.dcu.ie/community/DCUcommunity/welcome.shtml

Community Garden facebook page: www.facebook.com/DCUCommunityGarden

Sustainability facebook: www.facebook.com/sustainabilitydcu  

 

 News and Events

  Do you want to know how much Carbon is left !!

CARBON COUNTDOWN CLOCK