GMIT’s Green Campus committee held its annual open day on Monday, giving members of the public, students, and staff the chance to find out about initiatives and projects in waste prevention and reduction, energy efficiency and conservation, water conservation and protection, biodiversity, smart sustainable transport, and education initiatives across its campuses.
The event was attended by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action, and Environment Denis Naughten, and Galway East TD Seán Canney, companies and organisations involved in the green sector, and schoolchildren from nearby GaelScoil Dara.
Welcoming Minister Naughten and Deputy Canney, GMIT president Fergal Barry, said: “Our Green Campus open event reflects our staff and students’ commitment to green principles, energy efficiency, and renewable energy systems in our physical environment as well as modules embedded in our academic programmes.”
On the day, Minister Naughten delivered a talk to a cohort of energy engineering and construction students on topics related to the National Mitigation Plan, and visited some of 20 stops on the GMIT Campus Sustainable Energy Tour.
Other events included an exhibition area with stands where some of the region’s leading organisations gave advice and showcased their green initiatives; a workshop and seminar delivered by the Sustainable Energy Community (SEC ) group; a sustainable energy tour of the GMIT Galway campus; an infrared camera demonstration; a display of electric cars; competitions and prizes; and a student poster exhibition feature work from the institute’s School of Engineering.
GMIT’s Mayo and Letterfrack campuses have already achieved Green Campus status in a variety of categories. GMIT Mayo was the first institute of technology in Ireland to receive the coveted Green Flag for energy, litter, waste, and water (in 2011 ), and the first to receive the Green Flag for biodiversity. Plans are also under way to secure a Green Flag for transport.
GMIT Mayo is also the first campus in Ireland to have an outdoor living structure classroom — made from willow. It was built by students on a variety of degree programmes as part of their coursework last year.
GMIT’s two Galway city campuses are currently meeting targets to achieve Green Campus status, following submission of its application last year.
For further information on GMIT’s Green Campus activities, see www.gmit.ie/green-campus