South West College hosts EAUC Ireland meeting

30th March 2016

South West College (SWC) recently hosted the second meeting of the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) Ireland Group at the College’s CREST pavilion in Enniskillen.

The EAUC Ireland Group – a sub-Group of the broader EAUC international network was set up late 2015 to provide a forum for relevant interested parties from third-level educational institutions North and South to come together to discuss issues relating to environmental sustainability, and share best practice and experiences.

Chaired by Dr Damian Dalton (UCD), the meeting was very well attended with representatives from institutions from all corners of Ireland including University College Cork (UCC), University College Dublin (UCD), Queens University Belfast (QUB), Belfast Metropolitan College, CAFRE (College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise), Southern Regional College (SRC) and Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT). The group were also privileged to have guest speaker Matthew Lawson from the University of Edinburgh’s Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability in attendance on the day.

Over the course of the day a variety of topics were discussed by those in attendance. South West College presented their plans for a proposed Erne Campus development, including their vision of incorporating sustainable design principles and technologies. A wide-ranging discussion followed this presentation with all attendees contributing views on the concept of environmentally sustainable campus design and management.

The highlight of the day however came in the afternoon segment with an interactive presentation and discussion from Matthew Lawson from the University of Edinburgh. Matthew’s contribution focussed on the University’s over-arching approach to social responsibility, sustainability, student and staff engagement and implementing and managing a climate strategy, and provided much food-for-thought for those in attendance.

Speaking after the event, Ben McGonagle – Estates & Sustainability Officer, South West College – said that:

“Having the second meeting of the EAUC Ireland Group hosted at our CREST pavilion has been a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase the knowledge-base and skills-capacity that we have within South West College in the area of environmental sustainability. The positive feedback we have received from representatives of world-renowned institutions such as the University of Edinburgh shows that South West College can make its mark at the highest level.”

We are finding the concept and direction of the EAUC Ireland Group and how it facilitates sharing of best practice and innovative ideas amongst institutions to be invaluable. We are excited about where the work of the EAUC Ireland Group can go and look forward to being an integral part of the group into the future”.

The EAUC Ireland Group is due to meet again early in the summer and will seek to continue the promotion of the environmental sustainability agenda across their respective institutions while actively sharing best practice and lessons learned between group members.
South West College hosts EAUC Ireland meeting image #1 South West College hosts EAUC Ireland meeting image #2 South West College hosts EAUC Ireland meeting image #3