NUI Galway Scoop Top Prize at the SEAI Energy Awards

From left: Richard Bruton, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment; Seán Farrell, Building Services Engineer, NUI Galway; Michael Curran, Head of NUI Galway’s Building Services; Lorraine Rushe, Environmental, Health and Safety Manager, NUI Galway; Noel O’Connor, Assistant Director of Estates Operations, NUI Galway; and Julie O’Neill, Chair of SEAI.
Oct 29 2019 Posted: 09:16 GMT

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) recently announced the winners of its 2019 Energy Awards at a gala event which saw NUI Galway take away the top prize for Energy Team of the Year.

NUI Galway has set its sights on the campus being one of the greenest universities in the world. They impressed judges with their inclusive and long-term approach to energy management. As part of its strategy, the Energy Team run initiatives and campaigns which encourage and provide tools to students and staff on how they can reduce energy use on campus and in their homes. Already at 36% energy reduction, NUI Galway continue to work towards their ambitious target of a 40% energy reduction by 2020.

NUI Galway are committed to reducing energy and carbon consumption in line with the Government Climate Action Plan 2030. The Energy Management System developed by NUI Galway Energy Team allows for independent verification and monitoring by SEAI of our energy and carbon reduction on campus. The Energy Team will continue to lead by example by implementing best practices in energy efficiency to meet the highest energy management standards and be at the forefront of sustainable development. The University aims to deliver on this commitment by promoting the concept of energy efficiency at all levels in the organisation from students and academics to administration staff and contractors. 

Earlier this year, the University was awarded the internationally recognised Green Flag by An Taisce’s Green-Campus programme on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education. The SEAI award further demonstrates the Universities commitment to sustainability and its achievements to date. 

Assistant Director of Estates Operations, Noel O’Connor, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this award, it validates the hard work and dedication that the Energy Team has been putting in for many years. We all have a role to play in helping to build a sustainable society, and universities in particular, have a responsibility to promote sustainability through leadership, education, knowledge exchange, research and corporate social responsibility. A sustainable campus is one which maintains a green and healthy environment, promotes the use of resources efficiently and instils in graduates and staff the importance of urgently tackling environmental challenges.” 

A total of nine awards were presented to businesses, communities and public sector organisations recognising their commitment and dedication to excellence in energy management and creating a cleaner energy future.

Congratulating all the finalists and award winners, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, said: “How we respond to the challenge of climate disruption will define us as a generation. These awards are a good opportunity to highlight those taking leadership and managing their energy use in a more sustainable way.”

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