Cork University Hospital awarded its third Green Flag

Cork, 27th April 2022: Cork University Hospital (CUH) has become the first hospital worldwide to be awarded its third Green Flag from An Taisce, on behalf of the International Foundation for Environmental Education in March 2022.

Green Flags are awarded to campuses that have demonstrated they have implemented a seven-step programme of environmental management across campus. The award follows an assessment of the hospital’s Green Flag programme in November 2021 by an external panel comprised of members of staff from the Environmental Education Unit in An Taisce.

Dr. Gerard O’Callaghan, CEO of Cork University Hospital, said: “We are extremely proud to receive our third Green Flag from An Taisce. This is in recognition of the excellent work being done on the hospital campus by our staff and students to maintain a clean and sustainable environment. The success of the programme is also credited to the work of a network of green teams across the hospital championing sustainability in their areas.”

The Green-Campus Programme aims to ensure that members of a campus community can engage in a meaningful way to enhance sustainability on campus. The programme focuses on environmental education, sustainable development on campus, and beyond.

Led by staff and students, and supported by Senior Management, CUH’s Green Campus programme has evolved to manage an array of environmental themes, from waste, water, energy, transport and biodiversity. As part of the latest Green Flag submission, CUH expanded the remit of the programme to cover green procurement and health and wellbeing initiatives.

As part of the programme, CUH developed wildflower zones, a catering herb garden and provided outdoor seating areas (made from recycled plastic) for staff to use when taking a break from the clinical areas. CUH has plans in place to roll-out different initiatives including the installation of outdoor exercise equipment, staff exercise programmes and a Sli na Slainte route.

CUH recently organised a Green Campus week in partnership with An Taisce, HSE Estates and the HSE National Health Sustainability Office to highlight the Green Campus initiatives being rolled out across the campus. Events rolled out over the week included waste and energy awareness stands, Green Campus presentations and initiatives including the collection of old mobile phones and glasses which were sent forward for upcycling. The Green Flag raising ceremony also formed part of the week to celebrate the environmental achievements CUH have realised throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.