Marine Institute staff enjoy Switching Off at the get ‘Get Greener’ Awareness Day

Marine Institute Board members were delighted to learn more about the activities the staff are engaging in to help get greener.The Marine Institute recently held a Get Greener Awareness Day at the Oranmore headquarters, to recognise the energy savings achieved by the Institute and how staff can continue to 'get greener' at work and at home.

At a national and international level people are becoming more aware of how energy usage and carbon emissions contributes to the issues of climate change. The Public Sector is therefore committed to achieve the target of reaching 33% energy efficiency by 2020 and to take a leadership role on climate action. Since the energy baseline of 2009, the Marine Institute has achieved a 27.3% energy saving and is on track to meet the 33% efficiency target.

The Marine Institute's Get Greener team have received support from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and OPW's Optimising Power @ Work programme to reduce energy consumption through behavioural change.

CEO of the Marine Institute Peter Heffernan said, "We are delighted with the energy reductions achieved by the Marine Institute. By simply switching off our monitors and other office equipment each day, staff have helped to improve energy efficiency within the buildings. The 'switch off campaiThe Marine Institute Get Greener team along with Caimin Barrett and Paul Tighe, OPW Optimising Power @ Work, receiving a certificate of achievement for energy saving over 20% for 2018' has resulted in 10% more office equipment being turned off when not in use, compared to last year's figures. This an excellent example of how small, consistent behavioural changes by our staff can result in a big impact on overall energy savings."

At the Get Greener awareness day staff had the opportunity to test drive the Nissan Leaf, a vehicle with a 100% electric motor. Demonstrations of lightbulb consumption, insulation and laboratory fume hood operations, showing how updating equipment, switching off lights and other laboratory equipment when not in use can reduce energy consumption.

Green meeting guides, competitions and prizes were also part of the Get Greener Awareness Day activities. "The range of displays and interactive demonstrations helps remind staff how they can continue to contribute to the Institute's energy savings, and also implement energy savings in their own home. It is important that we all engage in the solutions, and be encouraged to make small behavioural changes to reduce our overall energy consumption," said Ms Toni Hollowell, Facilities Manager at the Marine Institute.

As part of the Government's commitment to remove single use plastics from the public sector, the Marine Institute also continue to offer staff to take up the 'Conscious Cup Pledge' to use a Keep Cup instead of using disposable coffee cups. This was initiated by the Get Greener team sustainability week held in September 2018.

Recycling demonstrations reminded staff what items can be recycled at home and work. Staff were also encouraged to bring in unwanted/faulty household electrical equipment at the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) drop-off point.

Optimising and investing in Marine Institute infrastructure which is energy efficient and enhances integrated advice and service delivery, is an objective of the Marine Institute's new Strategic Plan 2018-2022: Building Ocean Knowledge, Delivering Ocean Services

The electric bike and electric car trials were particularly popular with staffThe electric bike and electric car trials were particularly popular with staff

For more images of the day click here