‘Olympic’ sustainable awards for Ireland’s EU Presidency HQ

Ireland is the first EU Presidency awarded sustainable and environmental certifications that were also awarded to the London Olympic Games venues

Certification Europe has awarded double certification for Event Sustainability (ISO 20121) and Environmental Management Systems (ISO 14001) standards to the Dublin Castle, the headquarters for the seventh Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

It is the first time that a Presidency of the EU attains a double ISO certification (previously Denmark Government was certified only to ISO 20121). The impact of Ireland’s EU Presidency certification is also setting a powerful precedent for the future presidencies. It is the first time in fact that a political and governmental institution displays the combination of ISO 20121 and ISO 14001 standards, which are the two Management Systems guidelines that turned London 2012 Olympic Games into the most sustainable and eco-friendly global event ever.

Conferring of these certifications took place in the presence of Brian Hayes TD, Minister of State for Public Service Reform and the Office of Public Works (OPW). Upon receiving the two certificates, Minister Hayes stated: “The Irish Presidency of the EU’s certification to Event Sustainability and Environment Management Systems ISO standards is a proud first for Ireland. Certification will enhance Ireland’s relationship with other Member States, the EU institutions and internationally as a trustworthy, capable, and credible partner I would like to thank Certification Europe for working with OPW to achieve this success.

The in-depth certification process conducted by Certification Europe will have a very tangible impact on the events that will be hosted at the Dublin Castle over the Irish EU Presidency term. These include:

  • Within Dublin Castle, recycling facilities, waste separation and energy efficient lighting and equipment will be used.
  • Water consumption will be minimised through the use of monitors and sensors. Filtered tap water will be provided during meetings and in all catering.
  • The two main conference hotels in Dublin (Herbert Park Hotel and the Westbury) are members of the Green Hospitality Programme, overseen by Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency.
  • The city-centre location of venues and hotels will encourage delegates to walk to and from meetings.
  • With the cooperation of Dublin City Council and JC Decaux, visiting delegates will be given easy access to the Dublin Bikes scheme. Where these modes of transport are not practical, delegates will be transferred by bus, rather than by car, wherever possible.
  • Catering suppliers are required to provide meat and vegetable products sourced from suppliers who are listed as Approved Members of An Bord Bia Quality Assurance Schemes.
  • Fish products supplied must be sourced from suppliers/processors who adhere to the standards prescribed by “Responsible Irish Fish”.
  • The use of Fair Trade tea/coffee, free-range and/or organic meat, poultry and dairy products, sustainably sourced seafood and carbon foot-printing were all taken into account in the procurement process

Certification Europe’s Director of Client Services John Ryan, who presented the double award, said: “With ISO 20121 and ISO 14001 certifications, the Irish EU Presidency sets an “Olympic record”, which will also maintain a sustainability legacy and environmental awareness with every event that OPW will host in the Dublin Castle in the future. We want to praise the outstanding commitment that OPW’s management and staff at the Dublin Castle have done to comply with Event Sustainability and Environmental Management Systems standard requirements.”

Dublin Castle will be seat of Ministerial summits and many of the 180 meetings and events that the Irish Government will host during the EU Presidency, which will be attended by circa 15,000 delegates from across Europe and from around the world. The venue is run and managed by Ireland’s Office of Public Works (OPW), a governmental organisation whose core services are the conservation and management of our buildings and prestige heritage properties, Estate Portfolio Management including property and project management, architectural and engineering services, procurement services, while also being the lead agency for flood risk management in Ireland.

Person with laptop and hardhat ISO certification
Robert Lyons
Robert Lyons

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