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Case Studies

All too often, we ignore the lessons to be learned on our own doorstep. We hear of the great sustainability work taking place in Copenhagen or Curitiba and suppose that we can’t replicate those projects in our own places.

The case studies on these pages are firmly rooted at home. Most are the work of councils, although we have also illustrated good practice from other organisations in Northern Ireland.

We encourage you to read these introductory articles and get in touch with the listed contacts if you want more detailed information. Use them as inspiration, copy them, reinterpret them or just admire them. They show that good practice can sometimes be a nimble traveller after all.


Farmers unite to green up the Glens

Thousands of new native trees are taking root across a Northern Ireland landscape which, although famously scenic, is extremely lacking when it comes to trees and woodland. It’s all thanks to the Heart of the Glens landscape partnership scheme, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Moving the North West towards Zero Waste

Grassroots lobby group, Zero Waste North West, has made a palpable and commendable difference in raising awareness and increasing action towards a circular economy through various zero waste campains in the North West region. The organisation held a conference in 2015 bringing international experts to the City Hotel to highlight zero waste as a key priority for the Derry City and Strabane District Council.

Belfast: Becoming a Sustainable Food City

Farm to fork mentality is catching on with the help of the Belfast Food Network. The project, set up by Sustainable NI in 2014, brings together different partners to help make healthy and sustainable food a defining feature of Belfast city. In this way, food is being used to to address some of today’s most pressing social, economic and environmental problems including dietary health, food poverty and climate change.

Granville Ecopark: Turning waste into a resource

Granville Ecopark Ltd in Dungannon is making waves in the area of energy from waste, utilising locally collected food waste and garden waste as a resource to contribute 4.8 MW of renewable energy into the Northern Irish electricity grid.

Derry City and Strabane District Council trial low-emission car club

Enterprise Rent-A-Car is a global car rental company has been working towards sustainable development since 2013, focusing on advancement of alternative fuels and clean technologies. In recent years, Enterprise has established car clubs as an alternative to traditional car ownership models and now Derry City and Strabane District Council is availing of their low-emission car leasing scheme for essential staff travel within the district.

Upcycling and revitalising repair skills in Belfast’s Repair Café

Repair Cafés provide a quirky remedy needed to move away from a throw-away society and one has just launched in Belfast. The volunteer ran café advocates for a circular economy - to minimise waste through maximising existing resources achieved through extending and revitalising the lifecycle of an item. The initiative encourages upcycling and repair skills which act as a way of inspiring people to become more mindful before they throw an item away.

Environmental Awareness in City Hotel Derry

The City Hotel Derry is a four star hotel on the banks of the River Foyle in the centre of Derry-Londonderry. The hotel was built in 2002 and caters for business and leisure guests in its 158 bedrooms, as well as functions such as weddings and conferences. The site is a detached building with 8 floors and a basement garage. The building's gross floor area is approximately 14,400m2.

Project 24 breathes new life into Bangor

Opened to the public in April 2013, Project 24 is an innovative and impressive regeneration project which has captured the public’s interest, bringing vibrancy and interest to Bangor, a polular seaside town in Nortern Ireland.

The project utilises 6 bespoke, colourful art pods each split into two mini artist studios where artists take residency. The art pods are customised shipping containers, seen as light boxes with a fluid and translucent environment allowing visitors to experience different moods and atmospheres depending on the season and time of day.

County Down housing scheme among UK’s top eco-friendly

An ultra-energy efficient Choice Housing scheme in County Down has been named on a shortlist of the UK’s most environmentally friendly developments.

Killynure Green in Carryduff, which is classed as ‘zero carbon’, impressed a slew of international judges to secure a rare nomination at the prestigious Green Apple Environment Awards in August 2016. Established in 1994, the annual awards recognise, reward and promote environmental best practice.

Sustainable land use at Tullyvar Landfill Site

Mid Ulster District Council and Fermanagh and Omagh District Council jointly scooped the Biodiversity Project of the Year at the Sustainable Ireland Awards in 2015, recognising the success of a wetlands development initiative at Tullyvar Landfill Site, which is jointly operated by both councils,.

Assisting the facility in the treatment of its leachate, the wetland development encourages reduced air pollution, reduced landfill aftercare costs and leads to increased biodiversity and the improved long-term sustainability of the site.