Each of us, individually, play an integral part in the wider environment and accordingly should act as good citizens of Earth. This University commits to support and promote such sustainability citizenship amongst its student and staff population. UCC is proud to have been the first University in the world to receive the An Taisce Green Campus award, and the University sees the Green Campus programme as a significant component of its sustainability efforts.
Teaching and Learning
UCC aims to make every student aware of sustainable development through both formal and informal learning. The University Wide Module on Sustainability (read more below), is an example of the former, while events such as the Intervarsity BioBlitz are examples of the latter. The UW module is open to students and staff of UCC, as well as the general public.
University College Cork is one of Ireland’s leading research intensive Universities and has an active research community working on multiple aspects of sustainability. UCC’s sustainability researchers can be found throughout the University’s four colleges (Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Science; Business and Law; Medicine and Health; and Science, Engineering and Food Science) working in the constituent schools, associated research centres and through multidisciplinary institutes and SFI centres.
Food Health and Wellbeing
Students who are in good health, content and self-confident will be best placed to realise their academic potential during their time at UCC. In addition, if staff are healthy and happy in their workplace they are more productive, which will create a more effective scholarly environment. The University has been awarded formal recognition by the HSE South for its efforts in Health Promotion and Improvement, under the umbrella of the UCC Health Matters initiative.
Landscape, Heritage and Natural Resources
University College Cork has the good fortune to be located (largely) on the banks of River Lee on beautiful grounds with a significant area of formal gardens, informal green areas and riverside walks. The campus is home to a significant amount of biodiversity including a variety of flowering plants, grassland, many native and exotic trees, substantial riparian areas, and the various associated wildlife.
Recycling and Waste Management
The University is committed to reduce the volume of waste generated and to increase the proportion of that waste which is recycled. We endeavour to implement sustainable resource management practices based on reduce, reuse and recycle principles. The University will strive to reduce the acquisition of new materials, re –using existing materials and increase recycling to the best possible standards.
Energy Water and Climate Change
UCC is committed to reducing its Carbon Footprint. The University’s dedicated Energy Manager Pat Mehigan, Sustainability Officer Maria Kirrane with their Energy and Sustainability Team Sandra Barry and Oliver Cunningham, support all energy and sustainability initiatives to enable UCC achieve its goals and reduce its Carbon footprint. In 2011 UCC became the first third level institution worldwide to achieve the ISO 50001 standard for Energy Management Systems. It has a long track record in energy management and has been particularly successful in winning grant support from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to support energy saving initiatives.
Procurement and Contracts
UCC by its nature procures a large amount of goods and services, and the environmental and wider sustainability implications of such expenditure can be significant. This is a great opportunity for the University to reduce the negative impacts of its purchasing decisions by implementing a systematic green or sustainable procurement policy and process.
Commuting and Business Travel
Aware of the sustainability implications of its ca. 18,000 students and 2,500 staff commuting to the University, UCC has developed a comprehensive Commuter Plan. Led by a dedicated Commuter Plan Manager, this plan provides for active car park management and for alternative modes of travel are to be systematically addressed, facilitated and promoted. The plan is updated and informed by regular commuting surveys.