Irish Third Level Institutions

Maynooth University 

Maynooth (among other Irish Universities) participate in the 'green campus' project, attempting to reduce energy consumption and encourage biodiversity on university campuses, and ensuring new buildings are built to be sustainable. For more details see the Green Campus website. 

University College Dublin (UCD)

Ireland's largest University - UCD - is striving to maintain and enhance the environment in which its population interact every day. Through their Campus Development Plan they have set a number of aims and goals to help provide a sustainable, healthy, and living Belfield campus. This is not easy though with over 25,000 students, staff and visitors using the Belfield Campus daily.

The campus has a Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) team that aims to educate students and staff on sustainable energy practices and research with regards to reducing local carbon emissions. The team aims to promote communication and knowledge transfer to the UCD community via social media, technology appliances across the campus and networking events.

The SEC is divided into four sections that include:

Building services


Research and Funding

Dissemination and Outreach

For further information on the SEC please click here.

  • The Built Environment

The Roebuck Castle Student Residences are certified Passive House, which were constructed in recent years on the UCD campus. Similarily, the UCD O’Brien Centre for Science is rated BREEAM Excellent (the world's leading sustainability assessment method for master planning projects), another first for an educational building in Ireland. All new buildings on the UCD campus are now being designed to Near Zero Energy Building (NZEB) standard.

  • Transport

Increased engagement with Dublin Bus as well as the provision of new bus terminus and bus parking facilities designed to promote greater use of public transport has been achieved. Additionally, initiatives such as the ‘UCD to DART shuttle bus’, improved cycle parking facilities and the introduction of managed parking on-campus have all improved the sustainability of the campus.

  • General Environment

UCD established a Landscape Strategy to maintain and enhance the University’s biodiversity. This strategy resulted in the creation of over 8km of running, walking and cycling tracks as well as cross-country woodland paths in recent years. These tracks are surrounded by 18th and 19th century trees that form the natural boundaries of the college.

The university has also identified ecological resources on site as part of their ongoing biodiversity and tree management programme. These resources include various flora and fauna, landscapes and ecosystems. Furthermore, a biodiversity trail has been developed with way finding signage to inform students, staff and visitors of the natural resources found on campus.

The UCD Strategic Campus Development Plan 2016- 2021-2026 promotes a sustainable, healthy and living campus community. This plan aims to support and promote a coherent and integrated green infrastructure campus network (UCD, 2016). Such measures will enhance biodiversity, improve the sustainable management of water and provide open green spaces for sport and recreation.

For more information on UCDs progress on sustainability please see the 2019 UCD Environmental Baseline Review here.

TU Dublin

Situated in the heart of Dublin City, TU Dublin have strived to create a sustainable existence. A research team in the college aim to link Irish and European organisations and academics with TU Dublin staff interested in issues relating to sustainability. This is the first step by the TU Dublin Sustainability Group to share ideas on the topic. In contrast to UCD, which has a very practical sustainable policy, TU Dublin is leading the field in terms of research and analysis of different types of sustainable living.

  • Building:

A Strategic Energy Management Programme has seen the college produce annual energy savings (6,287,000 kWh) and environmental impact savings (1,967 Tonnes kg CO2). The design of the buildings allow for savings in energy and a reduction in the environmental impact of energy used. TU Dublin's Grangegorman development will have state-of-the-art sustainable theories and practice in place from the planning stage, right through to the site’s completion. It is hoped that by putting sustainability high on the agenda when building the campus, it will filter through to future users. For further information on the Strategic Energy Management Programme please click here.

  • Energy: 

​TU Dublin's energy research is closely linked with the Dublin Energy Lab, which conducts research across a range of disciplines with key research efforts organised into the themes of; electrical power, energy policy, low carbon buildings and solar energy.

  • Environment:

The college's environmental health research includes climate change, air pollution and health.

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