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2014 Press Releases

UCC 2nd in green global rankings

20 Jan 2014

UCC’s approach to sustainability has seen it climb to 2nd place in the Universitas Indonesia (UI) Greenmetric World University Rankings – the story was an instant hit on social media.

UCC has improved on its previous position of 3rd place despite a packed field of 301 global competitors. University of Notthingham is ranked in 1st place while Northeastern University in the US changed places with UCC, moving to 3rd place.

Other Irish institutions feature on the list, including University of Limerick (29th), Dublin City University (46th), Queens University Belfast (61), Trinity College Dublin (97) and Dublin Institute of Technology (157). International universities that make the cut include the University of California, Berkeley (14th), University of Melbourne (18th) and Boston University (59th).

Now in its fourth year, the ranking system, which compares the efforts of universities worldwide towards campus sustainability and environment friendly university management, has again seen a marked increase in entries with 301 universities across 61 countries taking part. (A full ranking list available here: )

It is the second increase in a row for UCC, with a 4th place ranking two years ago and it again reaffirms the ongoing commitment towards reducing its environmental impact and remaining a sustainable campus. UCC also retains its 2nd place position in world ranking for a university in an urban campus setting.  

Ranking categories included setting and infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste management, water usage, transportation and education.

President of UCC, Dr Michael Murphy comments: “On behalf of University College Cork, I am delighted that our green credentials have again been recognised and that we are now ranked as one of the top two institutions worldwide. The result is a wonderful acknowledgement of the approach taken by UCC and our community of independent thinkers in the area of sustainability and will serve to drive us on even further. This is a great start to 2014”.

UCC has been continuously recognised for its work in the area of campus sustainability over the last number of years. It became the world’s first Green Flag Campus for third level institutions in 2010, awarded by An Taisce and the Foundation for Environmental Education, an accolade that was renewed in April 2013. Student buy-in from the outset has been pivotal to the success of UCC’s Green Campus programme, inspiring “The student led, research informed and practice focused’ mission of our green agenda”, according to Professor John O’Halloran, Head of School of Biological earth and Environmental Sciences. “This mission is underpinned by over 30 courses offered in the area of sustainability, a three year research spend of over €55m and over 800 scholarly publications published in 2012”.  

UCC won an Excellence in Environment award at the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards 2013 held by Chambers Ireland in Dublin. UCC also joined forces with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland in November 2012, under its Public Sector Energy Partnership programme. This sees UCC take the lead in contributing to valuable and sustainable energy savings towards the national energy efficiency target of 33% for 2020.

UCC is also accredited as the world’s first third-level institution to be awarded the IS0 50001 standard in energy management. ISO 50001 enables organisations to establish the systems and processes necessary to improve energy performance, including energy efficiency, use and consumption.

UCC’s commitment to environmental citizenship continues and further details can be found at or see the following video:


University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF