News and Views
UCC operations commended in international sustainability review
Divesting from fossil fuels, reducing waste by 264 tonnes (the equivalent of 37 elephants!), providing farm to fork food for students and staff and implementing a ‘plastic free’ policy across its campus has led to University College Cork (UCC) being highlighted as world-leading university by an international body in its 2021 Sustainable Campus Index.
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) USA works with universities to encourage operational and investment actions that contribute to a sustainable world. The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) is the transparent, framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. All reports are publicly accessible.
UCC remains Ireland’s leading university for its operational and investment actions that seek to work in a sustainable manner with its communities.
UCC was the first Irish university in Ireland to divest from fossil fuels, runs a dedicated farm to fork programme, reduced waste by 264 tonnes over ten years, and has a plastic free policy on its campus. UCC is also a signatory to the Race to Zero which commits the University to be carbon neutral by no later than 2050 and to publicly report our progress annually.
UCC has also developed a United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal toolkit, which supports staff to future proof their curriculum by embedding sustainability into their teaching practice, placing sustainability at the heart of teaching and learning across campus.
Welcoming the international recognition of sustainability efforts, UCC President Professor John O’Halloran said “ With the recent COP26 summit, it is important that we keep a focus on those actions that will help create a sustainable world. This recognition of UCC highlights the significant progress made on campus in relation to green procurement, fossil fuel divestment and our “Plastic Free UCC” activities. We will continue to embed sustainability in our work, teaching and research so that we can help promote, inspire and lead a shift towards a world that works together with its environment”.