Our Place, Our Footprint

UCC community members bearing placards and signs protest for action on climate change and for a sustainable future

Our Place, Our Footprint

Goal Owners

  • Associate Vice President for Sustainability
  • Sustainability Officer
  • Director of Buildings and Estates
  • Director of IT Services

5.1 Develop innovative sustainability solutions for local, national, regional and global impact, and embed sustainability into education, research, operations and recognition initiatives for staff and students.

  1. Adopt and implement UCC’s Sustainability and Climate Action Plan, supported by a new Office of Sustainability and Climate Action, to deliver our zero-waste and carbon-neutral targets and to ensure our learning, teaching, research and operations lead and inspire the transition to a more sustainable future.
  2. Provide leadership and innovative solutions in our region for more globally sustainable industry, enterprise and healthcare systems (Pharma, Chemical, Food, Fintech, Information Technology and Life Sciences).
  3. Develop our position as thought leaders for sustainability internationally.
  4. Develop a sustainability module for all staff and students and make it available nationally and internationally.

5.2 Work with local and national bodies to optimise and improve infrastructure, space and unique assets to generate value for UCC and Cork as a destination.

  1. Position UCC as a tourism and cultural heritage destination for the region. A new campus visitor engagement model and the development of the UCC Treasures Gallery will maximise the availability of UCC’s assets to the public.
  2. Revitalise the Granary Theatre and its immediate environment to advance our vision for a Creative Hub.

5.3 Enhance our digitally connected campus to enable greater innovation, agility and excellence, transforming how we work and learn.

  1. Develop a smart, connected and sustainable campus, including services that enable the future of work and learning, by enhancing the unique on-campus and hybrid experience of staff, students and visitors.
  2. Deliver the University’s Digital Masterplan and associated project commitments across our strategic goals and enablers.
  3. Support the digital transformation of administration processes across the professional services by automating processes, reducing duplication and enhancing efficiency.

5.4 Develop our capital programme informed by the UCC Campus Masterplan and our carbon-neutral goals, where existing buildings and grounds are optimised.

  1. Deliver on key capital development projects including the Cork University Business School building, a new Dental School and Hospital, a new Clinical Medical School, clinical facilities on partner clinical sites, the expansion of the Tyndall National Institute, the refurbishment of the Kane Science Building and enhanced infrastructure for the North Mall campus.
  2. Advance UCC’s overall targeted capital development programme, focusing on improved sports facilities, student accommodation and priority projects in line with the UCC Campus Masterplan.
  3. Continue to invest in the university estate in a systematic manner to improve the overall condition of our buildings and supporting infrastructure. Sub-standard facilities will be prioritised.

5.5 Reimagine ways of working by capitalising on opportunities in our physical and digital environments.

  1. Proactively manage a blended working environment.
  2. Provide innovative and inclusive teaching spaces to meet the evolving learning and teaching expectations of students and staff.
  3. Optimise the use of UCC facilities across the year. This will include a space audit to identify how space can be reconfigured for better use and improved student-facing services.

About Goal Five: Our Place, Our Footprint

Radically reform our practices and use of space and technology to meet our ambitious sustainability and climate action goals. 

UCC’s physical campus provides a unique environment of historic and modern buildings and landscapes which inspire and support our students, staff and visitors. Our digital campus provides the space, tools and technology to work, research, teach and learn in sustainable, agile and inclusive ways. Together, our physical and digital spaces create opportunities for local, national and international community-building, communication and collaboration, which are central to all of our goals and core values.

We aim to provide world-class facilities to support the academic mission of our 21st-century campus, which provides flexible and inclusive teaching, learning and research facilities. We will build on our digital capability and excellence to enable a more agile, responsive institution that is ready for the rapid pace of change in the digital age. New, refurbished and revitalised physical facilities and services will enhance the working and learning environment for staff and students and attract visitors and guests to engage with the University.

The new Office of Sustainability and Climate Action will ensure that the imperative of sustainability underpins all plans and actions to reimagine and reform our work practices and physical and digital spaces by 2028. We will continue our journey of carbon reduction to achieve our public sector 2030 target and move towards a net zero carbon impact by 2040. This will involve an ambitious, targeted programme of capital development and refurbishment of the existing physical and digital estate, complemented by new or reformed working, learning and teaching practices and recognition initiatives and supports. We will set the standard for developing and  implementing innovative sustainability solutions and will exemplify the behaviours and values we want to instil in wider society.

Key measures of success for this goal will include achieving the STARS platinum accreditation from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher
Education. We will achieve 51% absolute carbon reduction by 2030, an annual net finance surplus of 3% and we will grow net assets by 1% annually. Additional
measures of success will be developed in the early stages of implementation.

President's Office

Oifig an Uachtaráin

East Wing, Main Quadrangle, Western Road , Cork T12 K8AF