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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.39
Liaison Maria Kirrane
Submission Date July 20, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University College Cork - National University of Ireland, Cork
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Maria Kirrane
Sustainability Officer
Office of the Director of Buildings and Estates
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

The Green Campus committee is a student and staff committee that runs campaigns and projects around sustainability on campus. The committee has representation from the Student's Union and the UCC Environmental Society.
The Environmental Society runs numerous activities throughout the year focused on environment and sustainability.
The International Development Society works closely with the Centre for Global Development in UCC to run campaigns around global sustainability.
The UCC Community Garden is a student group that run a community garden on campus, the garden houses three polytunnels and the group run various courses and training events on growing your own food.
The Young Greens are a political society focused on environmental issues.
UCC Enactus Society run entrepreneurial projects aimed at social improvements both locally and globally. Projects have included engaging the elderly to with GIY initiatives.
Other student groups with sustainability themes include Archaeology, Engineers without Borders, Macra na Feirme, and STAR Society.


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

The UCC Community Garden has been in existence for ten years. The garden is just next the the main UCC Campus site and holds three polytunnels, where students and staff can congregate to grow their own food. The gardens host parties and training activities throughout the year that are open to all students.


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
No

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:
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The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
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Does the institution have sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

The student groups listed above undertake numerous events each year, including speaker series and symposia. In the last year these have included:
- UCC Climate Conference - hosted by the Environmental Society with support from the Environmental Research Institute. The conference featured keynotes and panel discussions from academics and practitioners and was aimed at students https://greennews.ie/climate-conference-cork-experts-climate-issues/
- Economy for the common good workshop organised by UCC Environmental Society - https://www.facebook.com/events/361647634335384/
- Water Talks - an interdisciplinary lecture series co-sponsored by UCC Centre for Global Development and UN Environment GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre - https://www.ucc.ie/en/gemscdc/wwd/watertalks/
UCC Climate Lab - features guest lectures throughout the year, some of which areaimed at research staff, others at the general public and others at students https://www.ucc.ie/en/climatelab/news/


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
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Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

The Glucksman Gallery in UCC hosts numerous exhibitions themed around environmental and sustainability, which are open to all members of the campus community, including students. One example is the "Making Waves" exhibition, featured in October 2017 - https://www.facebook.com/events/130737057508018/
In April 2018, UCC library "green team" created a installation of a wave that was made by collecting all of the plastic bottles from the bins in the library over the course of a week. The installation was accompanied by a petition from students to declare that they are "sick of plastic" - https://twitter.com/UCCLibrary/status/988795144290922497
In Autumn 2016 UCC hosted the 8*8 festival, an event run nationally in Ireland by Stand. The event brings award-winning photography and film to campuses across Ireland every autumn, it is a festival run by students, for students - https://www.facebook.com/events/1203586546355484/


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
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Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
Yes

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The UCC Mountaineering Club organises regular hikes for students throughout term time. The Club follows and promotes the "Mountaineering Ireland" guidelines on safety and environmental responsibility while in the mountains.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
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The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
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Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

UCC's student residential services prepare a rent book for students that contains information on waste reduction and segregation and energy saving tips. The Student Switch-Off competition also teaches students how to be more environmentally friendly in their day to day lives.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

Through the "UCC Works" programme, the Buildings and Estates office have taken on interns to work on Green Campus over the last number of years. The interns work a minimum of 40 hours on the programme, undertaking projects in the areas of transportation, carbon footprinting, engagement and communications. The students produce a reflective report at the end of the internship and receive a certificate as part of the overall "UCC Works" end of year ceremony.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledges:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
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Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
Yes

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

The intervarsity BioBlitz is a national programme that was started by UCC students with the help of An Taisce and the National Biodiversity Data Centre. The BioBlitz is a 24 hour race between campuses to measure all the species of plants and animals present. Database training is provided to students by the NBDC, and experts are on hand throughout the day to help with ID skills. The event is open to all students and a key outcome is introducing these students to skills of species identification. UCC's last BioBlitz was held in 2016.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.