Log In
  • 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
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.75 / 4.00 John O'Halloran
Deputy President and Registrar
Office of the Deputy President and Registrar
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :
Yes

A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:

UCC's Strategic Plan 2017-2022 lists sustainability as one of of 8 key qualities the institution wishes to affirm in it's students and staff. It also highlights the role of the SDGs in guiding our research strategy and specifies the university's committment to delivering on the objectives of the university's sustainability strategy.


A copy of the strategic plan:
---

The website URL where the strategic plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a published sustainability plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
Yes

A copy of the sustainability plan:
---

The website URL where the sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a published climate action plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
No

A copy of the climate action plan:
---

The website URL where the climate action plan is publicly available:
---

Does the institution have other published plans that address sustainability or include measurable sustainability objectives (e.g. campus master plan, physical campus plan, diversity plan, human resources plan)? :
Yes

A list of other published plans that address sustainability, including public website URLs (if available):

Community Engagement Plan specifically mentions Green Campus and the Sustainable Development Goals https://www.ucc.ie/en/media/centralmedia/UCC_Civic_Engage_2017a.pdf
UCC's new academic strategy (to be published in 2018) specifically addresses the Sustainable Development Goals https://www.ucc.ie/en/registrar/academicstrategyimplementation/
Glucksman Gallery Strategic Plan (2018-2022) - http://www.glucksman.org/content/files/Files_Policies/GLUCKSMAN_StrategicPlan2018.pdf
Athena Swan Action Plan (2016-2019) - https://www.ucc.ie/en/media/aboutucc/presidentx27soffice/athenaswan/asdocuments/ACTIONPLAN.pdf


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum and the published plans in which each objective is included:

UCC Sustainability Strategy
• To understand and document the environmental or sustainability content of
current academic programmes and curriculum;
• To promote, increase and raise awareness of current programmes with
environmental or sustainability content across all four colleges;
• To encourage the active participation in non-formal sustainability education in
particular the Green Campus initiative;
• To encourage and support the development of sustainability literacy within
teaching and learning;
• To capitalise on the diverse nature of student population to increase students’
knowledge of global sustainability issues;
• Where appropriate, sustainability to be taken into account in discussions
leading to course approval.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Research?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Research and the published plans in which each objective is included:

UCC Sustainability Strategy
• To encourage research and innovation in the sustainability area;
• To promote and facilitate transdisciplinarity in sustainability research;
• To encourage and promote networking on sustainability across the University’s
colleges;
• To continue and enhance the strong links between University operational units
and academic and research units;
• To encourage researchers in sustainability domains to make greater use of the
University’s infrastructure and community for research;
• To capture and record details of University research projects with
environmental or sustainability objectives;
• To promote, increase and raise awareness of current research that delivers
environmental or sustainability objectives across all four colleges.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement and the published plans in which each objective is included:

UCC Sustainability Strategy
• To increase awareness and facilitate greater engagement of the University’s
students and staff on sustainability issues;
• To encourage, support and promote initiatives for students and staff to take
responsible environmental and sustainability actions through behavioural and
practice change;
• To retain the University’s ‘Green Flag’ and maintain its position as a leader in
the Green Campus community;
• To maintain and improve the University’s position in the world Green Metrics
and/or other sustainability rankings systems for Higher Level Institutes;
• To facilitate and support voluntary student and staff environmental and
sustainability relevant organisations and initiatives;
• To further engage with the Students Union, the Societies Guild and individual
societies around this issue.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement and the published plans in which each objective is included:

UCC Civic Engagement Plan
UCC will develop a best practice civic and community engagement physical and governance infrastructure, with dedicated support roles.
We will capture, disseminate and communicate our engagement activity to a high standard and to a broad audience.
We will proactively engage in Community Based Research, learning and volunteerism, to deliver social, cultural and policy relevant impact.
Deepen our presence in community, emphasising strengths, reciprocity and mutuality.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate and the published plans in which each objective is included:

UCC Sustainability Strategy
To prioritise the use of low carbon energy sources and effectively utilise
efficient products and services;
• To periodically measure and track the University’s greenhouse gas inventory or
‘carbon footprint’ including both direct and indirect emissions;
• To develop and implement a comprehensive University carbon management
plan including a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and
investigate the possible opportunities of carbon sinking;
• To lead in development and on-site demonstration of cutting-edge
technologies and systems for renewable energy generation


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings and the published plans in which each objective is included:

A key overarching objective of the UCC Sustainability Strategy is "To minimise the local, regional and global environmental impacts of our educational, research, operations and infrastructural development".
The university's overall Strategic Plan also commits to "Implement UCC’s Sustainability Strategy 2016 to increase sustainability by making sustainability goals, targets and implementation plans part of the university’s educational, research, ancillary operations, infrastructural development and interactions with the community. By doing so, maintain and improve our position as one of the greenest universities in the world."


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy and the published plans in which each objective is included:

UCC Sustainability Strategy
• To comply with legal requirements as regards energy use;
• To optimise energy use: continuously improve energy performance and
systems; reduce consumption 3% year on year and by 33% by 2020 with a
baseline of 2006-08;
• To lead in development and on-site demonstration of cutting-edge
technologies and systems for renewable energy generation, energy efficiency,


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining and the published plans in which each objective is included:

UCC Sustainability Strategy
• To encourage an informed attitude to sustainable food options and the place
of food in staff and students’ life;
• To promote the consumption of healthier and more sustainable food options in
campus outlets and in the University community’s home life;
• To contribute to advancing the food, health and well-being in relation to
sustainability agenda nationally and within academic discourse.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds and the published plans in which each objective is included:

UCC Sustainability Strategy
• To provide for maintenance of grounds in a manner that is in keeping with
the needs of a University of the stature of UCC, but also mindful of the role as
custodians of the campus for future generations;
• To continue to manage our grounds with due regard to the environment,
e.g., minimising use of herbicides and pesticides; using onsite compost in
preference to artificial fertiliser or purchase compost; planning and conducting
all works in a manner which consider habitats requiring protection;
• To assess, maintain and increase the biodiversity of our campus; including
identifying and characterising wildlife habitats, significant species and
significant trees;
• To protect and enhance our key natural resources, particularly in relation to
priority habitats and species;
• To promote and facilitate social and physical access to these resources, and
raise awareness of the associated ecosystem, biodiversity, heritage, social and
health related values;
• To sympathetically integrate our natural resources into the everyday use and
enjoyment of the Campus and wider Community;
• To promote and enhance the use of our natural resources in teaching
and learning and research on sustainability as well as in everyday use and
recreation;
• To engage and foster partnership with local authorities and community
groups to integrate, link and create a network of natural heritage and resource
areas for the benefit and use of the campus and wider community and the
maintenance and improvement of ecosystem services.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing and the published plans in which each objective is included:

UCC Sustainability Strategy
• To develop a sustainable/green procurement policy and process, and related
guidance to assist drafters of tenders within the University to consider
sustainability criteria at the different stages of the procurement process, including:
– Contract subject matter definition
– Technical Specifications
– Selection Criteria/Exclusion Criteria
– Award Criteria
• To promote green procurement best practice when participating in
procurement consortia;
• To engage with key suppliers to bring about environmental improvements
throughout the supply chain, including:
– Substituting products containing harmful substances
– Consideration of environmental impacts on a life cycle perspective
– Selecting products that meet the requirements of recognised labelling
schemes e.g., EU Ecolabel
• To require contractors and suppliers to achieve environmental management
standards equivalent to certified environmental management systems such as
ISO14001, EMAS;
• To promote where appropriate and practical sustainable buying principles e.g.,
the principles embodied in schemes such as Fairtrade™.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation and the published plans in which each objective is included:

UCC Sustainability Strategy
• To reduce the number of vehicle-kilometres per staff/student;
• To reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with commuting;
• To reduce ‘single user’ car journeys and maximise car-pooling;
• To optimise business travel and reduce associated emissions by promoting
non-travel options and encouraging multi-purpose trips;
• To encourage use of public transport over car use for business travel;
• To promote park and ride services;
• To increase awareness of the sustainable transport options and the impacts of
the potential different modes of transport.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste and the published plans in which each objective is included:

UCC Sustainability Strategy
• To implement best practice approaches to resource and waste management
across the University, through direct implementation in University central
administration and services;
• To propagate best practice within academic/research units through
empowerment, encouragement and provision of appropriate support;
• To conduct periodic waste audits on a rolling basis in different units i.e.,
systematic review of waste streams to identify opportunities to minimise
generation, maximise reuse and recycling and select the most environmental
preferable means of handling residual wastes;
• To maximise onsite composting of, and recovery of nutrients from green waste
generated on the campus grounds;
• To work with the onsite food service providers to investigate the reduction and
efficient management of post-consumer food waste;
• To engage with architects, construction contractors and others to minimise
the amount of waste associated with the design, construction and demolition
of buildings on campus;
• To take a life cycle approach to consideration of waste for large purchases
including capital projects.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Water?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Water and the published plans in which each objective is included:

UCC Sustainability Strategy
• To lead in development and on-site demonstration of cutting-edge
technologies and systems for renewable energy generation, energy efficiency,
water reduction and reuse;
• To develop a water management plan to minimise impact on water resources
including reducing both water consumption and water pollution;
• To explore the reuse of grey water for appropriate applications.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The university's Athena Swan action plan specifically addresses gender, goal 5 of the SDGs. The plan includes actions around unconscious bias training, gender diversity on selection panels and reviewing promotion criteria for female academics.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance and the published plans in which each objective is included:
---

Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Sustainability Strategy
• To ensure support services are in place for students to protect their
psychological wellbeing during this time of change and to make their first
years away from home healthier and more sustainable;
• To facilitate and encourage physical activity as a normal component of
University everyday life;
• To create a greater awareness of the opportunities available to students in
relation to physical and recreational activities;
• To encourage an informed attitude to sustainable food options and the place
of food in staff and students’ life;


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas (e.g. arts and culture or technology)?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Glucksman Gallery Strategic Plan (2018-2022)
• Devise curatorial projects that explore contemporary art as it relates to the three priority strands of our education programme: Health and Wellbeing; Equality and Diversity; Climate Action and Sustainability.


Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body (e.g. a mission statement that specifically includes sustainability and is endorsed by the Board of Trustees)? :
---

The formal statement in support of sustainability:
---

The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):
---

Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter No
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) No
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter Yes
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment No
The Talloires Declaration (TD) Yes
UN Global Compact No
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:

Principles of Responsible Investment.
Campus Engage Charter (Ireland).
Sustainable Solutions Development Network.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
---

Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

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.