UCD Environmental Review

UCD Environmental Review

Towards the attainment of a sustainable, healthy and living campus

As Ireland’s Global University, University College Dublin undertakes world-class teaching and research in areas relating to environmental sustainability including climate change, renewable energy, biodiversity, sustainable transport, waste reduction and recycling. As a large organisation and a community of over 32,000 students and staff, there are also opportunities to put our teaching and research into practice and to endeavour to be an exemplar in the way our campus operates and how we go about our daily lives. The UCD Green Campus initiative seeks to harness the knowledge, energy and motivation of our diverse community of students and staff in order to find ways to work together to improve our campus environment, to make others aware of environmental issues and to promote engagement.

The UCD Environmental Review -2018 was prepared as part of the An Taisce Green Campus programme and provides an overview of progress to date, outlines environmental targets, will be used to identify areas where improvements can be made and sets a baseline upon which improvement can be measured in each of the thematic areas.

Purpose and Sources of Information

The Environmental Baseline Review was developed in order to provide a holistic overview of the management of the University from a number of environmental perspectives. The main purpose of the document is to facilitate the UCD Green Campus initiative, which involves students and staff working together in order to improve the sustainability of the campus, raise awareness and engagement and ultimately achieve the Green Flag for UCD. This document is provided to students and staff who are interested in becoming involved in the Green Campus Committee or those interested in finding out more about environmental sustainability initiatives in the University.

The Environmental Baseline Review aims to:

  • Provide a clear view of the range of the campus’ impacts and establish a baseline in each thematic area.
  • Ensure that significant areas are not overlooked.
  • Identify areas where current practice is good or areas where current practices are lacking.
  • Communicate the impacts to the campus community.
  • Help to prioritise actions to be taken.

The Green Campus Committee has identified several “themes” or areas where projects will be undertaken. These are as follows:

  • Biodiversity
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Sustainable travel

A number of reports, publications and surveys have been developed or are regularly undertaken by Estate Services which have informed this review:

  • UCD Strategic Campus Development Plan 2016-2021-2026
  • UCD Travel Plan 2016-2021-2026
  • UCD Travel Plan Update 2017
  • Annual Energy and Water Review (ISO50001)
  • Annual Commuting Survey
  • UCD Bioblitz (2016)

There have also been various reports completed relating to particular aspects of campus management, for example waste audits, energy audits, cordon surveys (commuting) which have also been used to inform this report.