University College Cork has become the first third-level institution outside the US to get a major Sustainability accolade.
The gold star rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) means UCC now joins Princeton, Cornell and UC Berkeley in getting the Gold ‘Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System’ (STARS) for excellence in sustainability.
It comes after UCC became the first university in the world to be awarded a Green Flag from the Foundation of Environmental Education initially in 2007.
UCC Deputy President and Registrar Professor John O’Halloran said: “We are thrilled that we have received this accolade for our student-led, research-informed, practice focussed sustainability agenda at UCC.
“This accolade speaks to the priority UCC places on sustainability to enable our students and staff meet the global challenges of the 21st century.”
AASHE’s STARS programme assesses 800 institutions in 30 countries across academics, engagement, operations and governance.
It includes direct operational impact on the environment, how sustainable development is included in teaching and research activities, and an institution’s performance in regard to equality and well-being of staff and students.
The university has other environmental initiatives including the Green Library campaign, a single-use disposable free café and a pollinator strategy with several beehives on campus.