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Office of the Chief Operations Officer

Sustainable Campus

Demonstrate on campus innovative schemes to embed sustainable measures across campus that will provide financial savings while also reducing our carbon footprint.

DCU has been striving to gain efficiencies and reduce operational costs and our impact on natural resources and adopt sustainable practices in areas of energy consumption, water usage, biodiversity enhancement and waste generation. More recently areas of green procurement and campus associated transport have been receiving attention in the promotion of sustainable practices.

EnergyWaterWaste - 2011
  • Focus on efficiency
  • Cross campus engagement
  • 33% red by 2020
  • Full audit of ring main
  • Grey water inclusion in new builds
  • €200k per annum
  •  Reduce waste to landfill
  • Reduce paper waste
  • 40 gardens
  • Allotments
  • Community Garden
  • Car pooling
  • DCU bicycles
  • Transport Map
  • Green Procurement

DCU is a registered participant of the national Green Campus programme, run by An Taisce and The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). FEE is a non-government, non-profit organisation that operates globally promoting sustainable development through environmental education. An Taisce is the national operator of all FEE programmes in Ireland. In its initial phase DCU is targeting Energy, Waste and Biodiversity. Baseline reports and action plans are under development for implementation in the academic year 2012/2013. This programme engages across the DCU student and staff population and involved strong interaction with local Community through the development of on campus community gardens & allotments and expert seminar series.


DCU’s Green Committees Green Charter

The Green Committee at Dublin City University, made up of volunteer staff and students, believes in a sustainable future that provides the fair and equitable balance that is needed to share the earth’s resources between all its inhabitants while working toward reducing our carbon emissions. It is an enormous task that we must all tackle together.

Our Green Committee is committed to

  • embedding sustainable practices across our University
  • informing and educating other within the DCU Community about importance of sustainability and why we need to create a more sustainable future
  • informing and educating other within DCU on what they can do to have a positive impact both on and off campus
  • informing and educating our wider community, including family and friends about importance of sustainability and why we need to create a more sustainable future
  • informing and educating our wider community, including family and friends about what they can do to have a positive impact the sustainability of our planet


Specifically in 2013/2014 we are focusing on


  • Raise awareness of energy consumption by Students, Staff and Vistors
  • Reduce energy consumption on campus in conjunction with Estates workprogramme


  • Reduce consumption
  • Treat as a valuable resource


  • The DCU sustainability committee together with the Dublin City Council and the DCU environmental society are partaking in the litter awareness campaign . Once every three weeks members will be cleaning up a street in a bid to both reduce litter and create awareness of waste in the local community. 
  • Together with WEEE Ireland, the waste committee are holding a one day collection of electrical and battery waste within DCU’s main campus. Students staff and the wider community can take part in this event in which we hope to encourage people to recycle their electrical items and correctly dispose of them.


  • Increase awareness of the importance of biodiversity
  • Create a biodiversity database
  • Increase biodiversity on campus through tree planting events


  • In order to reach our goal, we decided to take it step by step. There are so many projects listed for transport. At the moment, with the support of SU, DCU is taking part in Smarter Travel Campus' Marchathon Challenge from 3rd-7th of March. Green Committee also run a Rediscovery Bicycle Workshop every month which also falls on our Greenday. 





How you can make a difference



  • Insulate your home
  • Last out – lights out
  • Turn off heaters before opening windows
  • Lower your thermostat
  • Use a clothes line/rack to dry clothes
  • Use energy saving light bulbs
  • Turn off and unplug for energy savings and safety


  • Shorten your showers by at least a minute.
  • Only boil the water you need.
  • Try not to run the tap.
  • Fix drips
  • Harvest rain water for garden use


  • Bring you own Mug – many paper coffee cups are NOT recyclable - Many coffee places in Dublin will give you a discount (DCU 10%) when you bring your own mug.
  • Reduce food waste – 50% of all food produced is wasted!  Only get what you need.
  • Stop using plastic bags. Bring your own reusable shopping bags with you wherever you go.  
  • Recycle more – not just in the kitchen at home.
  • Avoid plastic bottled water - carry a refillable bottle instead – there is a map of potable water points on https://www.facebook.com/sustainabilitydcu (include new points if you find them !)
  • Reduce your printing - Print Double-sided if necessary.
  • Use recycled paper for brochures/flyers etc
  • Run digital poster campaigns NOT paper posters
  • Use refills rather than buying new each time.
  • Be conscious of packaging and where possible leave unnecessary packaging in the shop to encourage them to reduce it.
  • Reuse unrecyclable material - Check out the Rediscovery Centre (http://www.rediscoverycentre.ie/) for bicycles, fashion, furniture, paint and lots more
  • Reduce Meat Consumption – Support Meat Free Mondays


  • Start your own vegetable patch either at home or in the DCU Community Garden
  • Make the switch to natural cleaning products.
  • Know your own environment and its inherent ecosystems.
  • Volunteer for at least one environment-related project in your community—maybe a community garden workday or a beach cleanup
  • Think about the source of your projects – environmentally and ethically
  • Shop local and in season
  • Plant a tree


  • Walk/Cycle to work/school/college for a healthier environment for all
  • Use/Promote public transport options
  • Think before you jump in the car – is the alternative healthier and cheaper for you.
  • Consider the carbon footprint of your air travel – is teleconference a reasonable option (http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx)
  • Holiday in Ireland


  • Understand the impact of our actions – sustainable development is our only way forward – understand your impact and role.


If you have more suggestion please send them to sustainability@dcu.ie and we can add them to the list.