Sustainability 2020-2021

The launch of DCU's Climate Action Plan was one of a range of activities designed to make the University more sustainable

Climate Change represents the greatest global challenge of our age, with major implications for almost every aspect of life and society. DCU understands its responsibilities with regard to making an impact on this issue, whether in terms of research, operations or teaching and learning. 

In September, Dublin City University launched its Climate Action Plan 2021-2026 - an ambitious blueprint for sustainability that builds on the leadership that the University has already demonstrated in this area. Under the plan, DCU commits to making radical changes across all its activities in order to reach ambitious ‘Zero Carbon’ targets. Practical measures to help achieve this include campaigns to drive reductions in energy consumption by staff and students. 

Sustainability is increasingly built into DCU’s curriculum. For example, DCU has developed a challenge-based module for students in the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU) called Carbon-intensive regions in transition which asks how the Irish Midlands can pivot from reliance on fossil fuel energy production.

The University’s sustainability credentials received a welcome affirmation this year, when DCU won a Green Award for substantially reducing water consumption. Meanwhile, DCU’s Water Institute continues to conduct invaluable research into water quality and water sources including the annual Water Blitz. The Institute’s output this year included a paper, co-authored with SFI Insight, that highlights the Importance of citizen scientists in monitoring water quality.

Transport is a major contributor to global emissions and here too, DCU is playing a part, with initiatives such as a new e-Scooter trial on the Glasnevin campus, which represents the world's first academic-industry computer vision research partnership. Meanwhile, DCU participated in Ireland’s first ever zero emissions hydrogen bus trial, in partnership with a range of stakeholders.