Our research approach

Sustainability in research, development and innovation

As a leading Irish university known for excellence in research and innovation, DCU recognises its responsibility to show leadership and promote sustainability research, development and innovation. We are committed to promoting and supporting sustainability research across the university.

We seek to ensure sustainability is a key pillar of all research work conducted on our campuses and also encourage the use of our campuses as living labs to experiment with and showcase sustainability solutions. 


Research funding and networks

To this end, we are working to increase both the number of researchers working in this area and the level of research income available. That includes identifying sources of funding dedicated to addressing sustainability challenges and bringing these to the attention of relevant researchers.

We are also fostering and supporting researchers as they address sustainability issues through DCU’s engagement in national and international sustainability-focused networks such as:


DCU Green Labs

Laboratories have a significant negative environmental impact. They consume large quantities of direct energy, both thermal and electrical, running low temperature freezers, fume hoods, autoclaves, and other equipment.  Many labs use chemicals like mercury and ethidium bromide that can be harmful and consume a huge quantity of single-use plastics and often waste a lot of water. Since lab work cannot be done remotely, there are also significant transport emissions associated with getting everyone to and from the lab.

This Green Lab Guide builds on work done by many other people in other universities including in particular Trinity College Dublin who produced the first version of the Green Lab Guide.  We have also drawn on best practice resources developed in other institutions such as the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (https://tyndall.ac.uk/).  However, the challenges and the required actions are ever evolving, and we have only limited resources and so you might well have identified better ‘best practice’ and if so we would be very grateful if you could email your suggestions to sustainability@dcu.ie and we will aim to include these in our next edition.