Why we need to change
The time to change is now
The climate and biodiversity crisis is real and immediate, and we need fundamental systemic change to address it. We must act urgently to safeguard a sustainable future for humanity and all life on our planet. There are many ways we can play our part, both as individuals and particularly as an institution.
Explore our site to discover more about DCU’s concerted work to meet the carbon neutral challenge, learn how you can join in to combat climate change and biodiversity loss and find all of our useful resources.
Transforming how we study, work and live
What is sustainability?
Sustainability is no longer a nice-to-have or a ‘green’ optional extra. It’s about the future of humanity and the pressing need for both individual change and, more importantly, system change.
Resources: Every day, each of us consumes resources, including the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the fuel to power our cars, and the electricity that lights our homes and offices. These resources are grown or manufactured from natural materials. Some are renewable, meaning they replenish themselves, but many are finite.
Emissions: The bigger issue? Manufacturing and consuming these resources causes greenhouse gasses (GHG), including carbon dioxide (CO2) to be emitted. Over the past century, CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalence is the combined impact of all GHG emissions) levels in our atmosphere have grown exponentially. This increased level of CO2e is causing our climate system to change.
Biodiversity: Climate change is not the only impact we are having on our planet. Our actions are directly impacting the natural environment, upon which all life on earth depends. Our overexploitation of natural resources and pollution of ecosystems contribute to biodiversity loss. That process is being exacerbated by climate change.
Sustainability involves striving to share the earth’s resources between all its inhabitants, us now and our children and grandchildren in future generations, in a fair and just way while working toward reducing our carbon emissions to zero. We cannot move to a Sustainable world without balancing all the pillars that support Sustainability: society, economy and environment. It is an enormous task that we must all tackle together.
A vital force in Ireland and the world
Sustainability is now a vital consideration underpinning everything we do at DCU. As a university, we must look to the future as we educate the next generations for the coming forty/fifty years of their lives, we are determined to make radical changes to how we educate and operate, and equally committed to leading, inspiring and collaborating with others to protect our planet and forge our sustainable future.
From teaching and learning, to research, development and innovation, and throughout our operations, we have pledged to make sustainable choices and continue to hold ourselves accountable.
Empowering our staff, and students and society
At DCU, we are committed to ensuring our graduates are equipped to be global citizens, inspired and empowered to take the actions necessary for a sustainable future. We seek to ensure, for example, that a competency in sustainability is built in across all units and schools of the university. In turn our staff and students engage in and with our society at all levels engaging and informing the general public, providing evidence and courage to our industrial and political leaders supporting all to make the necessary changes to make this challenge.
On a practical level, we insist on a sustainability-first approach, so that consideration of climate change and our carbon emissions underpins everything we do.
To support everyone on campus in the choices they make around sustainability, this website offers multiple practical tips, useful resources and project guidelines.