UCC moves up to sixth place in global environmental ranking

University College Cork (UCC) is ranked today as one of the most environmentally friendly universities in the world, according to an assessment of 1183 third-level institutions, across 85 countries.

UCC has been placed 6th in the world in the UI Greenmetric World University Ranking which was announced today at COP28 in Dubai.

The educational, research and operational activities of institutions across are examined and UCC has risen one place from last year’s ranking. 

The UI GreenMetric World University Ranking was set up in 2010 and examines universities around the world and their work towards reducing their carbon footprint and helping combat climate change. UCC has been consistently inside the top 12 in the world since inception and inside the top 10 for the past seven years in a row. UCC continues to lead the Irish universities in this ranking.  

“We highlight these rankings to inspire action” states Professor John O’Halloran, President of UCC. “It is incumbent on universities to lead and inspire the change we want to see in the world. The way we operate has changed significantly over the years and the passion of our students and staff have driven that change.”

University College Cork (UCC) is aiming to become a zero-waste campus by 2030 and a carbon neutral campus by 2040. The university has launched a five-year plan, setting out 62 actions that it says it is committing to undertaking to reduce its environmental footprint. UCC  went plastic free on campus in 2023, eliminating the waste of 1 million paper cups.

Dr Maria Kirrane, UCC’s Head of Sustainability and Climate Action added “This ranking is a fitting recognition of the efforts being made across campus to reduce our environmental impact.”

Mark Poland, Director of Building and Estates stated “throughout our operations there is a constant focus on our impact on the environment and this work is in recognition of this team effort.”

UCC aims to make every student aware of sustainable development through both formal and informal learning. UCC has a University Wide Module on Sustainability and all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are covered within its curriculum. 15% of all researchers in UCC are engaged in research that is directly related to the SDGs.