The Community and University Sustainability Project (CUSP) was established in 2015 under the direction of the Registrar and Deputy President and aims to make NUI Galway a top-class, green, smart and healthy campus. The NUI Galway Strategic Plan 2015-2020, Vision 2020 articulates a vision of “creating a sustainable campus where all resources are used efficiently and where facilities are managed and services consolidated as efficiently as possible”. CUSP was established to realise this vision to 2020 and beyond.

The CUSP team is composed of more than 30 members of staff, drawn from a range of University faculties, University services and Galway University Hospitals. CUSP is supported in its mission by the University, Students’ Union, Saolta University Healthcare Group and Galway City Council. CUSP is funded through the Student Projects Fund.

The CUSP Team undertook  a comprehensive and inclusive engagement process during 2016, starting with generating awareness of sustainability, particularly among incoming first year students. A series of workshops and information sessions were organised across the Colleges and at various themed days on campus. These events were attended by approximately 1,000 students. We asked our students to provide initial feedback and ideas on campus sustainability, receiving approximately 1,000 responses.

A draft Sustainability Strategy was developed by the CUSP Team, separating into thematic working groups and drawing on the initial engagement. This draft Strategy was circulated for campus-wide consultation, including delivery of the document to all students and staff by email, and targeted engagement with key stakeholders such as student representatives. We received a wealth of insightful opinions and ideas which were incorporated into a final version of the NUI Galway Sustainability Strategy 2017-2020.

This Strategy sets out a vision of establishing NUI Galway as a leading green, smart and healthy campus. It is the first step in an ambitious vision of a sustainable campus as part of a transition towards a more sustainable community. The successful implementation of this Strategy will ensure that NUI Galway’s reputation around the world is enhanced, that our graduates are valued for their world-readiness, that our research tackles societal challenges, and that our campus will be a role model for sustainability.

 The Strategy outlines objectives and targets for the next three academic years under six themes as part of a Learn-Live-Lead model (see below). Each theme comprises objectives, targets and measures of success for our journey towards sustainability. An annual Sustainability Report will be produced outlining progress against targets. Good governance and continuous engagement with the campus community will ensure the effectiveness of this approach over three years. Approaching 2020, a rigorous process will be undertaken with a view to forming a subsequent 10-year strategy to 2030.

See our mention in the President's Address March 2017 (slide 24)