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 one of the greenest, smartest and healthiest campuses in the world. 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 20 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.

CUSP is developing an engaging, inclusive and holistic Sustainability Initiative for NUI Galway and its communities. The Sustainability Initiative will adopt a ‘Learn-Live-Lead’ model (inspired by international best practice), where: the University builds on its core strengths in teaching and research to learn about the environment and new techniques; analyses campus operations, building performance and user habits to live more sustainably; and connects to the broader community and other institutions to lead by example.

The Sustainability Initiative will incorporate an extensive engagement process whereby views of the university and wider community on the campus environment will be obtained to contribute to the development of a Sustainability Strategy and Implementation Plan for NUI Galway. It is envisaged that the Sustainability Initiative will develop extensive linkages with other internal and external organisations and initiatives (including Saolta University Healthcare Group, Green Campus) as part of a cross-University drive towards engaged, student-led, community-linked experiences.

Achieving our sustainability vision depends on engaging inspiring and involving the entire campus community. To engage inspire and involve we must first learn what motivates people and how best sustainability can be built into their lives. The sustainability initiative will benefit from having the widest range of views and most comprehensive information on all issues. Please contact us with your ideas on sustainability, how the campus could be improved and any projects, modules or events that we should highlight.