DCU was ranked the 15th greenest university in the world last December, rising 12 ranks since 2016.
GreenMetric is an initiative of Universitas Indonesia, surveying over 600 universities across 76 countries.
In 2017, DCU were in the top 60 universities for energy management and quality of sustainability education, ranking 27th for water conservation and achieving the highest possible score for waste treatment.
However, DCU ranked 156th overall for transportation, down over 100 ranks since last year. This refers to the overall use of environmentally friendly transportation by staff and students.
“Accommodation is so expensive, and so lacking in this local area, that there’s more people driving to campus than actually has been in the past” according to Sustainability Officer Samantha Fahy, saying that many commuters perceive driving as more convenient than taking public transport.
Plans to improve transport services include the expansion of the bus terminus outside The Helix from taking two buses to eight. This is dependent on the planned development of two rapid transit bus routes from Dublin to Whitehall. With an estimated construction date of 2021, dedicated bus corridors would increase the frequency of buses serving DCU as part of BusConnect, an initiative of the National Transport Authority.
The university ranked 216th for setting and infrastructure, down over 10 ranks from 2016. This refers to the total area of DCU’s campuses and buildings, population numbers and available green space. However, this was the first year that the All Hallows and St. Patrick’s campuses were included in the survey. As of writing, GreenMetric have not responded to queries to further clarify their ranking criteria.
DCU was certified with an ISO 50001 for all natural resources last year, referring to an institution’s compliance with European standards of energy management. Projects, such as fitting the Helix multi-storey with light sensitive LEDs, fixing major leaks across campuses and installing a new gas main in the All Hallows campus, were prioritised with energy and cost efficiency in mind, according to Estates Officer Richard Kelly.
“DCU are seen as one of the leaders in energy efficiency in the country” said Kelly.
“We’ve virtually hit our 33 per cent (energy use reduction) targets for 2020, hopefully we’ll surpass them… we are an exemplar.”