Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.04
Liaison Thomas Adams
Submission Date July 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

National University of Ireland, Galway
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 2.00 Thomas Adams
Student Researcher
Civil Engineering
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

Three examples of active groups are:
1) NUIG Environmental Society
The primary aim of the society is to promote a more sustainable way of life, both on campus in NUIG and locally. To promote educational environment and promote positive action around the themes of development, climate change, agriculture and food security. They aim to make their society more accessible to undergraduate students. And to promote sustainable living for students by organising themed workshops and inspiring students with creative ideas to reduce their waste through their facebook page.


2) NUIG Energy Society
The goal of the Energy Society is to use fact-based discussion and open collaboration to develop the understanding and awareness of energy production, consumption and its impacts. The society hosts talks related to all aspects of energy, whether technological, economic or social. They foster discussion sessions where members chat about energy research in NUIG and beyond.


3) Young Greens Society
The Young Greens strive to make politics relevant to young people, offering a forum to discuss sustainability policy.


Furthermore, the CUSP team is a multi-disciplinary, voluntary team of over 30 students and staff from across the campus and community partners all working together with the common aim of establishing the university as a leading institutional model for sustainability. The CUSP team operates through a multidisciplinary board - the CUSP General Board. All CUSP General Board members align to a sustainability working group. There are six Sustainability Working Groups organised around six themes of the Learn Live Lead Model. These will be lead by a Environmental Awareness and Sustainability Officer from September 2021.

The Environmental Awareness and Sustainability Officer promotes sustainability and environmental awareness amongst the members of the Union. They are responsible for developing union policy on environmental and sustainability issues. They will liaise with relevant societies and interest groups and will organise relevant events and campaigns to highlight and address environmental and sustainability issues. They shall represent Union members on relevant university committees and chair the Environmental and Sustainability Forum once per semester. Link provides further information https://su.nuigalway.ie/team-member/environmental-awareness-and-sustainability-officer/.

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

NUIG Organic Gardening Society
The Organic Gardening Society was established in 2010 with the aim of developing a space to grow organic fruit and vegetables on campus. A space was allocated at the rear of No.12 Distillery Road. After much clearing and preparation four raised beds were installed as well as a fruit border, composting area and small greenhouse. Members of the society learn to grow their own fruit and vegetables in a sustainable and organic manner. They welcome members of the wider public to participate in the garden as well. Their community of gardeners get the chance to meet like-minded people, enjoy the mental and physical benefits of working in an outdoor space and, of course, enjoy the vegetable-shaped benefits of their labour. This is the first Organic Garden to be set up in an Irish University Campus.


Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

NUIG Enactus Enactus
Enactus NUI Galway is a group of students from a wide variety of disciplines of study, possessing an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for innovation who, alongside the assistance and guidance of NUIGs Business and Faculty Advisory Board, develop sustainable projects within the community with the primary aim of benefitting society.


An Meitheal Rothar is a bicycle cooperative based in NUIG formed by students who repair and sell bicycles. They also provide free, and paid for, training on bike maintenance. They also advocate policy makers and Galway City Council for bike friendly planning, policy and infrastructure.


Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:

NUIG Energy Society host an event every year called "The Galway Energy Summit". It takes place in the Bailey Allen Hall on NUIGs campus. This event connects future leaders with current ones, through the discussion of energy and innovation. Students from all backgrounds are welcome to network with some of Ireland's most innovative companies. The fair brings together various industry experts, companies, start-ups, students and lecturers to one venue. This is the ideal situation for students and other delegates to understand and become more knowledgeable of the work being done in industry. The event commences with a panel discussion. The theme for GES18 was "The Future of Energy in Ireland". A four person panel lead an open discussion on stage. The speakers for the night were Eamon Ryan - Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communication, David Taylor – Chairman of the Energy Institute, 2050 energy in Ireland Calculator creator Clare Duffy - Smart Customer Access and Distribution Planning Manager, ESB Network Dr. David Connolly – Head of Policy, Irish Wind Association Moderator – Shane McDonagh, PhD researcher in UCC and NUIG graduate This was followed by a careers fair which provided students the opportunity to network with industry. Some companies present were ESB, Crowley Carbon Jaguar and Landrover Accenture Enerit and many more. In addition to these companies, start-ups and student society groups attended. This is an all-inclusive networking event for all backgrounds and all ages. A student run event- hosted and attended by students and the public, will allow for a strong step towards energy efficiency in the future. The summit closes with a mixing event - a unique networking opportunity where companies and students discuss and share thoughts on the summit.

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:

NUIG hosts dedicated events each year for example the Seachange Festival. This festival explored issues of climate change and our place in a changing landscape: through a combination of the real and the imaginary, the exhibiting artists created a collective call for a sea change.

In addition to the visual art exhibitions and film screenings offered, there were a series of talks and discussions entitled Hy-Brasil Dialogues held in the Aula Maxima (the quadrangle) at NUI Galway. Throughout the series, geographers, geologists, marine researchers, architects, linguists, and artists explored the complexity of our current environment, both locally and globally, and from their perspective of geological time, the present and future projections. More information at the link below:


Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

NATURE AND ENVIRONMENT TO ATTAIN AND RESTORE (NEAR) HEALTH: The team comprises medical and marketing professionals, social scientists and innovators, environmental scientists and ecologists. The NEAR Health project, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Health Service Executive under Grant Award No. 2015-HW-MS-2, supports the implementation of the EPA Strategic Plan 2016-2020 – ‘Our Environment, Our wellbeing’ and Healthy Ireland, the national framework for action to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Ireland. Link here http://whitakerinstitute.ie/project/near-health/

Leave No Trace co-facilitate a workshop with NEAR-Health (NUIG). This practical workshop is open to a diverse mix of representatives and may include community-based groups, PPN members, Local Authority, recreational groups, environmental groups, health professionals among others. The objectives are to determine what communities want from their nearby green environment in terms of health and wellbeing.

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The library has a dedicated space provided and hosts workshops demonstrating sustainable life skills. The space is called the Maker Space. These have been interrupted by COVID, but will proceed after it. The link provided here shows a reuse workshop on laptops and electronics and a 3D printing workshop http://library.nuigalway.ie/digitalscholarship/makerspace/learn/#. Both were designed for students and staff and demonstrate the skills and materials critical in reuse.

An Meitheal Rothar are a bicycle cooperative on campus and they host workshops to show students and staff how to maintain their bikes, these are inclusive and are both free and paid for.


Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.