Sustainable Development Office

Lecturer: Dr Darren Reidy, Acting Sustainability Officer.
Department: Sustainable Development Office at Buildings & Estates Office.


The Sustainability Officer coordinates the delivery of UCC’s Sustainability Strategy across UCC facilities, operations, research, teaching and learning. A key part of this role is supporting and enabling sustainability and climate action amongst UCC students, staff and the wider community. The Sustainability Officer supports the university in working toward reduced environmental impact across all functions. While the position of Sustainability Officer is homed under the Office of Buildings & Estates (much of the role relates to sustainability in the built environment), the role extends beyond just the estate and takes a whole institutional approach to sustainability. A large part of the role of Sustainability Officer is the coordination of the Green Campus Programme at UCC. The Green Campus Programme is Student led, Research Informed and Practise Focussed, with the aim to build and promote a culture of sustainability and environmental responsibility throughout the university community and further afield. The Sustainability Officer thus engages extensively with the university community (staff & students) to nurture the knowledge, skills and values of sustainability that will enable both individual and institutional action and activism. This includes the integration of sustainability into, UCC core functions, student activities, research, teaching and learning. An additional element of the role is the co-coordination of a University Wide Module in Sustainability (UW0005).

UCC Sustainability Strategy

The UCC Sustainability Strategy was published in 2016 to guide the increased pace at which action for environmental sustainability was taking place throughout UCC. Like the UCC Strategic Plan, the Sustainability Strategy centres on the values of leadership, accountability, collaboration & diversity (amongst others), but also encompasses the value of stewardship, recognising UCC’s role as educators, leaders and agents of change in the journey toward sustainability.

The Sustainability Strategy relies on the Brundtland et al (1987) definition of sustainability which refers to those social, environmental and economic principles which allow us to create and live in a society which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, that lead us towards a thriving, equitable and ecologically healthy world for all. Part of the strategy’s mission is to “facilitate the development and empowerment of future leaders in sustainability” and to “engage our student body, staff and wider community in becoming active citizens for sustainability”.

These objectives are addressed through nine key areas for implementation, the first of which is “Sustainability Citizenship” which aims to “engage our student body, staff and wider community in becoming active citizens for sustainability, and establish sustainability citizenship as a central component of the University ethos – with students and staff giving a commitment to learning more about sustainability and taking responsible action.” The second key area for implementation is “Teaching & Learning” which aims to “foster a culture of sustainability citizenship within the University Community through both formal and informal teaching and learning opportunities and activities”. These key areas are directly linked with Global Citizenship Education as they aim to empower learners, and their educators, to engage and assume active roles in addressing and resolving local and global challenges.



Praxis plan

Reidy, Darren_case-study-Praxis-Plan_ Green Campus Case Study (PDF opens in a new tab/window)



Dr Darren Reidy

Dr Darren Reidy is the Acting Sustainability Officer at University College Cork, where he coordinates the delivery of the university’s sustainability strategy across UCC facilities, operations, research, teaching and learning. A key part of his role is supporting and enabling sustainability and climate action amongst UCC students, staff, and the wider community.

Darren believes that education for sustainable development extends beyond the formal curriculum and explores how the various facets of UCC interact to create a learning environment that fosters engaged & active citizens. Darren holds a PhD and MSc in Applied Ecology from UCC, and a B.Sc. in Environmental & Earth System Sciences. Prior to taking on his role at UCC, Darren worked for an NGO in the Rural Development sector on large scale European projects which placed agricultural communities at the centre of the solution to human-environment conflicts and promoted sustainable rural development in Ireland.

Darren also has expertise in environmental education having worked in Killarney National Park Education Centre for four years and has written and co-hosted several radio documentary series. Darren has particular interest in creating sustainable communities and the role higher education can play in delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


The Centre for Global Development
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