SDG Champion 2023/24

The University of Galway has been designated as a national SDG Champion for 2023-24 by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.  The designation recognises the leading role the University is playing in achieving the UN SDGs. The SDG Champions Programme was developed to raise public awareness of the SDGs and to demonstrate, through the examples provided by the SDG Champions, that everyone in society can make a contribution to the UN SDGs. The role of an SDG Champion is to act as an advocate and promoter of the SDGs and as a good practice example of how an organisation can contribute to the SDGs and integrate the SDGs into their work and activities.

The 2023/24 SDG Champion Logo

Times Higher Education Impact Ranking

The University of Galway was ranked 34th in the world (no. 1 in Ireland) in the 5th annual THE IMPACT Rankings, pubished May 2023, out of 1,591 institutions from 112 countries across the world. 

It also achieved a top 50 rank in seven of the individual SDGs and a 101-200 rank in a further four individual SDGs - See more on University of Galway's SDG Ranking results here.

Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Ranking

AASHE STARS gold-rated University

In November 2021, University of Galway joined an elite group of universities around the world by being recognised with a STARS Gold rating for sustainability achievements

STARS® (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. The framework encompasses long-term sustainability goals for already high-achieving institutions. STARS assesses environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainability across five areas: academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership.

Logo of AASHE Gold Star

Athena Swan Award

The University of Galway has secured two additional Athena SWAN Bronze Awards in recognition of the University’s commitment to advancing gender equality for staff and students. 

The University’s School of Law and a joint award between the School of Computer Science and the Data Science Institute have received the accolade which acknowledges efforts to create cultural change within higher education institutions.

This latest accreditations see a total of ten Bronze Awards and one Silver Award in the University, along with an Institutional Bronze Award which was renewed in 2021. Eleven out of the University’s 18 schools now hold Athena SWAN Awards. 

Athena Swan Ireland Logo

University of Galway's Second Green Flag 2022

The University of Galway was awarded a second prestigious Green Flag by An Taisce and the International Foundation of Environmental Education for the quality of its campus and its commitment environment and sustainability. The Green Flag is a visual sign of the commitment made in reducing the environmental footprint associated with campus operations.

Award of University of Galway's second Green Flag

Lorraine Rushe, Environmental, Health and Safety Manager in Buildings & Estates, University of Galway; Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, University of Galway President; : Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton T.D.; Denis O’Connor, Director, Buildings & Estates, University of Galway; Deirdre O’Carroll, Programme Manager, An Taisce; and Noel O’Connor, Assistant Director, Buildings & Estates, University of Galway. Credit – Aengus McMahon.

Galway Chamber Business Awards 2020

The University of Galway was announced the winner of the‌ Sustainability Category of the Galway Chamber Awards 2020, at a virtual award ceremony hosted on Friday 26th February attended by hundreds of businesses to celebrate the achievement innovation and resilience of the Galway Business Community.  The judges were impressed by the University of Galway's strategic commitment to sustainability, the contribution that sustainability practices are making to the economy and society and the mainstream nature of sustainability activities within the organisation.

Accepting the Award on behalf of the University of Galway, Michelle O’Dowd Lohan, Sustainability Officer said "sustainability is not about an individual or an organisation, it is partnerships, it is about collaboration it is about working together to solve complex societal challenges.  University of Galway is for the public good, we are here for our students our staff and the planet and we plan to continue our long tradition of partnerships with community groups and organisations in the Galway region."

SEAI Sustainable Energy Award

The University of Galway won the SEAI Excellence in Energy Research & Innovation Award in 2020. The SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards recognise and reward excellence in all aspects of energy efficiency and renewable energy. 

The University of Galway received this award for our leading international reputation in research and technology development. The VorTech research team, working primarily within the strategic research priority area of "Environment, Marine and Energy" have developed the VorTech technology (Vortex Powered Aerator – VPA), which aims to revolutionise the energy intensive aeration process within wastewater treatment plants. The team demonstrated the technology in practice, leading to 30% energy recovery. A spin-out company has been formed, VorTech Water Solutions, and aims to deliver energy savings at wastewater treatment plants both in Ireland and at international level and to deliver huge benefits in waste-water treatment plants in Ireland and on a global scale.

SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) Logo

Green Awards 2021

The Green Awards are the leading platform for sustainability intelligence, leadership and innovation in best green practice in Ireland. The Green Awards recognise the extraordinary contribution and commitment that businesses and organisations now make towards growing a greener future in Irish business today. Since its launch, the Green Awards have been helping businesses gain recognition for their achievements throughout the year in protecting and enhancing the environment.

The University of Galway was shortlisted for the following at the Green Awards 2021:

- Green Public Sector Organisation of the Year

- The Sustainable Energy Achievement Award


Green Awards 2021 Logo