NUI Galway is affiliated with the following organisations:


University of Galway is a member of AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education). AASHE empowers higher education faculty, administrators, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. AASHE works with and for higher education to ensure that our world’s future leaders are motivated and equipped to solve sustainability challenges.

STARS® (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS is intended to engage and recognise the full spectrum of higher education institutions. The framework encompasses long-term sustainability goals for already high-achieving institutions, as well as entry points of recognition for institutions that are taking first steps toward sustainability. 

In November 2021, University of Galway joined an elite group of universities around the world by being recognized with a STARS Gold rating for sustainability achievements. See more information in University of Galway's STARS Report 2021

‌‌STARS sustainability award gold logo


University of Galway is a member of the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC); an alliance for sustainability leadership in education. EUAC's vision is to create a world with sustainability at its heart. They exist to lead and empower the post-16 education sector to make sustainability 'just good business'. EUAC allows University of Galway to stay updated and connected to other like-minded institutions in the educational sector, as well as being involved in making a difference to the professional growth of sustainability in education.

Coalition 2030

University of Galway is a member of the Coalition 2030; an alliance of over 60 leading international and local civil society organisations working towards upholding Ireland's commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030, both in Ireland and Internationally. The coalition is made up of international and domestic NGOs along with youth organisations, environmental groups, academics, and trade unions. Coalition 2030 members collaborate in advocacy for effective implementation of the SDGs and to monitor the Irish government’s compliance with its responsibilities as a signatory to the plan.

Global Challenges University Alliance

University of Galway is a member of the Global Challenges University Alliance (GCUA), which is an initiative that gathers the leading universities on every continent around issues of food security, bio-energy, sustainable urban development and climate. The partner universities work together to gather greater knowledge and translate knowledge into relevant action, to meet the global SDG challenges.


University of Galway is member of ENLIGHT. 

ENLIGHT (European university Network to promote equitable quality of Life, sustainability and Global engagement through Higher education Transformation) is a European University formed by nine comprehensive, research-intensive universities from nine European countries (Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden), which share a deep committment to their social responsibility and a readiness to respond to the threats to our quality of life.

ENLIGHT aims to undertake a fundamental transformation of European higher education that empowers learners as globally engaged citizens with state-of-the-art knowledge, skills, and innovation potential to tackle major societal transitions and to promote equitable quality of life and sustainability. ENLIGHT wants to establish the foundations of an open integrated European University System to ensure the free movement of students and staff and sharing of resources.

All Ireland Pollinator Plan

University of Galway is an All-Ireland Pollinator Plan Partner

The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is an initiative created to protect bees from extinction from Ireland. The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is about all of us, from farmers to local authorities, to schools, gardeners and businesses, coming together to try to create an Ireland where pollinators can survive and thrive.

At University of Galway we are doing our part to protect pollinators with our University of Galway Biodiversity Action Plan 2021-2025.

An Taisce Green Campus Ireland

University of Galway is an An Taisce Green Campus Ireland Partner, and has been awarded the Green Flag.

An Taisce is Ireland’s oldest environmental charity. An Taisce works to promote environmental awareness and action in the context of the climate and biodiversity emergencies. Being one of Ireland’s oldest and largest environmental organisations, they are an independent charitable voice for the environment and for heritage issues. 

An Taisce’s Green-Campus Programme encourages a partnership approach to environmental education, management and action in third level institutions. The Programme primarily aims to ensure that members of a campus community can engage in a meaningful way to enhance sustainability on campus. The Green-Campus Programme rewards long term commitment to continuous improvement from the campus community.

green flag flying outside the Quadrangle

University of Sanctuary Ireland

University of Galway is a University of Sanctuary. University of Sanctuary Ireland  (UoSI) is an Irish initiative to encourage and celebrate the good practice of universities, colleges and other education institutes welcoming refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants into their university communities and fostering a culture of welcome and inclusion for all those seeking sanctuary.

University of Galway has pledged to support those newcomers seeking sanctuary and has received the University of Sanctuary Award. Read more about University of Galway's University of Sanctuary Initiative.

Galway National Park City

CUSP (The Community and University Sustainability Partnership) is a Galway National Park City Champion.

Galway National Park City is an initiative to have Galway city recognised as a National Park City. It aims to achieve a greener, bluer, healthier, safer, beautiful, sustainable, equitable, harmonious and wilder environment where people value, benefit from, and are strongly connected to the rest of nature.

Some endeavours include to improve Galway’s air and water quality year-on-year, to have a city-wide pedestrian-cycle network where people can walk or cycle in a safe, clean and green landscape, to have free and easy access to high quality green and blue space for the residents of Galway, to improve the richness, connectivity and biodiversity of Galway’s habitats and to promote locally grown food and responsible consumption.

National Transport Authority -  Smarter Travel Campus 

University of Galway is a National Transport Authority - Smarter Travel Campus partner.

Smarter Travel Campus is a hands-on programme working with Third Level Institutions to implement campus travel plans – or actions to encourage and support students and staff to walk, cycle, take public transport or carpool on the commute to campus. Smarter Travel Campus aims to facilitate more sustainable travel choices for students and staff – resulting in better access, enhanced wellbeing, reduced costs, reduced carbon emissions and more effective parking management.

IUA Sustainability Working Group

University of Galway is a member of the Irish Universities Association Sustainability Working GroupThe role of the IUA Sustainability Working Group is to work collaboratively with universities to support and enable a holistic approach to achieving economic and environmental sustainability. Sustainability is the existential challenge of our age, and major and rapid changes to current policies and practices are necessary for universities as with many other organisations.

SDG Champions Programme

University of Galway has been awarded SDG Champion status for the year 2023/24. The SDG Champions Programme was established in 2019 to raise public awareness of the sustainable development goals and highlight institutions making significant progress on the SDGs. University of Galway has received this award in recognition of our contributions to sustainability teaching and research, as well as our efforts to embed sustainable infrastructure and practices across our campuses.

UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)

University of Galway is a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a non-profit organisation working under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General to mobilise the world’s universities, think tanks, and national laboratories for action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change; empower societies through free online education; and translate scientific evidence and ideas into solutions and accountability.

As of 2023, the SDSN has over 1,800 members in 50+ networks across more than 145 countries.

SDSN Ireland

University of Galway is part of SDSN Ireland, an all-Island network of universities and institutions focused on the Sustainable Development Goals. Made up of universities, research centres, local authorities, NGOs, civil society organisations and policymakers, SDSN Ireland focuses on solutions-based SDG research with the aim of empowering individuals and organisations to create impact through education and engagement.


The logo for SDSN Ireland