Governance: Stewarding the Transition
By 2030, UL’s Mission Lab will have orchestrated and led its extended community to achieve the UL Mission Portfolio.
Successfully completing missions requires a hub that can shape and manage such a grand set of challenges. This mission sees UL establish a Mission Lab that will be responsible for leading the orchestration and progression of the mission portfolio. In doing so, collaborators and partners will have a central lab that supports their mission projects through research and education, design, funding and collaboration processes.
By 2030, UL will have piloted a sustainability-led governance model and have shaped HE policy within Ireland.
Transitioning to a sustainable society requires new postures and mindsets to leadership. This mission sees UL explore and adopt new approaches to governance and organisational structure, all
in service of the realisation of the sustainable university vision. In doing so, the university will act as a working model that can support the transformation of HEI’s globally.
By 2030, UL’s Mission Lab will have fostered active citizenship through robust civic engagement and participatory innovation processes.
Active citizens ensure a community’s unique perspectives are included in our understanding of today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities. This mission sees UL pioneer new ways of engaging citizens through transparent, open and participatory innovation processes. In doing so, UL will ensure that the diverse needs and opinions to be found within our community play a key role in all decision making.
By 2030, UL will have transparently reported on and shared its sustainability journey through a university digital twin.
The complexity of achieving sustainability-led missions requires new forms of data-capture and insight generation. This mission sees UL adopt a data-driven approach to baselining, monitoring and reporting on the university’s sustainability status. In doing so, mission progress will become more accurately measured and decisions supported by real-time intelligence.
Economy: Cosmopolitan Localism
By 2030, UL will have developed a maker culture across its campuses, where repair, reuse and local production is widespread.
Mass production and planned obsolescence has eroded the presence of traditional crafts, leading to overconsumption and products designed for short lifespans. This mission sees UL nurture a campus maker culture that prioritises the reuse, repair and re- purposing of products. In doing so, the campus community will reduce its consumption rate and restore demand for high-quality and locally made goods.
By 2030, UL’s startup incubator will incorporate principles of sustainability into all of its startup programs and work to commercial opportunities identified by the Mission Lab.
Successful sustainability-led innovation requires a commitment to creating a positive impact for people and planet. This missions sees UL orient its venture incubator toward the nurturing of sustainability- led startups. In doing so, aspiring entrepreneurs will be supported by expert mentors on their journey to creating maximum social and ecological impact.
By 2030, UL will have co-developed a trade school that supports the growth of sustainability-based vocations within local communities.
The work of those in trade-based roles is foundational to the thriving of our community. This mission sees UL play an active role in propagating sustainability-led trade education within the region. In doing so, the local community will experience both an increase in educational opportunities and an increase in capacity to deliver trade-based services.
By 2030, UL will provide access to the mission lab process and learning content to its alumni, and offer them opportunities to engage with the mission portfolio.
In a world of exponential change and unprecedented challenges, engagement with societal missions is more important than ever before. This mission sees UL offer mission-based educational content and experiences to its alumni, available both online and in-person. In doing so, alumni will be able to engage missions at a point in their life-long learning journey that meets their needs.
Society: Thriving Communities
By 2030, UL will only provide sustainable forms of transport within and between campuses, with a focus on physical mobility where possible.
The means of transport available within communities has a direct impact on their health, resilience and ecological footprint. This mission sees UL ensure all mobility infrastructure and services available on campus grounds are sustainable and encourage active mobility. In doing so, individuals will have guaranteed access to sustainable forms of transport and active travel when moving on and between campus grounds.
By 2030, UL will build student accommodation that integrates the practices, behaviours and infrastructure of sustainable development into the everyday lives of students.
Having a safe and healthy place to live is a foundational human need – it affects all others aspects of our lives. This mission sees UL strive to provide access to high-quality accommodation to learners who seek to learn how to live a sustainable lifestyle. In doing so, learners will be given the opportunity to adopt sustainable behaviours during their time studying at UL.
By 2030, the majority of food consumed on UL campus will be healthy and sourced from within the bioregion and/or from the university grounds.
High-quality and sustainably-sourced foods are essential to the health and wellbeing of our community. This mission sees UL act as both a producer and consumer of healthy food, all grown within the Shannon bioregion. This will enable all areas of the campus grounds to promote and provide an abundant selection of nutritious food and drink.
By 2030, UL will have integrated nature and natural materials within all campus buildings and environments.
A connection with nature is deeply nourishing for both our body and mind. This mission sees UL continue to strengthen the embodiment of biophilic design principles within the built environment on campus. In doing so, spending time within the diverse spaces on campus will positively impact ones mental and physical health.
By 2030, UL will be the national leader for the embedding of equality & inclusion in our structures, opportunities and community.
By taking a whole-institutional approach to inclusion in UL, this mission aims to bring together the entire university community to achieve the goal of becoming a fully accessible, inclusive and diverse institution. To do so, UL will provide an inclusive educational experience through international best practice and attract, retain and develop an excellent and diverse cohort of students, faculty and staff.
By 2030, UL will have pioneered mission-driven curriculum to support the transition.
Transitioning to a sustainable society will require a new generation of change-makers. This mission sees UL ensure that relevant sustainability-led theory and associated practices are included in all curriculum. In doing so, each learner that studies at UL will graduate with a sustainability mindset and the capacity to contribute to a more sustainable world.
By 2030, UL will foster a place-based identity that embodies a culture of connectedness.
A strong community culture is an essential source of belonging and social connection, and provides the foundation for meaningful collective action. This mission sees UL foster a shared identity that is rooted in a connection to the heritage, culture and vision of the university. In doing so, the UL community will feel united by a core set of values and future aspirations.
Planet: Resilient Bioregion
By 2030, UL will increase the biodiversity and volume of plant and animal life
on campus to maintain ecologically healthy levels.
A balance of plant and animal species, in combination with diverse microorganism populations, is how natural ecosystems maintain their health. This mission sees UL increase the levels of biodiversity on our campus grounds and surrounding areas to ecologically healthy levels. Doing so will protect and support the invaluable presence wildlife has on our university, and increase the areas ecological resilience.
By 2030, UL will act as a test bed for the development and scaling of sustainable energy systems.
New forms of energy production and storage are essential to the transition toward a clean energy society. This mission sees UL act a test-bed for the development of sustainable energy systems. In doing so, the campus will become a hub for innovation partners to research and demonstrate an array of clean energy solutions.
By 2030, UL will act as a test bed for the development of circular material flows and material usage.
New ways of making and consuming are essential to the transition toward a circular economy. This mission sees UL act a test-bed for the development of circular systems. In doing so, the campus will become a hub for innovation partners to research and demonstrate an array of circular production and consumption solutions.
By 2030, UL will have achieved carbon neutral status.
The dramatic reduction of carbon emissions is essential to achieve our climate goals. This mission sees UL transform our campus into one which has no net release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. To do so, the campus carbon footprint will be eliminated through reduced emissions, carbon sequestration, and carbon offsetting.
By 2030, UL will optimise campus water accessibility, and water management and protection.
The health and resilience of our water supply is foundational to the thriving of all life on our campus. This mission sees UL implement sustainable water infrastructure to increase water accessibility, management and protection. In doing so, the campus will become saturated with sources of fresh drinking water, all while guaranteeing a significant reduction in water waste and pollution.
By 2030, UL will have significantly contributed to the ecological health of the Shannon River and its associated natural ecosystems.
UL has an intimate relationship with the River Shannon; it runs through the heart of our campus and opens its waters to our community. This mission sees UL become stewards of the revitalisation of River Shannon. In doing so, the river will flourish through water protection and habitat restoration, and sustainable social-use.