Sustainability Education, Research and Entrepreneurship

Sustainable development is defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. For sustainable development to be achieved, we humans need to harmonize three core elements: environmental protection, social inclusion and economic growth. These elements are interconnected and all are essential for the well-being of individuals, societies and all species on this planet.

education research iconTrinity recognises that the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals demands a multi-disciplinary partnership approach from all societal sectors: governments, civil society and the private sector. To this end, Trinity continues to foster the next generation of environmental and sustainability leaders by actively creating sustainability-related curricula, research and courses. Various research centres are working on sustainability related topics.

Our Objectives

Trinity has committed to four objectives as part of the Green Flag Campus programme:

  1. Induct all college users into the Green Campus programme
  2. Increase sustainability focus in courses by 10%
  3. Promote and increase the use of the campus as a Living Lab
  4. Support sustainability focused start-ups


Our Sustainability Report details the progress that has been made in their implementation.

What Can I do? Data & Results

Research and Education

On the academic side of things, there are a number of educational courses and research centres with sustainability at their core including the Trinity Centre for Biodiversity Research and the Trinity Centre for the Environment.

Trinity has a wide variety of research projects under the umbrella topic of sustainability. See internationally funded projects within the School of Natural Sciences. Find more information on nationally funded projects and download a list ofprojects in other schools/ faculties (PDF, 417KB).

Smart and Sustainable Planet

Trinity has set 'Smart, Sustainable Planet' as one of its key research themes.

This is a trans-disciplinary collaboration (8 schools across 3 faculties) that designs new ways for us to interact with our environment, through the integration of technology with the natural capital provided by plants, animals, microbes, water and land.

Sustainability-Related Courses

Trinity has a variety of undergraduate, postgraduate and online courses related to environmental or sustainability topics. For detailed information about your options you can visit our Research and Education section.


We aim to empower students to forge and follow their own path through entrepreneurship, and this is made possible through Launchbox, Tangent's Student Accelerator.


LaunchBox is a summer programme open to early-stage startups. They provide student entrepreneurs with funding, access to networks of investors and mentors, an elite structured programme that aims to progress their idea, and a transformative experience for them and their company.

So far, there have been some phenomenally successful ventures launched with the help of Launchbox, such as Food Cloud, Nu Wardrobe and Foodture.

Climate Greenhouse

Greenhouse is Climate-KIC’s European incubator for green startups, hosted at Trinity College Dublin as well as other sites across the Climate-KIC network.

It is a 6-month programme designed to transform early stage climate innovation ideas into sustainable business models and marketable products or services. All that is needed is an idea and the motivation to make it happen in the future.

Education Icons

UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

UN Sustainable Development Goal 9
is to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

UN Sustainable Development Goal 13
is to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

UN Sustainable Development Goal 17
is to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

Did You Know?
Sustainability guidance is now included as a topic in the new employee induction and the Transition to Trinity student orientation program.

College residents receive a paper copy of the Resident Sustainability Guide, to be kept as a reference document throughout the year. This guide provides direction and advice on how to minimise waste, reduce energy and water consumption and avail of sustainable transport options.

Today, textile production is the world’s second most polluting industry after the oil industry. The Nu Wardrobe is an online platform that lets you borrow clothes from other platform users, this means that everyone can benefit from inexpensive access to fashion in a sustainable way!

In Ireland, 1 in 10 people experience food poverty and 1 million tonnes of food are thrown out by consumers and businesses every year. Food Cloud connects charities with businesses who have perfectly good food that they cannot sell - as a result 50 million meals have gone to people and not to waste.

A 45 minute staff sustainability presentation is also available to be delivered to departments, offices and units within Trinity. Please contact Jane Hackett at to book a presentation in your location.

The Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice provides a space for facilitating action on climate justice to empower the poorest people and countries in their efforts to achieve sustainable and people-centred development.