Cloughjordan Ecovillage Co. Tipperary

Third Sector • Outside UK

Cloughjordan Ecovillage is groundbreaking combination of shared-out responsibilities and consensus decision-making in community development and rural regeneration.

  • The village with the lowest Ecological Footprint in Ireland.

Our story

Cloughjordan Ecovillage is a neighborhood demonstrating best practice in community development and rural regeneration, which is located in Cloughjordan, Tipperary, Ireland. It is being developed by Sustainable Projects Ireland CLG, a registered educational charity and national NGO. The project is a mixed use development with a strong emphasis on economic, social and environmental sustainability.

The Ecovillage comprises a 67 acre site designed to support biodiversity, with over 120 residents living in more than 50 high performance green homes, 20,000 newly planted trees and Ireland's largest renewable energy district heating system.

We are an internationally recognised destination for learning about sustainable living, welcoming visitors from all over Ireland and abroad to gain a deeper understanding of the range of social, environmental and economic topics explored here. Our mission statement is: 'To serve as an education, enterprise and research service resource for all'.

Cloughjordan Ecovillage is groundbreaking in that it uses a combination of shared-out responsibilities and consensus decision-making in its organisational structures. Much of the work of running the project is shared out amongst members on a voluntary basis, through a number of designated working groups. Most weekends in the ecovillage neighbours come together for a meitheal, an Irish word for a work party. All decisions are made by the consensus of those involved, with matters of general policy and direction decided at the monthly Members' Meetings.

Our strategy is to be a centre of excellence for awareness raising and education in the areas of: energy conservation and production; reduction and recycling of resources; sustainable livelihoods; sustainable, local, food production; broad community understanding of the converging environmental, social and economic challenges and the need to develop resilience as the key response.

In order to build our community's resilience and adaptability we will need to nurture relationships with stakeholders at the local, regional, national and international level and to innovate. We believe that our approach to building a resilient economy sustained by local enterprises, ecotourism, social entrepreneurs and strategic partners will demonstrate a new way of living in rural areas.

A diverse group of people have joined the ecovillage. People from all walks of life, from all over the country and abroad, young and old, families and single people, are working together to create an enriching place to live. People join for a variety of reasons: many are attracted to the community sharing, others to green living and food production, others to the democratic and inclusive nature of the community.

Cloughjordan Ecovillage is a direct response to the greatest challenges facing humanity today: the growing impact of human activity on the planet and how its peoples live and work together.

Our advice

Featuring introductory sessions to more in-depth modules, we offer interactive presentations and facilitated conversations with expert tutors for small or large groups, as follows:
An Introduction to Cloughjordan Ecovillage: Hear our story and find out about the many innovative ways we strive to model sustainability and the transition to a resilient, low-carbon society.
Community Resilience: Investigate the different approaches we adopt to reduce our ecological footprint.
Climate Change: Understand the principles behind the Paris Agreement and the need to reduce Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 7% every year.
Green Building: From cob structures to hemp-lime, learn about our eco charter and green building methods.
Local Food Systems: Find out how community supported agriculture can transform our relationship with local food.
Biodiversity Regeneration: Explore our native forests and edible landscapes and how we use permaculture to care for our land.

Our metrics

Cloughjordan Ecovillage has an ecological footprint of 2 global hectares (gHa), the lowest of any community recorded in Ireland, based on a survey conducted in 2014. Though we may have the lowest EF recorded in Ireland and one very close to the 1.8 gHa that is the maximum each member of humanity has, the ecovillage is now challenged to reduce our EF to at least 1.8 gHa if not less.

Feeling inspired? Discover more about this story...


Outside UK

Response to climate crisis

Mitigation & Adaptation




Third Sector, 10 to 49 people

Shared by

Sustainable Projects Ireland CLG

Updated Nov, 2023

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