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University of Leicester celebrates top 2% global sustainability ranking

The University of Leicester is once again celebrating global sustainability success after being ranked in the top 2% of global universities for its contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Ranking.

This year’s THE University Impact Rankings have also seen the University of Leicester rise 3 places to 19 from 2020, placing it in the top 20 list of global universities, with a significant increase in the number of institutions involved (from 768 to 1115).

Leicester ranked 8th for a large range of impactful work and initiatives as well as a commitment to educate its students. In 2020/21, 98% of our undergraduates had access to SDG-related course content.

The THE University Impact Rankings assess universities' research, outreach and operations for each of the SDGs, placing Goal 17: Partnership for the Goals as the highest priority. This is in recognition that our biggest challenges will only be tackled by using academic expertise to influence policy and practice at all levels. 

Dr Sandra Lee, Social Impact Lead at the University of Leicester, said: "As the Global Climate Summit takes place on Earth Day tomorrow (22 April) and the University of Leicester celebrates our centenary this year, there has never been a more important time for our focus to be on using our expertise and nurturing partnerships to ensure humanity and nature thrives in harmony for the next 100 years."

Professor Sue Page from the Department of Geography added: "I am delighted that the University of Leicester has also retained our top 5 position in Goal 15: Life on Land, demonstrated by recognition of the Grounds and Gardens Team at the recent Green Gown Awards, as well as internationally important academic work on climate change, such as our research on the scale of greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural peatlands in the UK and SE Asia, and opportunities for emissions reductions." 

As one of the first UK universities to sign the Sustainable Development Goals Accord, the University of Leicester was also first to map our academic contribution to the SDGS and one of the only global universities to be a supporter of the UN Global Compact.

Leicester's SDG Research Toolkit, funded by Midlands Innovation Commercialisation of Research Accelerator (MICRA), has improved the speed of data analysis, accuracy and reliability of research being carried out within our institution in alignment with the SDGs which supported the selection of our research for this year’s rankings submissions. 

The SDG Toolkit, developed by the Social Impact Team and School of Mathematics and Actuarial Science, is a key driver in strengthening the University of Leicester’s commitment to the UN SDG’s and the tool gives us the auditing capabilities to support our ongoing commitment.

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