University of Leicester celebrates top 1.6% global sustainability ranking

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

The UN’s 17 SDGs are the world's call to action on the most pressing challenges and opportunities facing humanity and the natural world.

With a record number of universities from 100 countries taking part in this year’s rankings, the University of Leicester has been ranked 23rd overall out of 1,406 institutions globally, and 4th in the UK. It was rated 3rd in protecting life on land through the sustainable use of ecosystems and preserving biodiversity and 9th when it comes to responsible energy production and consumption. Some of the relevant research in these SDGs includes calculating and maximising the importance of biodiversity, and using circular economy approaches to reduce metal mining.

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 and the University of Leicester came 17th globally using its expertise to influence policy and practice at all levels to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges.

As well as its research, the University’s approach to the SDGs across its teaching and everyday activities helped it score highly, including ranking 16th overall in reducing inequalities, demonstrating a clear synergy between its core values of inclusivity and equalities and its academic endeavours.

In 2021/22 100% of undergraduate courses offered teaching related to the SDGs and our climate and ecological ambitions and activities are informed by our academic expertise.

Dr Sandra Lee, Social Impact Lead at the University of Leicester, said: “In our Centenary year, it’s wonderful to see the University of Leicester being recognised as a world leader in sustainability within the Higher Education sector.

“Universities are uniquely positioned to go so much further than simply reducing our carbon emissions. We have access to world-leading expertise, we are responsible for educating future generations, we influence policymakers at all levels and we have a moral imperative to lead the way in our innovative and ambitious approach to tackling climate change.”

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