University of Leicester cements top 50 position in global sustainability ranking

The University of Leicester has once again reaffirmed its sustainability credentials as the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings places it among the top 50 universities globally for its contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 17 SDGs are an urgent call for action by all countries in a global partnership to end poverty and other deprivations – including improving health and education, reducing inequality, and increasing economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve the world’s oceans and forests. 

The THE University Impact Rankings are the world’s first global attempt to measure and document evidence of universities’ impact on society and the environment, in addition to output from research and teaching performance.

The University of Leicester was ranked 49th out of 1591 universities in the world, among the top 3.08% of institutions despite an additional 185 joining the league table this year. It ranked particularly highly for goals 10 (Reduced Inequalities), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), demonstrating its academic and operational commitment to value the Earth’s resources and address all inequalities and to reduce discrimination.

Professor Sarah Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Head of the College of Science and Engineering and Chair of the Environmental Sustainability Strategy Board, added: “To be ranked in the top 50 of the world’s most pro-active sustainable universities is very exciting.

“Leicester has participated in these rankings from the very start, so it is encouraging to see annual increases in universities across the world joining these rankings. In particular, the importance placed on Goal 17: Partnership for the Goals is a recognition that sustainable development will only be achieved if we work together. 

“We are very proud that 100% of our undergraduate courses offer teaching related to the SDGs for the second year in a row enhancing the access our students have to sustainability and sustainability-related education regardless of their course.

“We are conscious that, as an organisation with a strong science-base, we must take steps to minimise our environmental impact whilst also recognising that our colleagues provide world-leading expertise. We are educating future generations, we influence policymakers at all levels so we have a moral imperative to lead the way in our innovative and ambitious approach to tackling climate change.”

The University of Leicester was one of the first universities in the UK to sign the SDG Accord, which is a commitment made by academic institutions to one another to do more to deliver the Goals across all operations and beyond, and to annually report on SDGs progress. Further to recent success in the THE Impact Rankings, the University was also among the first to map its academic contribution to the SDGs.