The University of Sydney continues to be named as one of the top universities in the world for accelerating the pace of positive environmental and social change.
The University placed seventh globally and first in Australia in the second edition of the QS World University Rankings: Sustainability 2024, which ranks 1,403 institutions globally, up from 700 last year, including 37 from Australia.
The rankings judge how universities’ research, teaching and community engagement tackle the world’s greatest environmental, social and governance challenges and drive sustainable development forward.
The University ranked first globally, (up from fifth last year), and first in Australia for Social Impact. Within that category the University ranked number one globally on the Impact of Education indicator with a full mark of 100 points.
This year Governance was a newly added category. Together with Environmental and Social Impact, they form the three major measurement categories assessed through multiple indicators.
In the overall Environmental Impact category, the University placed 15th globally. Across this and the Social Impact category it was also ranked in the top 20 globally for indicators on Equality (12th), Employability and Outcomes (16th) and Environmental Education (18th).
“I congratulate our staff on our continuing high performance in the QS sustainability rankings which reflects our broad and global commitment to sustainability including through research and teaching, a responsible environmental footprint and good governance,” said Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott.
"An example of that commitment is our plan for the landmark Sydney Biomedical Accelerator to be the first on campus to achieve an ambitious five-star Green Star sustainability rating, an internationally recognised metric for the built environment that includes climate mitigation planning. Another example is our Horizon Fellowships, a $100 million investment in supporting early-to-mid career researchers who focus on sustainability, climate change and health.”
“I’m encouraged to see the importance of our wide range of research addressing sustainability being recognised by this ranking,” said Professor Emma Johnston, an environmental scientist and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) who was a co-author on the State of the Environment Report 2021.
“Some of the most recent examples of our essential engagement are the University’s researchers helping to count the global cost of climate inaction and underperformance on the United Nation’s sustainable development goals, while helping Australia to implement a pathway to net zero emissions and developing a fish-free omega-3 supplement, a new recycling method for waste from the automotive, aerospace and renewable industries and more energy efficient solar technology. Multi-faceted research is pursuing how a more sustainable future requires transitions across a range of institutional spaces including politics, economics, food, finances, and energy.”
The University’s ambitious Sustainability Strategy focuses on three areas: enriching lives through research and education; enabling resilient places and a responsible footprint; and empowering good governance and coordination; each of these underpinned by a committed Caring for Country approach. All of the University’s campuses are powered by 100 percent renewable electricity.
The acknowledgment also comes as the University this year launched a new Sustainability Major exploring diverse perspectives on sustainability. The Major supports our students acquiring the knowledge and skills to interpret, reimagine and solve some of the biggest and most complex problems facing our future.
Earlier this year the 2024 QS World University Rankings, which compare universities globally on multiple categories including employment outcomes and academic reputation, ranked the University of Sydney equal 19th globally, jumping 22 places from last year.