The University of Guelph has placed 16th worldwide when it comes to sustainable impacts on society, according to a new global ranking. 

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, released today, assessed the success of more than 1,500 universities from 100 countries and territories toward meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The 17 goals – which include providing inclusive and equitable quality education, achieving gender equality, and building sustainable cities and communities – were adopted by the UN in 2016 to provide a framework for developing the world in a sustainable way. 

 In addition, U of G earned high marks for the following development goals: 

  • SDG 1 – No Poverty – 4th in the world 
  • SDG 2 – Zero Hunger – 5th  
  • SDG 14 – Life Below Water – 7th  
  • SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation – 11th 
  • SDG 17 – Partnership for the Goals – 28th  
  • SDG 15 – Life on Land – 43rd  

“This ranking is a tremendous recognition of the many innovative ways students, staff, faculty, alumni and partners are improving life through teaching, learning, research and related academic initiatives,” said U of G president Dr. Charlotte Yates.  

“Across our campuses, U of G community members are committed to helping realize the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to contributing to a more equitable, sustainable and compassionate world.”  

Unlike other university rankings, the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings assess the contributions of universities to the world and local communities and highlight institutional activities not covered elsewhere.  

They are based on four broad areas of research, stewardship, outreach and teaching.  

The Times Higher Education Impact Ranking is just one measure of U of G’s commitment to sustainability, Yates said.  

In 2019, U of G committed to reduce the carbon footprint of the University’s endowment fund by 10 per cent over two years.  In 2020, the University became one of the first in Canada to commit to full divestment of holdings with fossil fuel reserves in its endowment fund over a five-year period.  

U of G is a signatory to both the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment and the Investing to Address Climate Change: A Charter for Canadian Universities. 

“Universities play a significant role in solving the world’s most pressing challenges,” Yates said. “U of G is proud of our work thus far, and we look forward to growing our impact in the years ahead.”