For the second time this year, Western has been ranked in the top tier of universities around the world for sustainability.
Released Oct. 26, the first edition of the QS (Quacquarelli Symonds Limited) World University Rankings: Sustainability ranked Western 17th out of 700 universities from around the world for social and environmental impact.
Among Canadian universities, Western ranked third, behind the University of Toronto (ranked second in the world) and the University of British Columbia (ranked third in the world).
Andrew Hrymak, special advisor to the president on partnerships, green economy and sustainability, said these new QS rankings affirm the commitment of the entire Western community to embed sustainability into campus culture.
“Across the academy, our faculty, staff and students are prioritizing and promoting sustainability in meaningful ways. As a campus community, we can be proud of the collective impact we’re having locally and globally as we continue this critical work to create a more sustainable world,” said Hrymak, who co-chairs the president’s advisory committee on the environment and sustainability with Lynn Logan, vice-president, operations and finance.
The QS sustainability rankings are based on 37 indicators that fall under two categories: social impact and environmental impact. Social impact indicators comprise of employment and opportunities; equality; life quality; impact of education and knowledge exchange while environmental impact indicators include sustainable education, sustainable institutions and sustainable research.
Western was ranked first among Canadian universities and sixth globally in the ‘sustainable institutions’ sub-category which assesses an institution’s strategy and operations towards an environmentally sustainable future and whether there is a demonstrated commitment to environmental impact alleviation.
Western placed second among Canadian universities in terms of ‘impact of education’, which evaluates the quality of subjects that “most closely align with society”, including education, politics, social policy, law as well as art and design.
Western tracks its progress on all 17 of the UN’s SDGs as it continues to strengthen its commitment to sustainability, an important component of the university’s strategic plan Towards Western at 150.
Last year, Western joined the University Climate Change Coalition, a group of leading North American research universities working to accelerate local and global solutions to climate change.
More than 2,500 courses are available across Western’s main campus and affiliates relating to the UN’s SDGs, including Climate Change and Society, a new major designed to help students address the multidimensional challenges of the climate crisis.
Western is also home to more than 100 researchers dedicated to finding solutions to some of the most pressing environmental and sustainability challenges.
The university is integrating environmental and social objectives into all its investment decisions, as part of its commitment toward responsible investing, as outlined in its inaugural Responsible Investing Annual Report.
In January, Western was recognized with ‘gold STARS’ for the third consecutive time for its work in improving sustainability on campus, in the community and in global research with impact, by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS).
|QS World University Rankings: Sustainability 2023: Top 20|
|2||University of Toronto||Canada|
|3||University of British Columbia||Canada|
|4||The University of Edinburgh||UK|
|5=||The University of Sydney||Australia|
|7||The University of Tokyo||Japan|
|8||University of Pennsylvania||US|
|10||The University of Auckland||New Zealand|
|13||University of Glasgow||UK|
|14||University of California, Davis||US|
|16||University of Oxford||UK|
|19||University of Cambridge||UK|