BY DAVID HILL republished from UB News Center
Release date: April 5, 2019
BUFFALO, N.Y. — The University at Buffalo is ranked No. 3 in climate action among 250 institutions worldwide, according to the first-ever Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings revealed April 3.
The rankings recognize universities across the world for their social and economic impact, based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. The SDGs are a collection of 17 goals collectively aimed at ending extreme poverty, fighting inequality and injustice, and fixing climate change by 2030. They were adopted by 193 world leaders at a UN summit in 2015.
“To rank No. 3 in the world on Climate Action is no small feat and we’re proud to lead the way in this regard,” said Laura Hubbard, UB’s vice president for finance and administration. “It’s a testament to the many individuals and units at UB working to create a better campus, and world, every day, whether through their research or innovative approaches to curbing our carbon footprint.”
More than 450 universities from 76 countries submitted data for the new THE University Impact Rankings. It’s the first global attempt to document evidence of universities’ impact on society, rather than just research and teaching performance.
Metrics include universities’ policies on academic freedom, their use of secure employment contracts and their share of senior female academic staff. The rankings are based on 11 of the 17 UN SDGs. A more in-depth look at the methodology behind the rankings is available on the THE website.
UB was ranked in five SDGs, and scored best on SDG 13 (Climate Action), placing third behind the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of British Columbia, which topped this category.
The ranking on Climate Action measures universities’ research on climate change, their use of energy and their preparations for dealing with the consequences of climate change. It includes more than 250 universities from 58 countries.
UB also was ranked on the following Sustainable Development Goals: Good Health and Well-being, No. 54; Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, No. 61; Sustainable Cities and Communities, No. 66; and Partnerships for the Goals, 201-300.
The Health and Well-being list included more than 420 universities from 74 countries, and measured each on their research on key diseases and conditions, their support for health care professions, and the health of students and staff.
THE’s University Impact Rankings announcement comes as UB is celebrating Sustainability Month with more than three-dozen events around campus and in the community.
For example, on April 2, students competed in the UB finals of the World’s Challenge Challenge, an international competition in which students work in teams of three to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. Each team’s idea must be connected to a particular Sustainable Development Goal.
The UB winner advances to the global finals at Western University in London, Ontario, in June.
Sustainable Development Goals:
13. Climate Action: Taking steps to combat climate change and its impacts