Published May 1, 2020
UB fares exceptionally well in several of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). That’s according to the second edition of the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings.
THE’s Impact Rankings are the only global performance tables that assess universities against the U.N.’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The rankings provide comprehensive and balanced comparisons across three broad areas: research, outreach and stewardship.
Universities can submit data on as many of the SDGs as they are able. Each SDG has a series of metrics that are used to evaluate the performance of the university on that goal.
This is the second year for THE’s Impact Rankings; this year’s includes 766 universities from 85 countries.
“UB has fully embraced the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals, and our standing in the Impact Rankings reflects this commitment,” says UB Provost A. Scott Weber. “Sustainability is an issue that our students care deeply about, and we are proud to be a leader in using our actions, scholarship and research to make a positive difference in confronting this global challenge.”
UB is rated No. 1 among U.S. universities in SDG 13, which addresses taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Globally, UB ranks seventh among 376 colleges and universities in this Sustainable Development Goal. The pool of universities that submitted to this SDG increased by 44% from last year, or 115 additional institutions. Despite this large increase in submissions, UB maintained its status as a top 10 university in this SDG.
UB’s latest effort on combatting climate change is a significant one. The university unveiled its updated Climate Action Plan, called UB’s 10 in 10, on Earth Day last week. The updated plan is a roadmap of 10 innovative, engaging and digestible strategies the university is taking to bolster climate action efforts university-wide, putting UB on a path to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.
UB also ranked highly in SDG 11, which is focused on making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. THE’s Impact Rankings rate UB fifth out of all U.S. schools, and 34th among 470 universities internationally. UB improved 32 places from last year’s ranking in this Sustainable Development Goal, despite the fact that the submissions increased considerably.
This year’s Impact Rankings included Sustainable Development Goal 1 (No Poverty), which wasn’t part of last year’s rankings. UB is No. 6 among U.S. institutions and 40th out of 372 globally.
UB’s high marks in certain goals reflect the concerted effort the university has made in recent years toward tackling global challenges by doing its part to address the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals across the university.
These include being the first U.S. higher education institution represented in the World’s Challenge Challenge, signing on early to the University Global Coalition and integrating the SDGs into the heart of the university’s sustainability work.
“We are proud of the work we have done in embracing these comprehensive goals as a framework for how we look at sustainability on campus,” says Laura Hubbard, vice president for finance and administration. “Sustainability is more than just responsible consumption and production, or affordable and clean energy. It’s the synergistic impact of all of these goals that will lead to building thriving and resilient communities.”