UOW recognised as a global top 100 sustainable institution
Newly released rankings reflect University’s impactful social and environmental initiatives
The University of Wollongong (UOW) has been ranked 85th globally in a new rankings framework that compares the world’s top universities against a range of environmental and social sustainability metrics.
Around 700 global institutions were assessed on their environmental and social impacts for the first edition of the QS World University Rankings: Sustainability announced today (Wednesday 26 October).
The ranking measures research impact and graduate outcomes (are graduates going on to work in sustainable careers, for example) as well as on campus measures to reduce a university’s environmental footprint.
The metrics for social impact are: employment and opportunities; equality; life quality; impact of education; and knowledge exchange. Those for environmental impact are: sustainable education; sustainable institutions; and sustainable research.
The QS Sustainability Ranking uses a combination of performance indicators from across global bodies, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to determine how institutions are creating a positive impact in the global community.
UOW is a signatory to the University Commitment to the UN SDGs and has been at the forefront of creating positive environmental and social impacts through research, education and innovation.
Recently, the University released its annual SDG report outlining its various activities and initiatives that contributed to achieving UN SDGs and how it’s creating a better future through sustainable research, international partnerships and providing quality education.
In June this year, UOW formally committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 and is working hard to reduce its environmental footprint. For example, it has reduced its paper consumption by 83 per cent since 2017, and 99.4 per cent of paper consumed in 2021 was carbon neutral; mains water consumption has been reduced by 44 per cent since 2019; and 73 per cent of waste is now diverted from landfill.
These are some of the impactful measures that reflect UOW’s commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
The University is also committed to creating equal opportunities for students by providing quality education, skills development and supporting communities, and by offering scholarships and encouraging female participation across its campuses.
More than 65 per cent members of the University Council are female and over 77 per cent medical graduates in 2021 were female – an indication of UOW’s commitment to gender equality and inclusion.
UOW Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Patricia M. Davidson welcomed the first edition of the rankings and said the University would strive to keep improving its sustainability performance in all areas.
“I am delighted to see that UOW is being recognised among the most sustainable universities in the world,” Professor Davidson said.
“Universities are at the forefront of dealing with the environmental impacts of pollution, climate change and finding solutions for reducing our dependency on fossil fuels. It is a serious business and requires a concerted global effort between institutions to deal with its impacts on our future generations.
“UOW is committed to creating equal opportunities for students through education, knowledge exchange and providing the highest standards of learning environment for their career growth and success.
Full details of UOW’s sustainable initiatives can be found on the SDG website: https://www.uow.edu.au/united-nations-sustainable-development-goals/