UCalgary a global sustainability leader
Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

June 13, 2023

UCalgary shines bright as a global sustainability leader

International Times Higher Education 2023 Impact Ranking places university in top 2% globally for sustainability impact

UCalgary ranked an impressive 34th place out of 1,591 universities surveyed in the 2023 Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings. Launched in 2019, the ranking assesses universities based on their progress in advancing the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Universities are evaluated for their sustainability impact through research, teaching, outreach and campus-stewardship practices. 

“This ranking reflects our University of Calgary values and is a testament to the excellent work of our researchers, staff and students,” says Dr. Penny Werthner, interim provost and vice-president (academic). “Our community is committed to stewardship of sustainability in light of the global challenges we are facing.” 

UCalgary is ranked 10th globally positioning the university among the top one per cent globally and the top-ranked university in Canada for SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation). Additionally, UCalgary is ranked among the top two per cent globally for SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goal); the top three per cent globally for SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities); the top four per cent for SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), and is among the top five per cent for both SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing) and SDG 15 (Life on Land).  

2023 marks the fourth year in a row that UCalgary has been recognized by THE as among the top five per cent of global institutions for sustainability impact. The university continues to showcase its progress and commitment to excellence and leadership in sustainability with diverse initiatives through the annual Institutional Sustainability Report.   


SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation  

As a national leader — ranking in first place — UCalgary provides sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The university aims to demonstrate exemplary stewardship of water quality and use. With water conservation built into the environment, landscaped areas across campus act as stormwater infiltration basins where rainwater can be retained.   

By also partnering with community organizations, UCalgary is helping to address water security and sanitation issues on local and global scales through the following projects:   

Moving up in the ranks  

By actively addressing the United Nations’ SDGs, UCalgary is not only shaping a better future for its students and communities, but also inspiring positive change on a global scale. The university is poised to make an even greater impact, leading the way in creating a more sustainable and equitable world for generations to come.  

“UCalgary’s upward trajectory in sustainability ranking reflects our campus culture of innovation, resilience and empathy that inspires people and communities to act in ways that honour and foster interconnectedness and sustainability innovation,” says Dr. William Ghali, vice-president (research). “We are committed to fostering a more sustainable and equitable world for all.”  

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings are the only global performance tables that assess universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The overall ranking includes 1,591 universities from 112 countries and regions. The U.K., Australia and Canada were the most- represented nations in the 2023 top 100. The Impact Rankings are inherently dynamic; they are growing rapidly each year as many more universities seek to demonstrate their commitment to fulfilling the UN’s goals.     

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