Winchester in top 100 universities world-wide in new ranking for environmental and social impact

3 Apr 2019

The University of Winchester's pioneering work in sustainability and social responsibility has earned the institution a place in the top 100 of the first-ever global University Impact Rankings put together by Times Higher Education.

The new ranking recognises universities across the world for their social and economic impact on society, based on their success in delivering the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Winchester is tied at 76th in the overall impact rankings, out of 500 institutions from 75 countries. Its ranking is based on its performance on SDG 17 - Partnership for the Goals - and three other SDGs.

For these three SDGs, Winchester is tied at tied at 45th for Quality Education (SDG 4), placing it second in the UK. It is tied at 39th for Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10) and at 46th for Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16).

Professor Joy Carter CBE, DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester, said: "It's a huge achievement for Winchester to be placed us among the world's top universities for social impact in these new rankings. It also demonstrates how our commitment to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals translate into groundbreaking work helping to transform the world we live in. We are a community committed to making a difference and our values - compassion, individuals matter and spirituality - inform why we do this and how we achieve it."

There are 17 SDGs which were adopted by the UN in 2016 to provide a framework for developing the world in a sustainable way.

The University's pioneering activities in promoting the SDGs include:

  • The Climate Change Education Strategy commits the University to ensuring students graduate with an understanding of how climate change is relevant to their subject area and their everyday lives and how they can address the challenges it presents.
  • The University's Sustainability Statement, launched in 2018, sets out what sustainability means to the institution and how it will be achieved in practice.
  • The University of Winchester Business School is a PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) Champion School, which aims to develop a new generation of business leaders capable of managing the complex economic, environmental and social challenges faced by twenty-first century business.
  • The University has saved over 72,000 disposable cups from being used on campus through the introduction of a surcharge and free reusable cups for students and staff. An average of 33 drinks in 100 are now served in a reusable cup, up from just three in 100 in 2015/16. All new students are given a reusable cups, which are Gum-tec Americano mugs - made of 20 per cent recycled chewing gum (around 42 pieces per cup). The recycled chewing gum we collect on campus is sent to Gumdrop to then be recycled into the Gum-tec mugs. Winchester's coffee cup initiative has won three national awards, featured on the BBC and been selected as one of the UK's 100 best breakthroughs in the UUK MadeAtUni campaign.
  • The University aims to make a positive environmental impact through the management of its estate. It has the sixth most carbon efficient estate in the higher education sector relative to floor area. All of our electricity comes from renewable sources. None of its waste goes to landfill, with a recycling rate of 60 per cent, up from 14 per cent in January 2009. A two-bin system operates across campus and in halls of residence for dry mixed recycling and general waste. Food waste from catering outlets and office kitchens is sent for anaerobic digestion and waste cooking oil is converted into biodiesel.
  • The LIFE initiative ensures all of our catering outlets across campus offer only Local, Independent, Fair and Ethical food and drinks. Other sustainable food initiatives include a partnership with Perlins Community Project in Winchester who collect coffee grounds from the University's cafes to use as the growing medium in their Oyster Mushrooms Social Enterprise. The University is working with Perlins to purchase the mushrooms grown to use in home-cooked dishes.

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