Staff news

University of Edinburgh ranked 3rd in the UK for sustainability

The QS World University Rankings: Sustainability 2024 has ranked the University of Edinburgh 3rd in the UK, 6th in Europe and 15th globally out of a total 1,403 institutions.

The rankings compare university action to address the world’s environmental, social and governance issues, taking into account data from climate policies and emissions to the impact of alumni.

We are proud to remain among the world’s top institutions for sustainability in an increasingly competitive field, with the 2024 sustainability rankings including twice the number of institutions compared to the 2023 edition.  

Leading in good governance 

Our ethical policies, financial transparency, governance structures and student representation were also recognised with a score of 99.7 out of 100, placing us 7th globally in the newly introduced Governance section. 

We continue to score highly in key areas including environmental education and research, reflecting ongoing efforts to meaningfully embed climate and sustainability across the curriculum, and to increase the scale and impact of our climate-related research. 

We are proud to remain among the leading universities in the UK for sustainability, and to be recognised for our Governance structures and ethical policies which provide a strong foundation for tackling the key challenges we face, primarily our carbon emissions.

With 43% prospective students actively researching university sustainability credentials, it is encouraging and motivating to see other universities stepping up their sustainability efforts. We will continue to strive to become a socially responsible, net zero University and lead our sector to a more sustainable future.

Dave Gorman, Director, Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh

The QS Student Recruitment Report 

Climate Strategy  

In our 2016 Climate Strategy, we committed to become net zero by 2040 and set out a whole institution approach to climate mitigation and adaptation. We have introduced projects to address sustainability and social challenges, including the Sustainable Travel Policy, Sustainable Campus fund, and our Community Grants scheme. 

Sustainable Travel Policy

Sustainable Campus Fund

Community Grants Scheme

In future, the University will increase its capacity to generate renewable energy on-campus and is currently consulting staff and students on recommended changes to its Climate and Environmental Strategy. The proposed changes aim to drive a step change in the University’s carbon emissions reductions and to bring broader environmental challenges into the scope of the strategy. 

Are you a student or member of staff at the University? You have the chance to inform our response to the environmental crises we face by completing our consultation (deadline Monday 18 December). 

Seeking your views: complete the consultation 


Find out more 

QS World Rankings: Sustainability 2024 (external)

QS World Rankings: Sustainability 2023  (external)

The QS Student Recruitment Report (external)

Social Responsibility and Sustainability 

Strategy and Performance