Social Responsibility and Sustainability

University ranks sixth in UK for positive impact

The University has ranked among the world’s top institutions for its social, environmental and economic impact.

Times Higher Education has announced the results of its Impact Rankings, a league table of 1,406 universities assessed against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Times Higher Education Impact Rankings - 2022 Top 30

Top score

Edinburgh is among the top two per cent in the table, ranking 29th with an overall score of 93.9 out of 100 – its best result to date.

The score makes the University the fourth highest ranking Russell Group institution, and the sixth best in the UK.

Milestone year

The University’s top performing category is Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, with a score of 99.8 out of 100 putting it in fifth place out of 785 institutions.

The result comes as students and recent graduates launched 100 start-up companies in a single year for the first time in 2021-22, higher than any Russell Group institute has ever recorded.

Of the 100 start-ups, 43 were founded by women, and 21 of the businesses define themselves as social enterprises, meaning they exist to benefit society. 

Net zero goals

Partnership for the Goals, and Responsible Consumption and Production, were also high scoring categories for the University, with rankings of ninth and 32nd respectively.

The result reflects the University’s inclusion of climate and sustainability topics into its degree programmes, elective modules and extra-curricular activities, as well as its range of short online courses on climate and sustainability.

It also takes into account its strategy to become a net zero waste organisation by 2030 through putting circular economy thinking, waste prevention and recycling at the forefront of its relationship with resources and managing our estates.

Positive progress

The fantastic staff and students of the University of Edinburgh show great commitment to the University’s mission of making the world a better place.

Our Strategy 2030 aligns the University with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and despite the challenges of the last two difficult years we continue to deliver positive change locally and globally through our academic research, education, operations and partnerships. I am always pleased to see our progress being recognised. 

Professor Peter MathiesonPrincipal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh University

Related links

2022: Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022

2021: University ranked 36th in the world for SDG impact

2020: Edinburgh ranked 30th in the world in Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

2019-20: University projects working towards the Sustainable Development Goals