QS Rankings: uOttawa places 72nd globally for sustainability

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Tree filled gateway at uOttawa
University achieves 9th place in Canada, 20th in North America

The 2024 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings: Sustainability were published today and the University of Ottawa improved its placement from the 200's last year to 72nd out of 1403 universities globally, across 95 countries.[NG1] [IMP2] 

The QS Sustainability framework highlights the ways in which universities are tackling the world’s most pressing challenges. It evaluates universities based on data used in the QS World University Rankings, which measures research output related to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and results of reputation surveys

This 2nd edition of the QS World University Rankings: Sustainability measures three categories:

·       Social Impact (employability, equality, health and wellbeing, impact of education, and knowledge exchange);

·       Environmental Impact (environmental education, research and sustainability);

·       And the newly added Good Governance category.

“The University of Ottawa has pledged to embrace sustainable practices to ensure a world in which future generations can live and thrive,” said Jacques Frémont, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ottawa. “It is what our current and future students expect from us."

Sustainability is in fact a key pillar in Transformation 2030, uOttawa’s strategic vision and research priorities.  The results of the QS ranking demonstrate the university’s long-standing commitment to sustainability. The University has committed to reducing energy consumption on campus, applying a climate lens to programming, and climate-proofing campus infrastructure – as well as working towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2040 and becoming a zero-waste campus. Through its Office of Campus Sustainability, uOttawa oversees a series of initiatives aimed at putting sustainability at the core of its activities. For example, the university was the first higher learning institution in Ontario to ban the sale of bottled water back in 2010 in an effort to reduce plastic waste, and last year it committed to divest all its direct equity fossil fuel holdings by 2023 and all indirect holdings by 2030.

The university achieved 45th place in the category of Governance, which looks at open decision-making, holistic ethical organizational culture, student representation on governing university bodies and financial transparency.  And it placed 68th in the category of Social Impact with a particularly good performance, 50th for the Knowledge Exchange indicator, which assesses how universities partner in research between developed and developing regions to share knowledge and spur educational growth and the positive impact of a university on its local community.

These notable results highlight the positive impact of the University of Ottawa’s efforts to be a catalyst for positive change and a leader in sustainability and good governance locally, nationally and on the world stage.

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