GSK Building Nottingham, Jubilee Campus

University of Nottingham is third in the world for sustainability

Monday, 12 December 2022

The University of Nottingham has been ranked third in the world in a list of the most sustainable universities – retaining its top three position for a third consecutive year.

The UI Green Metric, produced by the Universitas Indonesia, is the only university ranking in the world that measures each participating university’s commitment in developing an ‘environmentally friendly’ infrastructure. The rankings look at six indicators: setting and infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste, water, transportation, and education.

More than 900 universities from 84 countries take part in the rankings every year and, since first taking part in 2010, Nottingham has consistently been placed in the top four.

Sustainability is at the heart of the university’s core goals and vision. Several initiatives are paving the way to ensure a greener future for Nottingham, from actively working on solutions to reduce demand for energy - particularly in building stock - and generating more of its own power, through to changing travel policies to reduce unnecessary travel and encourage lower carbon journeys to offset the environmental impact.

Global collaboration is also at the forefront of the university’s drive for carbon neutrality, as it’s currently working with the Ministry of Transport in Indonesia to develop infrastructure for electric vehicles and SMEs who are working to adapt conventional vehicles for electric propulsion. A new net zero translation centre in West Java will upskill industries to support the transition of Indonesia’s most populous province towards a net zero economy – with an initial target of renewables meeting 20% of the energy needs of 50 million people by 2025.

Closer to home, the university’s pledges filter down to day-to-day activity, such as providing refill points across campus to reduce the need for bottled water, partnering with Too Good to Go – an app that helps businesses sell surplus food, reducing waste – and introducing carbon labelling on some menus to educate staff and students of the CO2 impact of their food choices.

It also recently committed to becoming a nature positive university, aiming to plant more than 800 trees and hedges this month to increase biodiversity and habitats while simultaneously removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

Professor Shearer West, Vice-Chancellor
I am delighted at this recognition for the work of our colleagues in research, teaching and professional services who are committed to creating a more sustainable university and a zero-carbon planet. At the University of Nottingham, we are doing our utmost to make a difference and sustainability informs every aspect of life and work on our campuses.
Professor Shearer West, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Nottingham

Professor West continued: "We are delivering zero carbon technologies, building partnerships with industry to scale up and drive transformational change, putting sustainability at the heart of all university operations, and inspiring our graduates to act as globally minded citizens and change-makers. The university has set ambitious, science-based carbon reduction targets: by 2030 to reduce our emissions by 63%, with an aspiration of net zero by 2040 and absolute zero by 2050.

“Our emerging zero carbon research and innovation cluster will create a regional hub, where we will work with our partners in industry to turn discoveries made in the lab or workshop into innovative, sustainable products and services. We will scale up the delivery of these to homes, business, and society. This cluster will support change, generate regional economic benefit, and place the UK at the forefront of sustainable innovation.

Times Higher Education’s analysis of REF 2021 places us 7th in the UK for our research power, which takes into account the sustainability, quality, international impact and critical mass of our research. The greatest challenge of our time remains simply enormous; however, we are determined to make our contribution and to work with our partners to meet this challenge head-on.
Professor Shearer West, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Nottingham

More information on University of Nottingham Sustainability can be found here

Story credits

More information is available from Danielle Hall, Media Relations Manager at the University of Nottingham, at or 0115 846 7156.    

Danielle Hall - Media Relations Manager - Faculty of Engineering
Phone: 0115 846 7156

Notes to editors:

About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

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