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New global rankings highlight UC’s commitment to SDGs

12 June 2024

Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury (UC) has ranked among the top 50 in the world for its commitment to five of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  


Released today, the University’s 2024 placing in the Times Higher Education (THE) annual Impact Rankings showcases its commitment to a better future for current and future generations, and for the planet. 

We are delighted that UC has been ranked in the top 50 in five Sustainable Development Goals; Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, and Life on Land. 

“These results demonstrate how UC has embraced the Sustainable Development Goals in all aspects of our operations, and highlight the hard work of the University community,” says Amorangi Toitū | Pro-Vice-Chancellor Sustainability, Professor Jan Evans-Freeman.  

THE Impact Rankings measure the success of over 2000 universities globally in delivering the United Nations SDGs, and for the third year, UC has been ranked in the top 100 for Global Impact.  

“When we were building our 10-year strategy back in 2019, it became obvious the theme of ‘sustainability’ affected many disciplines across the University – particularly teaching, research, and campus operations. Ever since then, UC has consciously been on a journey to improve its sustainability,” Professor Evans-Freeman says. 

The University is working closely with its community and the city of Ōtautahi Christchurch on the development of sustainable solutions to global challenges, including for example through sharing knowledge in public talks, collaboration on sustaining the biodiversity of the city’s northwest corridor, liaison with local schools and sustainability-themed events on campus. 

UC partners with a number of sustainably focused organisations including, Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS), the global Race to Zero and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. UC is also a signatory of the Edible Canterbury Charter, supporting Waitaha | Canterbury’s resilience food network.   

You can read more about UC’s commitment to the SDGs here.  

The 2024 Impact Rankings were announced at THE’s Global Sustainable Development (GSD) Congress in Bangkok, Thailand. UC is sponsoring the Sustainable Cities and Communities track at the congress, which convenes global leaders, scholars, policy-makers, and innovators in addressing the urgent challenges of sustainable development. 

“As part of the congress, UC is presenting a panel session and a number of keynote talks with globally significant researchers. This congress provides a unique platform for exchanging ideas, forming strategic partnerships, and promoting innovative solutions in support of the United Nations’ SDGs,” Professor Jan Evans-Freeman says.  

In late 2023, the University announced it will host the United Nations 8th Adaptation Futures Conference in 2025, helping position Oceania and Aotearoa New Zealand at the forefront of climate adaptation and allowing our people to demonstrate thought leadership while benefiting from high-level knowledge sharing, networking and collaboration opportunities created by this event. 

Find out more about UC’s core research strength of resilient cities and communities here>  


sdg 12 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 - Responsible consumption and production.

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