University of Liverpool ranked in world’s top 50 in QS Sustainability Rankings


The University of Liverpool has risen 100 places and ranked among the world’s top 50 for its environmental and social impact in the annual QS Sustainability Rankings.

In the 2024 QS Sustainability Rankings, which were released today (5 December 2023), the University is ranked 50th globally out of 1,403 institutions.

Four areas scored particularly well, in the top 20 globally.  These were equality (ranked 5th), good governance (ranked 11th), knowledge exchange (ranked 14th), and health and wellbeing (ranked 18th).

The rankings use a methodology comprised of indicators designed to measure an institution's ability to tackle the world’s greatest environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges. Indicators are split into environmental sustainability measures – including sustainable institutions, sustainable education, and sustainable research – and social impact measures, which includes equality, knowledge exchange, educational impact, employability and opportunities, and quality of life.

Equality is one of the lynchpins of sustainable development as expressed through the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). QS's equality lens assesses a university's efforts to instil not only an atmosphere of gender equality, but of reduced inequalities more widely - including discrimination based on other personal characteristics such as sexual orientation, disability, race, and wealth. . The University is committed to providing an environment which recognises, values, respects, and celebrates people's differences and strengths supported by its Diversity and Equality policies.

Good governance is worth 10% of the overall score, and assesses whether institutions have good leadership, a democratic process of appointing leadership, open and documented decision making, and power across the institution, including students. The metrics in this lens include the centrality of ethics, good hiring practices, open decision making, a students’ union and transparent financial reporting.

This year’s QS Sustainability Rankings is the largest ever, with 1,403 universities across 95 locations participating, up from 700 last year.

Liverpool 2031

Our recently launched strategic framework, Liverpool 2031, sets out how we will develop the confidence and sustained excellence to break into the top 100 ranked universities worldwide. This ambition is measured against the QS World Rankings. This year, QS introduced Sustainability as a contributing performance lens as part of the QS World University Rankings methodology, emphasising the importance of this topic to students, institutions, and the wider sector.

Nicola Davies, Chief Financial Officer at the University of Liverpool and Sustainability lead said: “I am delighted that we are ranked in the top 50 universities worldwide for sustainability.  This is testament to the work that goes on right across the University focussed on sustainability in its broadest sense.  It is fantastic that our ambition and positive impact has been recognised, and this result demonstrates the importance of continuing to prioritise our sustainability activities”.

The full rankings can be found at: 

QS’ full methodological breakdown for the Sustainability Rankings can be found here.

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