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Best universities for recycling and sustainability 2024

Explore the top 100 universities championing responsible consumption and production in the聽91原创聽Impact Rankings聽

    July 3 2024
    Best universities for recycling and reusing

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    Plastic use has become one of the biggest issues of this generation, with bottles, bags, food packaging and straws littering our beaches and clogging up our oceans.

    While we have a long way to go to rectify this, there are many things you can do to help preserve the planet. And one of those is holding your university to account and understanding what it鈥檚 doing to consume materials responsibly.

    The 91原创 Impact Rankings is a good place to start if you are looking to see which universities are dedicated to reducing plastic waste, minimising the use of disposable items and working to recycle more, and which have policies in place for sourcing ethical goods.

    To put together this ranking, we mapped how universities around the world are committing to the (SDGs). The SDGs are a global call to action to tackle poverty, climate change and inequality.

    The SDGs look to tackle some of today鈥檚 biggest global issues, and SDG聽12 covers responsible consumption and production. More on the methodology for this ranking can be found here.

    =1. Bournemouth University

    Bournemouth University takes joint first place in this year鈥檚 table for SDG 12.聽

    The university has committed to reduce its carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030/31. The steps to achieve this are outlined in its Campus Heat Decarbonisation Plan.

    Bournemouth University is focused on reducing overall waste per person through a range of different measures including encouraging students to refill their bottles and a returnable cup scheme, which has reduced disposable coffee cup waste.聽

    The university offers guidance on what can and can鈥檛 be recycled and provides points throughout the campus where students and staff can dispose of non-recyclable products correctly.聽

    =1. King鈥檚聽College London

    King鈥檚聽College London has created a Waste and Resource Strategy and Action Plan, which outlines the institution鈥檚 plan to increase recycling and reduce waste.聽

    Its has set the target to reduce operational waste by 30 per cent and increase recycling to 60 per cent by 2023-24. The university also operates a zero waste to landfill policy.

    The plan outlines how different waste is collected and disposed of and encourages students and staff to use the correct bins on campus to support this.聽

    3.鈥University of Reading

    The University of Reading is working with students to embed sustainability and sustainable development into all courses to educate students about the importance of sustainable living.

    In addition to this, the university offers a range of modules on environmental and social issues to all undergraduate students, regardless of which faculty they are studying in. There is also a free online two-week course in which you can investigate the impact of climate change and the research being done into it.

    The university has a range of sustainability projects, including the Research Woodland and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme.


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    4.鈥Western Sydney University

    In 2017,聽Western Sydney University signed the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network 91原创 Commitment. This means that it has committed to undertaking research in sustainable development, providing courses for students in sustainable development and responsible consumption and ensuring that its campus is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive.

    The university undertakes a range of sustainability-related research, including on sustainable agriculture, soil biology and food security.

    It has a range of living labs on its campus to aid with teaching and research in areas such as renewable energy, water recycling and and natural and cultural heritage.

    5.鈥University of Sheffield

    The Donate, Don鈥檛 Waste scheme at the University of Sheffield helps students donate reusable items, recycle waste and minimise their impact on the environment and local community when they move out of their student accommodation.

    There is also a checklist that students can use when moving out of their accommodation on how to correctly donate and dispose of unwanted items.聽

    The university also has litter-picking equipment available for students if they wish to pick up litter in their local area, or they can join community litter-picking groups in Sheffield.聽


    Best universities for recycling and sustainability 2024

    Recycling and sustainability rank 2024UniversityCountry/region
    =1Bournemouth UniversityUnited Kingdom
    =1King鈥檚 College LondonUnited Kingdom
    3University of ReadingUnited Kingdom
    4Western Sydney UniversityAustralia
    5University of SheffieldUnited Kingdom
    6University of PlymouthUnited Kingdom
    =7University of ExeterUnited Kingdom
    =7University of ManchesterUnited Kingdom
    9Swansea UniversityUnited Kingdom
    =10University of CanterburyNew Zealand
    =10University of GalwayIreland
    =12University of Technology SydneyAustralia
    =12Yonsei University (Seoul campus)South Korea
    14Bangor UniversityUnited Kingdom
    =15University of GlasgowUnited Kingdom
    =15University of the West of EnglandUnited Kingdom
    17Nottingham Trent UniversityUnited Kingdom
    18University Rey Juan CarlosSpain
    19Universit茅 LavalCanada
    =20Manchester Metropolitan UniversityUnited Kingdom
    =20University of CalgaryCanada
    22University of StrathclydeUnited Kingdom
    23University of WarwickUnited Kingdom
    24National Cheng Kung University (NCKU)Taiwan
    25Chinese University of Hong KongHong Kong
    26University College CorkIreland
    27University of BristolUnited Kingdom
    28University of EssexUnited Kingdom
    29Tunghai UniversityTaiwan
    =30University of AucklandNew Zealand
    =30University of HelsinkiFinland
    =30York UniversityCanada
    33Arizona State University (Tempe)United States
    =34Ain Shams UniversityEgypt
    =34Northumbria UniversityUnited Kingdom
    =34University of GironaSpain
    =34University of WollongongAustralia
    38Wageningen University & ResearchNetherlands
    =39KTH Royal Institute of TechnologySweden
    =39University of VictoriaCanada
    41RMIT UniversityAustralia
    =42Lovely Professional UniversityIndia
    =42The Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyHong Kong
    44IMT AtlantiqueFrance
    =45McMaster UniversityCanada
    =45University of AlbertaCanada
    =45University of EdinburghUnited Kingdom
    =45University of FlorenceItaly
    49Universitas AirlanggaIndonesia
    =50Aalborg UniversityDenmark
    =50Lancaster UniversityUnited Kingdom
    =52Abdullah G眉l UniversityTurkey
    =52Western UniversityCanada
    54Ume氓 UniversitySweden
    55Universiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaMalaysia
    =56Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical SciencesIndia
    =56University of AberdeenUnited Kingdom
    58University of SurreyUnited Kingdom
    59La Trobe UniversityAustralia
    =60University of LeicesterUnited Kingdom
    =60University of TasmaniaAustralia
    62University of NewcastleAustralia
    63Hong Kong Baptist UniversityHong Kong
    =64Newcastle UniversityUnited Kingdom
    =64University of GreenwichUnited Kingdom
    66University of LimerickIreland
    67The University of QueenslandAustralia
    =68De Montfort UniversityUnited Kingdom
    =68Universit茅 Catholique de LouvainBelgium
    =68University of SharjahUnited Arab Emirates
    71King Faisal UniversitySaudi Arabia
    72Symbiosis International UniversityIndia
    =73An-Najah National UniversityPalestine
    =73University of WaterlooCanada
    75University of StirlingUnited Kingdom
    76Queen鈥檚 UniversityCanada
    77Massey UniversityNew Zealand
    78JSS Academy of 91原创 and ResearchIndia
    =79Iqra UniversityPakistan
    =79Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUTFinland
    81University of the Sunshine CoastAustralia
    82UNSW SydneyAustralia
    =83Katholische Universit盲t Eichst盲tt-IngolstadtGermany
    =83University of SussexUnited Kingdom
    85Durham UniversityUnited Kingdom
    86Kasetsart UniversityThailand
    87National Taiwan University (NTU)Taiwan
    88Indian Institute of Technology GandhinagarIndia
    89Universiti Malaysia Pahang Al-Sultan Abdullah (UMPSA)Malaysia
    =90James Cook UniversityAustralia
    =90Queen鈥檚 University BelfastUnited Kingdom
    =90University of LeedsUnited Kingdom
    =93Jadara UniversityJordan
    =93University of NorthamptonUnited Kingdom
    =95Central Queensland UniversityAustralia
    =95Mahidol UniversityThailand
    =95National Yunlin University of Science and TechnologyTaiwan
    =95The University of Tennessee-KnoxvilleUnited States
    =95University of Central LancashireUnited Kingdom
    100University of Eastern FinlandFinland

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