York U makes top 20 list of greenest universities in world ranking

image of campus walk on the Keele campus

Green university image showing sign that asks York community members to reduce, reuse and recycleFor the fourth year running, York University has ranked among the greenest universities on the planet, placing 13th overall in the 2013 GreenMetric Ranking on university sustainability. The 2013 survey included more than 300 universities from 61 countries around the world.

The GreenMetric Ranking rates participating universities on criteria such as energy consumption and climate change mitigation, waste and water management, transportation, and teaching and research in sustainability.

“This consistent recognition of York’s global leadership in sustainability reflects the strong commitment of our students, staff and faculty to be green innovators,” said Mamdouh Shoukri, president & vice-chancellor of York University. “It also reinforces our determination to work together to reduce our ecological footprint.”

The University of Nottingham from the United Kingdom placed first overall in the ranking, while the University College of Cork in Ireland placed second, with Northeastern University in the United States in third.

York received high scores in all categories, doing particularly well on waste management, water conservation, transportation, energy conservation, and education.

“We continue to build a strong foundation of teaching, research, and action on sustainability here at York,” said Professor Ilan Kapoor, chair of the President’s Sustainability Council. “It is encouraging to receive this external validation, and it reminds us of our commitment to leadership in university sustainability.”

Aside from a long history of teaching and learning on sustainability at York, the University has a wide variety of programs focusing on sustainability in the areas of waste management, energy conservation, transportation, purchasing and community engagement.

“Our ongoing commitment to sustainability here at York has wide-ranging benefits,” said Richard Francki, assistant vice-president of Campus Services & Business Operations (CSBO). “Not only are we protecting the natural environment for future generations, but we are also saving the University money through more efficient use of resources, and that is money that can be put back into academic programming.”

For more information on sustainability initiatives at York, visit the sustainability website and the CSBO website, or e-mail sustainability@yorku.ca.

Some of York’s recent achievements in sustainability:

  • A 25 per cent reduction in energy use since 2007
  • A 63 per cent waste diversion rate
  • Approximately 80 per cent of the University community commuting by alternative transportation (public transit, carpooling, walking, cycling)
  • More than 500 courses that are related to environment and sustainability.