York University climbs in QS Sustainability Rankings

Aerial view of York Keele campus summer

York University continues to strengthen its momentum as a global leader in sustainability, climbing more than 100 spots in the latest QS Sustainability Rankings – which evaluate the social, environmental and governance impact of global institutions – to rank 118th out of over 1,400 universities.

In addition to its momentum in the overall rankings, York also achieved strong global placement in several significant categories, including ranking 14th in equality and 100th in governance.

“These rankings reflect York University’s steadfast commitment to creating a world that is equitable, just and sustainable,” says York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton. “The climate crisis is the most urgent priority we face on the planet, and failure to take action will have severe environmental, social and economic repercussions for us all. As a modern and progressive international university, York plays an important role in promoting the cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration needed to respond to global challenges through our purposeful research and teaching, our university-wide call to advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and through the bold initiatives we are taking to reduce emissions on our campuses.”

York’s placement in the QS Sustainability Rankings builds on the institution’s strong showings in other prestigious rankings throughout 2023.

In July, the University strengthened its global position as a leading research-intensive university by climbing more than 100 spots to 353rd in the world in the QS World University Rankings.

In March, the 2023 QS Subject Report Rankings found York ranked among the top 100 in the world in three subject areas: English language and literature, philosophy and, for the first time, performing arts

According to the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings in June, the University placed among the top 40 institutions advancing the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including ranking 21st in fighting poverty, 25th in reducing inequalities and 12th in building more sustainable cities and communities.   

York University recently committed further to becoming one of the most sustainable institutions in Canada, to develop a strategy with an aim to achieve net-zero emissions on Scope 1 and 2 emissions at York University and to significantly reduce Scope 3 emissions before 2040 – a decade sooner than its previous commitment. 

“As an internationally recognized leader in sustainability, York University has a responsibility to act on global challenges facing humanity, including ecological degradation, climate change and growing socio-economic inequality. The bold actions we are taking on our campuses, and in our local and global communities, will build on the strong foundation we have created and move us closer to our goal of becoming one of the most sustainable institutions in Canada,” Lenton said during a special announcement on Nov. 23.

Guided by a University Academic Plan and Sustainability Policy that seek to inspire and deliver positive change, York’s high-quality academic programming and research continue to position the institution as a leader in sustainability in post-secondary education in Canada and around the world.