York ranked eighth in UK in new sustainability rankings

The University of York has been ranked the eighth most sustainable university in the UK and 36th in the world, according to the QS Sustainability Rankings 2023.

The rankings assessed the ability of 700 universities around the world to “tackle the world’s greatest environmental, social and governance challenges”. 


Universities were measured on their overall sustainability as well as the sustainability of their research and education provision. Social impact measures such as equality, knowledge exchange, educational impact, employability and opportunities and quality of life were also taken into account. 

York came in at joint 36th place in the world, tied with the University of Adelaide, in Australia.

The QS Sustainability Rankings 2023 is QS’ first league table focused on social and environmental sustainability performance in higher education institutions.


York’s sustainability initiatives include: 

  • 100% divestment from fossil fuels
  • 26,000kWh per year of solar energy generated by 80 solar panels installed across our University campus
  • The YORCUP Scheme which has saved over one million single-use plastic cups from being thrown away
  • Research on environmental sustainability and resilience – by collaborating widely and working across disciplines, researchers at York are helping to shape a more sustainable future for us all. 


Mark Clough, Sustainability Manager at the University of York, said: “We are really pleased that our work as a community to enhance sustainability locally and globally through all areas of the University’s teaching and learning, research and campus operations have been recognised in these rankings.

“We are ambitious in our plans to continue to operate in a more sustainable way and are working alongside the local community and other partners to reduce our energy consumption and carbon footprint, procure goods responsibly, embed innovative environmental sustainability in our education and keep it at the forefront of our research.” 

In September, The University was ranked top in the region (Yorks and Humber) and 17th nationally, according to The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.