Dalhousie’s global ranking of eighth for work on Sustainable Development Goal 14, Life below water, sits at the top of a list of Dal successes in this year’s Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. It’s the highest national placement for this category, positioning Dal as the Canadian leader for this important goal.
The university also earned a top 100 place overall in this year’s ranking. The success reflects Dal’s commitment to supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are focused on creating peace and prosperity for people and the planet
The Impact Rankings — released annually — measure the work universities have put into delivering on the UN SDGs. This is the first time Dalhousie has submitted evidence across all 17 categories, and the extra effort is paying off.
This year, Dalhousie ranks top 50 in the world for:
- SDG 14: Life below water — first in Canada and eighth in the world
- SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation — third in Canada and 17th in the world
- SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production — second in Canada and 19th in the world
- SDG 15: Life on land — seventh in Canada and 31st in the world
- SDG 2: Zero hunger — seventh in Canada and 36th in the world
- SDG 13: Climate action — sixth in Canada and tied for 48th in the world
Dalhousie also ranked in the top 100 for SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions (eighth in Canada and tied for 59th in the world).
The university received top 200 rankings for SDG1: No poverty, SDG 3: Good health and wellbeing, SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy (tied for fifth in Canada), SDG 9: Industry, innovation, and infrastructure, SDG 10: Reduced inequalities, SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities, and SDG 17: Partnership for the goals.
See the full results on the Impact Rankings website.
Participating across all 17 goals meant gathering evidence for a series of measurements related to each goal — a big job that needed incredible collaboration and organization. Three categories of metrics are calculated for each SDG, and while research metrics are derived from data supplied by Elsevier, both continuous metrics and policy and initiative information require public evidence to support claims.
Learn more: Impact Rankings 2023 methodology
The work was led by Dalhousie’s Planning and Analytics team, with support from the Rankings Working Group, and was successful thanks to the contribution of colleagues from units across the university.
Dr. Alice Aiken, vice-president, research and innovation, who is also the university’s executive lead for rankings, says it’s rewarding to see this year’s effort had such positive results.
“The SDGs are an important part of our research strategy, and they feature prominently in the university’s strategic plan. The Impact Rankings provide a global benchmark we can use to assess and demonstrate our progress,” says Dr. Aiken. “We know our efforts are making a difference. When we take our place among the top universities in Canada, and around the world, that simply affirms it.”
This is the fifth year in which the Impact Rankings have assessed universities on contributions to the UN SDGs. Each year, the number of universities taking part continues to grow — this year’s rankings include 1,591 institutions from 112 countries, up from 1,406 last year.
The 2023 Impact Rankings is based on evidence of research, actions, and operations that took place during the 2021-22 academic year.
Related reading: Impact on Global Goals website
Dalhousie’s overall score of 88.3, out of a possible 100, is an increase of 3.5 points over last year’s score, which reflects both the university’s progress in this important work and a concerted effort to supply the most compelling evidence.
The final score in the overall ranking is calculated by combining the score in SDG 17 with the top three scores out of the remaining 16 SDGs. The score for the overall ranking is an average of the last two years’ total scores.
Below are further details about Dal’s top 100 placements.
SDG 14: Life below water
Dalhousie places first in Canada and eighth in the world for work across the university in support of life below water. The university earned 92/100 for research on life below water, educational and direct support for aquatic ecosystems, water-sensitive waste disposal, and local ecosystem maintenance.
Related reading: SDG 14: Life below water (Impact on Global Goals)
SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation
The university comes third in Canada, 17th in the world for its work toward clean water and sanitation. Dal scored 84.1/100 for water research, water consumption per person, water usage and care, water reuse, and a commitment to ensuring good water management in the wider community.
Related reading: SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation (Impact on Global Goals)
SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production
Dal ranks second in Canada and 19th in the world for efforts related to responsible consumption and production. Assessment for this area included research on responsible consumption combined with Dal’s operational measures, approach to recycling waste, and publication of a sustainability report, resulting in an 88.7/100 score.
Related reading: SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production (Impact on Global Goals)
SDG 15: Life on land
Work in support of life on land earns Dal seventh place in Canada and 31st in the world with a score of 85.2/100. This category looked at research, support for land ecosystems through education and action, and land-sensitive waste disposal.
Related reading: SDG 15: Life on land (Impact on Global Goals)
SDG 2: Zero hunger
A score of 76.3/100 places Dalhousie seventh in Canada and 36th in the world for efforts toward zero hunger. In addition to research on hunger, the score includes teaching on food sustainability, Dal’s efforts to tackle campus food waste, percentage of graduates in Agriculture, and a commitment to addressing hunger on campus and nationally.
Related Reading: SDG 2: Zero hunger (Impact on Global Goals)
SDG 13: Climate Action
Dal places sixth in Canada and ties for 48th in the world for its efforts to take part in climate action. The score of 73.9/100 was earned through research on climate change, low-carbon energy use, environmental education measures, commitment to carbon neutrality, and Dal’s preparation for dealing with the consequences of climate change.
Related reading: SDG 13: Climate Action (Impact on Global Goals)
SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
Dal ranks eighth in Canada and ties for 59th in the world with a score of 80.6/100 for work related to peace, justice, and strong institutions. The score included marks for research on peace and justice, university governance measures, participation as advisors for government, percentage of graduates in law and civil enforcement, and policies on academic freedom.
Related reading: SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions (Impact on Global Goals)
Catch up on last year’s results: Dalhousie ranked among the top 50 globally for improving good health & well‑being and life below water
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