University of São Paulo - Brazil

USP is the eighth most sustainable university in the world according to the GreenMetric ranking

The ranking was disclosed during the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference, which is taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

by Rose Talamone for the USP Journal

The President of the UI GreenMetric World University Rankings, Riri Fitri Sari, presents the award to the representative of the Environmental Management Superintendence of USP, Fernanda da Rocha Brando Fernandez. On the screen, Professor Patricia Iglecias. Photo: USP Journal.

For the first time, a Brazilian university occupies the eighth position in the ranking – and the best in Latin America – according to the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking 2023, disclosed this Tuesday, December 5th, during the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference, which is taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

GreenMetric is a global network that brings together universities from around the world in the development of projects focused on environmental sustainability on campuses, education and research related to the theme, and actions promoted within the community.

USP has risen two positions compared to the previous ranking. In this edition, of the first seven classified, six are European universities and one is American. The evaluation criteria in the ranking include the collection of basic information about the university’s size and zoning profile, whether urban, suburban, or rural; the degree of green space, electricity consumption in relation to carbon footprint; transportation, water usage, waste management, infrastructure configuration, energy and climate change, and education and research programs, policies, actions, and communication in the area of environmental sustainability.

At the top positions are Wageningen University (Netherlands), Nottingham Trent University (United Kingdom), and Umwelt-Campus Birkenfeld (Germany). Among the Latin American universities, after USP, are Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (Mexico), in 16th position, and Universidad del Rosario (Colombia), in 32nd. Universidade Federal de Lavras (UFLA) is the second best-positioned Brazilian university, in 40th place.

The Superintendent of Environmental Management at USP, Patricia Faga Iglecias Lemos, celebrates the result since this is a ranking that takes into account many factors, and advancing one position makes all the difference. “The closer we get to the first place, the harder it gets, as the ranking takes into account everything from energy usage to natural resources, education, and research. Therefore, the SGA team made a great effort in planning and monitoring actions, seeking to advance in the ranking,” she considers.

The professor also highlights the joint work between professors, staff, and students, as well as the support of the current management of the Rectorate for USP to be truly more sustainable.

The UI GreenMetric World University Ranking was created by the University of Indonesia (UI) in 2010. In the 2023 edition, 1,183 institutions from 85 countries were evaluated. USP scored 9,425 out of a possible 10,000 points.

According to Professor Tadeu Fabricio Malheiros, from the School of Engineering of São Carlos (EESC), a member of the SGA and responsible for filling out the GreenMetric forms, sustainability at USP has been implemented for many years. He cites USP Recicla as an example, which has been active for over a decade. “The diversity among the campuses and their specific contexts allows for the possibility of experimenting with very diverse actions, and with the engagement of the community as a whole, which strengthens the indicators and reflects the maturity of the University in this context,” he says.