We are so proud to share the news that we have been ranked 76th in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings.

This global ranking is based on the contributions that universities are making to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It offers an opportunity for us to showcase the amazing work that our University community is doing to contribute to sustainable development.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by the UN’s 193 member states in 2015 and focus on global priorities including addressing poverty and other deprivations; improving health and education; reducing inequality and fostering economic growth, all through sustainable actions to address the climate and ecological emergency and to promote peace and prosperity for all.

At Essex, we are committed to supporting the advancement of these goals, and to playing our part in reversing the harm caused by recent human history.

Our commitment to a better future for all was reflected in our declaration of a climate and ecological emergency in 2020, and our pledge that, by 2035, we will reach net zero carbon emissions. Our mission in education and research is helping to secure a more sustainable future.

This was our first submission to the THE Impact Rankings and we are delighted to have been placed 76th in the world.

The feedback on our submission shows the difference we are making, and gives us a valuable benchmark to track our progress and continue to build on our social and environmental contributions to global challenges.

As part of our submission, we published a dedicated report which sets out what we are doing to meet each of the goals, through our education and research, as well as how we operate as an organisation.

From ground-breaking research to boost crop yields and tackle food security to studies on ways low income families in Africa and Asia can access financial services, Essex is taking on challenging issues to help improve lives around the world.

Out of the 17 goals, we ranked in the top 100 for 12, with our highest positions in: SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production (16th place), SDG 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (18th place) and SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities (24th place).

Professor Dominic Micklewright, who led the submission with support from colleagues across the University, highlighted the importance of these rankings in allowing us to see the impact we are making to these global goals.

Dom recognised that our position in the rankings reflects the incredible amount of work by all members of our community to improve sustainability at the University.

“Sustainability informs what and how we teach and research as well as how we operate as an organisation,” he said. “Those who study with us, collaborate with us or partner with us can do so with confidence knowing that the University of Essex is committed to global sustainability.”

Aligning with the SDGs, and ensuring we are part of this global effort, has huge benefits for our community and our students.

Research linked to the goals makes a real difference to policy and procedures locally, nationally, and globally, and this knowledge feeds back to our students through their courses. Our students learn about social and environmental issues and solutions to challenges – they will take this with them throughout their lives and make a difference wherever their careers take them.

We are already planning for next year’s Impact Rankings. By annually submitting data, we can demonstrate how well we are working towards the United Nations’ SDGs, showcase the good work we are doing, and continue to challenge ourselves to do more.

We will be preparing our submission to the 2023 THE Impact Rankings throughout the year. If you have worked on research which makes a contribution to the SDGs, please contact impactrankings@essex.ac.uk