Universiteit Leiden

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Leiden University in top 10 of sustainability ranking

For the first time, Leiden University has made it to the top 10 of the UI Green Metric, a global sustainability ranking for universities. Of the 780 participating universities, Leiden has taken seventh place.

The UI Green Metric is the initiative of the University of Indonesia (UI). This university releases an annual ranking of how universities around the world deal with things such as energy, climate, recycling, transport and water. It also looks at to what extent sustainability is included in the universities’ research and teaching, and what budget they allocate to these.

Leiden University has rapidly climbed this international ranking over the last few years. Whereas two years ago it only took 49th place and last year 24th, this year it has jumped to seventh place. Its score is above average in the areas of transport, water reduction and energy consumption.

Solar panels and recycling

‘We’ve climbed the ranking in these areas in part because we have installed lots of extra solar panels on our buildings and recycle waste throughout the entire University,’ says Aranka Virágh, an environmental advisor for Leiden University and the LUMC. ‘Moreover, with our national network of universities, we’ve been able to share a great deal of information and thus provide better evidence. That is why the UI Green Metric awarded us all the points that we requested.’

According to the report, Leiden University can still make headway in other area. Its score in the areas of education, research and infrastructure is still somewhat disappointing. ‘Other universities allocate more funds to sustainable education, research or real estate, for instance, or they are clearer about how their degree programmes contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations or have greener university grounds,’ says Virágh.

Collaboration between Dutch universities

A further two Dutch universities have made it to this year’s top ten. Like last year, Wageningen University & Research is the most sustainable of all the participating universities. The University of Groningen shares seventh place with Leiden.

‘We are obviously proud to have made it to the top 10 and to see our efforts rewarded,’ says Martijn Ridderbos, Vice-Chairman of the Executive Board of Leiden University. ‘It is also fantastic to see that the Dutch universities are all doing so well.’

The goal of the participating Dutch universities is for all of them to make it to next year’s top 50. Over the coming year, they will thus continue to share information about sustainability and how to interpret and respond to the ranking.

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