UC Berkeley Takes #1 in the First Ever QS Sustainability World University Rankings

November 2, 2022

UC Berkeley has been named the top sustainable university out of 700 global higher education institutions, for its focus on tackling Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). Based on the evaluation by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) of the environmental impact and the social impact of higher education institutions across the globe, UC Berkeley achieved a perfect score of 100 — pulling Berkeley ahead of the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia. 

The Environmental Impact category includes three performance indicators: sustainable institutions, sustainable education and sustainable research. The lens of sustainable institutions, which represents 17.5% of the overall evaluation, assesses the commitment, strategy and practices on campus that both aim and demonstrate an environmentally sustainable future. The following represents the institutional metrics QS considered:

  • Alumni Impact on environment from the corporate sector 

  • Membership of organizations and groups devoted to sustainable development 

  • Staff perceptions of their institution's commitment 

  • Having procurement and investment policies that refer to sustainability 

  • Having a student society related to the environment or sustainable development 

  • Recording and reporting the institution’s energy, emissions and water usage.

UC Berkeley achieved the highest points available in the institutional category. “We are pleased to receive this recognition and top ranking for Berkeley’s leadership in addressing the most pressing environmental sustainability issues of our times,” offered Kira Stoll, campus chief sustainability officer. “It is also great to be in the company of so many other higher education institutions helping to lead the way.”  

For more information on the ranking and methodology indicators visit the QS website. Find more detail on the UC Berkeley evaluation here