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UMinho among the 50 most sustainable universities in the world

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Campus de Azurém, Guimarães
GreenMetric Rankings logo
Wednesday, 12/20/2017
Campus de Azurém, Guimarães
According to the GreenMetric ranking, UMinho is the most sustainable Portuguese university, featuring as the second most sustainable in the Iberian Peninsula and 48th worldwide.
The University of Minho achieved the best result ever attained by a Portuguese university in the UI GreenMetric World University Rankings 2017, which evaluates the environmental sustainability indicators of higher education institutions around the world. UMinho tops the Portuguese list and features as the second in the Iberian Peninsula, 23rd in Europe and 48th worldwide. This was the first time the university participated in this ranking. In its eighth edition, UMinho achieved the best Portuguese result and reached the worlwide top 10 in the category “Education for sustainability”. Portugal is also represented on this year’s general list by the University of Aveiro (413th position) and by the Polytechnic Institute of Santarém (539th position), among 616 higher education institutions from 74 countries. The ranking is topped by the University of Wageningen (Holland), the University of Nottingham (UK) and the University of California Davis (USA).

There are five British higher education institutions on the top 10.
According to the rector Rui Vieira de Castro, “UMinho has a commitment to creating a world-leading university leadership strategy for sustainability, by building a healthier, more vibrant and participating community.” The rector also added that higher education institutions have “an additional responsibility” on sustainability, which is considered “the only solution for global challenges” by institutions such as the UN, the World Economic Forum and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. For the coordinator of UMinho’s application and former pro-rector Paulo Ramísio, these results show that "sustainability is an identity brand for this institution, embraced by all in an active commitment for a better future."

Identity brand


During the past year alone, UMinho erected two buildings for the Institute of Science and Innovation for Bio-Sustainability (IB-S), with a budget of €9 million. Furthermore, the university applied €2.8 million in sustainability research projects (47% in total), publishing 715 papers on the subject and holding 59 related-events. At the same time, a quarter of the 6782 courses offered to the university’s almost 20 thousand students feature contents on sustainability. A specific multidisciplinary curricular unit was created about the topic, which is being promoted by the Schools of Economics, Engineering, Sciences and Social Sciences.

In 2010, UMinho was also the first university in the country to publish its sustainability indicators. The UMinho’s Annual Sustainability Reports are fundamental documents in this long-term vision, by identifying the environmental and socioeconomical impacts of the institution. For instante, the university is a catalyst element in the region, generating an annual positive economical impact of €206 million, to which 5000 jobs are associated. UMinho recorvers 79% of its produced waste and, since 2010, has used less 80% paper and 12% less energy. Based on those reports, UMinho was the first European university to become aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the first Portuguese university to be included in the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN). UMinho also joined the United Nations Global Compact initiative.

UMinho is also a strategic partner in the Guimarães Municipality’s application for the European Green Capital Award in 2020, by becoming involved in the territory, applying research and integrating knowledge. One of the results of this partnership is the Landscape Laboratory, a pillar of the municipality’s environmental education and elected in October 2017 as ISCN’s Project of the Month. The next candidate for the title is the IB-S.

+Info: http://greenmetric.ui.ac.id/overall-ranking-2017
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​​​​​​​​   UI GreenMetric Overall Rankings 2017.pdf