Uni builds on commitment to sustainability

Professor Ajayan Vinu

The University of Newcastle’s commitment to sustainability has seen it rank 74th in the world in the QS 2024 Sustainability Rankings.

The results show an improvement from the rankings’ inaugural year in 2023, with the university moving up 15 places in 2024, despite the number of universities included in the rankings doubling.

The achievement comes on the heels of the university ranking in the top 30 in the world for Global Impact in the 2023 Times Higher Education Rankings.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky said the results were a wonderful recognition of the university’s global leadership in sustainability.

“We embed sustainability principles in our research, teaching and the facilities we provide,” he said.

“Sustainability is a core value of our university and our results in rankings like these demonstrated our contribution to solving the most pressing problems facing the world today.

“Whether we are leading research that creates a more sustainable future or educating the next generation of students in renewable practices, we are proud to be a global sustainability leader and will continue to strive for improvement.”

The rankings provide a benchmark for universities globally to evaluate their contributions toward solving these most pressing global challenges through research, teaching, engagement, and operations.

One of the University of Newcastle’s researchers who is making a sustainability impact on a global scale is Professor Ajayan Vinu.

Professor Vinu is a nanotechnologist investigating new ways to capture carbon dioxide and either store it or convert it into low-carbon fuels and chemicals, reducing overall carbon emission.

In addition, his team has made a groundbreaking discovery of generating clean hydrogen from seawater using sunlight and unique nanomaterials.

“We are quite excited to be actively engaged in the development of nanotechnological solutions, aiming to provide fresh avenues of hope for addressing challenges like global warming, fostering a healthier environment, and promoting a sustainable future”, Vinu said.

Sustainability is a core value of the University of Newcastle, which is committed to being carbon neutral by 2025.

The three performance categories in the QS methodology for the World University Rankings: Sustainability 2024 are:  Environmental Impact (comprising environmental sustainability, education and research); Social Impact; and Governance (including ethics, hiring practices, transparency and decision making).