Discover how University of Waikato is addressing global challenges through research, teaching, and operations, aligned with UN's SDGs.

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How we're tackling the biggest problems facing the world today

The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) underpin all of our activities as an institution, and serve as a valuable framework for how we're addressing some of the biggest challenges facing humanity through our research, teaching, operations and external engagement.

Our performance in the Times Higher Impact Rankings

The 2024 Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings confirm the University of Waikato is making excellent progress when it comes to aligning its research, teaching, campus operations and engagement to the biggest challenges facing the world today.

The University is in the 101-200 band out of 2,152 institutions participating in the THE Impact Rankings worldwide.

The Impact Rankings, now in their fifth year, assess how institutions are contributing to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - the key issues identified as the most pressing facing humanity and the planet.

We are proud to be ranked in the top 100 institutions in the world for 5 of the 17 SDGs, including SDG5 Gender Equality (=86th in the world), SDG6 Clean Water and Sanitation (72nd), SDG8 Decent Work and Economic Growth (=42nd), SDG15 Life on Land (=63rd), SDG16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (=35th).

Find out more about our progress towards the SDGs

QS Sustainability Rankings 2024

The University of Waikato has been recognised in the top 100 universities worldwide in the 2024 QS Sustainability rankings. The rankings highlight how universities are taking action to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues, drawing on the framework provided by the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Universities are ranked on their performance in three areas: Environmental Impact, Social Impact and Governance. We are ranked 36th globally for Environmental Impact and 27th for Environmental Education.

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Whaioranga Taiao, Whaioranga Tangata - our Sustainability Report

Showcasing the progress we made with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the name reflects our aspiration for both a healthy and connected environment and fair and inclusive communities, acknowledging that neither can exist alone.

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Climate Change Scenario Modelling

We were proud to collaborate with tertiary institutions across Aotearoa to produce “Climate Change Scenarios for the Aotearoa New Zealand Tertiary Education Sector”, ranging from planned to unplanned transitions and temperature rises of 1.5-3.0°C in 2090.

Our progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals

Select from the tiles below to discover how we are contributing to the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Introducing our Assistant Vice-Chancellor Sustainability

Professor Lynda Johnston is Assistant Vice-Chancellor Sustainability for the University of Waikato. She is focused on shaping the University’s strategic academic approach to sustainability and environmental management, and providing academic leadership and oversight of its activities using the SDGs as a framework.

She is passionate about using the power of our research and our people to make significant, positive contributions on both a local and global scale and will play a key role in raising awareness of sustainability among staff, students and the wider community, and encouraging responsible use of resources via research, operational practices, partnerships, teaching and learning.