Press release

Dundee ranked top in UK for climate action

Published on 17 June 2021

The University of Dundee has been ranked top in the UK for climate action in the 2021 edition of the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings.

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Professor Iain Gillespie

The University of Dundee has been ranked top in the UK for climate action in the 2021 edition of the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings.

The rankings recognise that the role of universities extends beyond research and teaching to a third mission revolving around engagement, knowledge exchange and innovation for societal good. They measure the global higher education sector’s success in delivering the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The rankings include more than 1100 universities from 94 countries across the world. Dundee is ranked 1st in the UK and 5th globally against the Climate Action SDG. The table measures universities’ research on climate change, their use of energy and their preparations for dealing with the consequences of climate change.

Professor Iain Gillespie, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, said, “Sustainability is at the heart of our mission to transform lives locally and globally, and so we are delighted to have our outstanding efforts recognised in this way.

“To be ranked as one of the world’s top universities for Climate Action is especially prescient as it comes as the leaders of the G7 meet to discuss the climate emergency and ahead of COP26 in Glasgow later this year.

“Our staff and students have worked extremely hard over the years to make Dundee what it is – a University that consistently punches above its weight globally. The research produced at Dundee is helping to make the world a better place, while our graduates are the game-changers of tomorrow. This ranking is testament to the whole University community.”

Professor Gillespie, who chairs the city’s Climate Leadership Group, added that wider developments in Dundee were demonstrating the University’s environmental leadership.

“The city’s former gasworks was last month announced as the preferred site of the Eden Project Dundee, and we have been pivotal in driving the scheme to this point,” he said. “This potent symbol of regeneration will help us stimulate action and showcase excellence in regard to our own environmental and climate ambitions, for the city and for the University.”

Dundee was also ranked in the UK’s top 10 and the global top 50 for the following SDGs – Decent Work and Economic Growth, Life below Water, Life on land, and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings are the only global performance tables that assess universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). THE uses carefully calibrated indicators to provide comprehensive and balanced comparison across four broad areas – research, stewardship, outreach and teaching.

The full results can be seen at Impact Rankings 2021 | Times Higher Education (THE)


Grant Hill

Senior Public Affairs Officer

+44 (0)1382 384768