Rankings, Accreditations and Campaigns

We take part in a range of external standards and campaigns to measure, benchmark and report on progress in sustainability.


Sustainability rankings

THE Impact Rankings 2023

These rankings measure universities' work towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across their research, stewardship, outreach and teaching activities, giving a comprehensive and hollistic view of progress in the higher education sector.

The University of Sheffield is ranked 8th in the UK and 42nd in the world.

In addition, the University's individual rankings include 9th globally for action on Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG12) and in the top 15 for Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG16) and Climate Action (SDG13).

QS World Rankings: Sustainability 2024

Released 5th December 2023.

People & Planet 2022

These rankings are undertaken using desk-based research of universities' publicly available policies and data.

The University of Sheffield is ranked 83rd in the UK.

ISO Standards

Our Integrated Management System (IMS) is certified for a number of international standards:

  • ISO 9001 – Quality Management Standard

  • ISO 14001 – Environmental Management Standard

  • ISO 50001 – Energy Management Standard

Our Procurement Policy is written in line with:

  • ISO 20400:2017 - Sustainable Procurement


UN Race to Zero

The University of Sheffield has joined the UN Race to Zero Campaign, an alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. 

Check out the UN Race to Zero Campaign webpage here 

See more information about the University and the campaign here

UN Global Compact

The UN's Sustainable Development Goals are a blueprint to tackle some of the world's most pressing challenges. We're working to help achieve the 17 goals through our research, innovation, education and operations.

Check out the UN Global Compact webpage here

See more information about our goals here

Nature Positive Universities 

For a university, being Nature Positive means restoring species and ecosystems that have been harmed by the impacts of a university and its activities and enhancing the university’s positive impacts on nature. We’ve been making consistent efforts to embed sustainability into everything we do at the University. 

Check out the Nature Positive Universities webpage here

See more information about our progress here

Hedgehog Friendly Campus - Gold Accreditation 2023

Hedgehog Friendly Campus is a national scheme funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. First started at the University of Sheffield in 2018, Hedgehog Friendly Campus has now grown into a national campaign to help universities combat falling hedgehog numbers across Britain. 

See more information about our hedgehog friendly initiatives here

Green Impact

The University of Sheffield has taken part in Green Impact since 2009/2010, as part of our behaviour change strategy to reduce our carbon emissions. Over the 10 years of Green Impact projects at Sheffield, we have saved 3 million kg of CO2 through these staff sustainability projects.

In 2023/24 we have 24 Green Impact teams across the University, made up of 88 staff and 24 students.

See more information about our green impact here

Electronics Watch

As part of our membership of the North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium (NEUPC), our electronics supply chain is monitored by the Electronics Watch, an independent organisation working to achieve respect for labour rights in the global electronics industry through socially responsible public purchasing.

MSC Accredited Seafood 

All the seafood we sell in our catering outlets comes from an MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) accredited supplier. This means that the products we sell have been sourced in a sustainable way.

Check out the MSC webpage here 

See more information about our sustainably sourced products here 

PAS 100 Compost 

All of our planting uses PAS 100 locally sourced compost which retains moisture and reduces evapotranspiration.

Check out the PAS 100 Compost webpage here 

See more information about our green spaces here 

SNUG Student Housing 

Smart Move Sheffield is part of the University of Sheffield, and all its properties must meet the Council's Snug standard which includes environmental and energy standards.

Check out the Sheffield Council SNUG webpage here

See more information about our accommodation here

Our sustainability strategy

We have set the principles and direction for our sustainability strategy 

A global reputation

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.