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Tampere University participates in a sustainability ranking for the first time

Promoting sustainable development at the Universities community.
Tampere University has been ranked in an international university ranking for sustainable development. The results provide valuable feedback for promoting sustainable development at the Universities community.

The Times Higher Education (THE) magazine published the Impact Rankings for the third consecutive year. This is the first time that Tampere University was included in the ranking. 

The special thematic ranking measures the performance of universities in terms of meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

This year, the number of participants increased by around 350 to more than 1,000 universities and higher education institutions. Tampere University’s overall ranking places it among the top 400. 

Eight Finnish universities were included in the ranking, with only two universities ahead of those ranked among the top 400. 

Tampere University’s Director of Innovation Taru Pilvi says that the results help to assess the concrete measures taken by the Universities community, which is why the ranking is an important aspect of the work the University is doing to promote sustainable development. 

“This is a good first-time result. Sustainability is at the heart of our strategy and being included in the ranking is one way of assessing our performance as a university. We see it as a tool to improve our performance in different areas of sustainability. The results help to identify critical areas for development, for example, in reporting,” Pilvi says. 

Pilvi believes that the overall performance of Tampere University will improve in the coming years. 

“However, the most important aspect is that we are working to achieve a more sustainable world,” she emphasises. 

UN’s Agenda 2030 includes 17 SDGs. All universities submit data on partnerships for the goals and then choose the other goals on which they deliver data to THE. The current ranking examines actions taken in 2019. 

Tampere University’s sustainable development goals 

THE Impact Ranking uses a range of indicators to measure the implementation of sustainable development in research, teaching, campus development, and societal interaction. 

The objectives selected by Tampere University were promoting sustainable industry, innovation, and infrastructure, sustainable cities and communities, climate action, and fostering collaboration and partnerships for the goals.  

  • Building sustainable infrastructure and promoting sustainable industry and innovations. (Goal 9) 
  • Ensuring safe sustainable cities and communities (Goal 11) 
  • Taking urgent climate action and mitigating the effects of climate change (Goal 13) 
  • Broader ways in which universities support the SDGs and global partnerships. (Goal 17) 

Of the individual goals, Tampere University scored the best in sustainable industry, innovation and infrastructure where it scored slightly higher than its overall score. When the goals are compared based on the ranking achieved, climate action produced the best sub-score. 

TAU’s ranking in the sustainability benchmarking 

Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2021 

Sustainable industry, innovation and infrastructures
Among the top 200 

Sustainable cities and communities
Among the top 200 

Climate action
Ranked 59th 

Partnerships for the goals
A joint goal for all universities
Ranked among the top 401–600 

Overall score
Among the top 301–400

The participants included 1,115 universities from 94 countries or regions.

Tampere Universities community supports UN’s SDGs. The SDGs adopted by the United Nations member states are a universal call to action to eradicate extreme poverty and foster sustainable development by giving equal consideration to the environment, economy and people. The Tampere Universities community promotes the SDGs in areas relevant to its activities. 

In addition to THE Impact benchmarking, the carbon footprint calculation completed early this year was an act of continuous development. The Tampere Universities community aims to become carbon neutral by 2030. TAMK is the first university of applied sciences in Finland to commit to the SDGs. 

In 2015, UN member states adopted the Agenda for Sustainable Development and SDGs, which will guide progress towards sustainable development between 2016 and 2030. The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development concerns all countries in the world.  

Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2021 

Sustainable development at Tampere Universities 

Director of Innovation Taru Pilvi, Tampere
Senior Specialist, sustainable development and innovation culture Matias Nurminen

Photo: Jonne Renvall

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