This lens assesses the institution’s strategy and operations towards an environmentally sustainable future. It looks at whether or not an institution has committed to environmental impact alleviation and whether it has demonstrated that commitment. Data from alumni, operations and policies, staff perceptions and reporting & governance are aggregated to form the final score.
Weights of metrics for Environmental Sustainability:
|ES1||Alumni Impact for Innovation||5%|
|ES2||Member of an officially recognised sustainable group||1%|
|ES3||Climate change commitment (staff perception)||2%|
|ES4||Publicly available strategy or policy on sustainable procurement and investment||1%|
|ES5||Student Society focused on Environmental Sustainability||1%|
|ES6||Net Zero Commitment||1%|
|ES8||Renewables Generated Onsite||1%|
|ES9||Progress Towards Target||1%|
|ES10||Policy on Climate Strategy||1%|
ES1 Alumni Impact for Environmental Sustainability - Corporate / Private Sector
Alumni Impact is a well-known metric used in QS Global MBA and Business Masters Rankings, as well as a featured component of the Employment Outcomes indicator in QS World University Rankings. This particular metric looks at the impact of its graduates in the private and commercial sector. Compare with Metric EE2 which looks at the impact of an institution's graduates in the public and third sectors.
|ES1.1||Scaled score on Alumni Impact, filtered only for relevant awards and lists that focus on the impact a university's graduates in the private and commercial sector. Lists such as Forbes "30 Under 30: Social Entrepreneurs", "Stockholm Water Prize" by Stockholm Water Foundation, FT's 'Climate Leaders 2022' are used in this metric.||A scaled score between 0 and 100.|
The intent of the Alumni Impact metric list is to provide some indication of how successful the university has been in producing graduates who go on to make a notable and global difference in their field.
ES2 Member of an officially recognised sustainable group
|ES2.1||A member of any of the groups listed below.||
0 or 100.
Membership of more than 1 group does not increase the points awarded.
We check whether institutions are members of the following groups committed to climate change in the sector:
- U7 Alliance - List of Members
- ISCN Network - List of Members
- HESI Network - List of Members
- IARU - List of Members
- International Universities Climate Alliance - List of Members
ES3 Climate Change Commitment (Staff Perceptions)
In our academic survey, we ask participants to rate their agreement with the statement:
My university prioritizes minimizing its climate change impact in its day-to-day operations.
An average score is calculated for each institution, ranging from 1 to 5. To ensure accurate assessments, scores are adjusted using a sliding scale when the number of responses is insufficient. Institutions with a negligible response rate are assigned a minimum score based on their country/territory.
ES4 Publicly available strategy on sustainable procurement and investment
|ES4.1||A publicly available policy or explanation on how the university considers sustainability in its procurements processes||0 or 50|
|ES4.2||A publicly available policy or explanation on how the university considers sustainability in its investments||0 or 50|
ES5 Student Society focused on Environmental Sustainability
A student society which is formed and operated by students for students, with a focus on the environment, green issues, conservation and/or climate issues.
0 or 100
ES6 Net Zero Commitment
If an institution has a Net-Zero target they will get a score based off the year. We will also accept submissions where the institution has publicly committed to this on their own websites.
|Sub metric||Information Sought||Scoring|
A net zero year target, publicly committed by institution (including Race to Zero Commitment).
If their target year is:
ES7 Emissions Efficiency
We have chosen to assess the efficiency of a university's carbon emissions against their size, as measured by Gross Internal Area (GIA). There are of course other approaches to this, but GIA was felt to be the least biased towards income or type of institution, although no method will perfectly normalize for variation.
Total Scope 1 + Scope 2 Emissions in tonnes (tCO2e) for the last full reporting year.
This should follow the GHG's protocols corporates standard for Scope 1 and 2. Your institution should be following their guidelines in order to submit this accurately. If you do not record your emissions in this way, please do not guess - leave it blank with an explanatory note.
Please do not submit guesswork
A ratio of the Total Scope 1 and 2 emissions to the GIA is calculated and scaled from 0 to 100.
Gross Internal Area (GIA).
To be provided in meters squared (m2).
This refers to the whole enclosed area of a building within the external walls taking each floor into account.
GIA will typically include:
GIA will typically exclude:
Please do not submit guesswork
ES8 Renewables Generated Onsite
This indicator refers to the total annual energy (kWh equivalent) generated through renewable energy sources for the whole estate.
Typically this may include energy derived from:
The consumed energy may not only be consumed by the university, but may also be sold on or stored.
If your institution does not have an accurate record of this, please do not submit guesswork. QS will devise country or regional minimums where this data is not submitted.
|Annual values in kWh will be rescaled to a score between 0 and 100.|
ES9 Progress towards Target
Baseline measurement year (baseline year).
This should be the year, no earlier than 2005, which you consider your baseline year to measure progress against your net zero commitment. By baseline year we mean the point in history where you started to track emissions to GHG standards (or closest equivalent) and their progress/changes. Your default baseline year will be the first year (no earlier than 2005) for which you have a full 12 month record of tracking scope 1 and 2 emissions.
Expected emissions in the current year is defined as a linear interpolation between reported emissions (ES9.1) in the baseline year (ES9.2) and zero-emissions committed in the target year (ES6.1).
Then the progress towards net-zero target is estimated as a relative difference between the expected and the reported emissions in the current year (ES7.1) is scaled from 0 to 100 (the lower the reported value the better).
Note. This method was not applicable to institutions who started tracking their progress only recently (less than 3 years ago) and currently have less than 5% progress towards net-zero.
Total Scope 1 + Scope 2 Emissions in tons (tCO2e) for the baseline year. Similar to ES7.1 definition.
ES10 Strategy policy / document on climate change
|ES10.1||Does the institution have a published policy that refers to a strategy to mitigate its climate impact, the measures it is taking to be environmentally considerate, and its future targets.||
0 or 100.