Top universities driving sustainable consumption and production in 2024

University Impact Rankings for UN SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Times Higher Education has ranked 825 universities from 91 countries/regions on their efforts towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 12: responsible consumption and production. The top institutions excel in implementing sustainable management of natural resources, optimising production patterns and minimising environmental impacts. Through rigorous research, effective campus operations and public engagement, they advocate for and embody sustainable practices that contribute to economic growth and environmental sustainability.

These leading universities are pioneers in reducing landfill waste, enhancing recycling efforts and integrating sustainability into their procurement processes. Their commitment is reflected in comprehensive sustainability reporting and the adoption of policies aimed at responsible consumption.

Summary of findings

The table for SDG 12: responsible consumption and production has two universities in the top spot: Bournemouth University and King’s College London, both in the UK. Six more universities in the UK make the top 10.

King’s is a newcomer to the table, and another UK-based debutant, the University of Bristol, also makes the top 100 at 27th place.


Our methodology for SDG 12: responsible consumption and production includes detailed indicators to evaluate universities' effectiveness in promoting efficient use of resources:

Research on responsible consumption and production (27%)

  • Number of research papers focusing on sustainable management of resources and minimising environmental impacts
  • Proportion of papers in top journals
  • Field-weighted citation impact of papers

Operational measures (26.7%)

  • Campus-wide policies to reduce waste and increase efficiency in the use of resources, including when it comes to outsourced services and suppliers

Proportion of recycled waste (27%)

  • Track the amount of waste generated and recycled across the university
  • The percentage of waste materials recycled on campus as part of the university’s waste management strategy

Publication of a sustainability report (19.3%)

  • Publication of a comprehensive sustainability report detailing the university’s efforts and achievements in promoting sustainability

The Impact Rankings are inherently dynamic: they are growing rapidly each year as many more universities seek to demonstrate their commitment to delivering the SDGs by joining our database; and they allow institutions to demonstrate rapid improvement year-on-year, by introducing clear new policies, for example, or by providing clearer and more open evidence of their progress. Therefore, we expect and welcome regular change in the ranked order of institutions (and we discourage year-on-year comparisons) as universities continue to drive this urgent agenda.

View the overall Impact Rankings 2024

Read our analysis of the Impact Rankings 2024 results

Download a free copy of the Impact Rankings 2024 digital report

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Explore Impact Rankings for individual SDGs

rank order Rank Name Responsible consumption and production Node ID