22 December 2022 Apia Samoa. USP has made a huge improvement in its ranking on the UI Green Metric World University Rankings, up by 200 places from 786 out of 900 to 586 out of 1050 universities around the globe.
The University of the South Pacific has made huge strides in its efforts to move towards creating a more sustainable environment within its campuses since the regional institution made it to the 2022 University of Indonesia (UI) Green Metric World University Rankings.
The UI Ranking is a system that measures environmental sustainability, with the current criteria being used to rank universities making efforts to reduce carbon footprint and help combat global climate change.
USP OHS manager Dr Roman Chute said the university has been included in this ranking since 2012, “so it’s almost 10 years now, that we have been participating.”
“It was initiated by the Science Department by academic Dr. Atul Raturi who subscribed USP to that ranking system, and over the years he has been providing the data. Once we subscribe, we are given a questionnaire and, in this questionnaire, there are several specific areas where key performance areas on sustainability that we need to subscribe, both the information and the evidence,” he added.
Dr Roman explained that the ranking assessed only a few categories when USP first started in in 2012, however, this has greatly improved and expanded to what it is today.
Categories of assessment include infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste management, water, transportation, and education.
“A significant number of universities were competing, and they were based in Europe, in the US and Asia and Africa, however, we are the only participating University representing Oceania, and then we have our colleagues from Australia and New Zealand,” he said.
Dr Roman said, “this year we were celebrating because despite all the challenges that have been happening with COVID, we’ve increased our ranking by 200 points and that is the biggest jump ever that we’ve managed.”
He acknowledged that it is still a work in progress and that the achievement was the result of a whole lot of people, departments, and schools working together that made this achievement possible.
“We have a lot of people to thank they include Dr Atul Raturi and other academics who contributed their data for the education segment”.
Dr Romano said there are many who have contributed in terms of the infrastructure, the energy, the waste, water, and other areas such as transportation.
Dr Roman explained that the exercise has opened the teams’ eyes to things that are usually taken for granted, but have sustainable implications.
“Like our vehicles that come on campus, the waste that we generate in our bins, how often we use our energy in terms of the use of lights, air conditioners, the use of our electrical equipment, water, and so forth…”
“This ranking is also used as a yardstick to measure ourselves and in doing so, we want to also extend this to USP Campuses in Emalus Vanuatu and Alafua in Samoa..”
Dr Roman said Vanuatu and Samoa have been chosen because they are almost carbon copies of the Laucala Campus.
“They both have a large component of on-campus residential students, staff and their facilities. They are the biggest tertiary educational facilities in those two countries and based on that, the environmental sustainability implications can be measured against the criteria of the UI rankings.
Dr Roman said this will ensure USP continues to move towards ensuring all its operations and educational programmes are sustainable and contributing towards SDGs.
“Our participation in the UI rankings gives some quantitative data in terms of our performance in delivering Sustainable Development Goals in our role as a university within the region…”