UniSC tops Queensland for global impact on climate action and zero hunger | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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UniSC tops state for global impact on climate action and zero hunger

The University of the Sunshine Coast has topped Queensland in two major global rankings that measures impact on sustainability standards set by the United Nations. 

UniSC is the best performing university in Queensland in two categories – Zero Hunger and Climate Action in the 2024 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. 

Overall, UniSC placed among the top 4 percent of universities around the world for impact, ranked equal 77th out of 1,963 institutions, and placed 16th globally in the Life Below Water category. 

UniSC Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Helen Bartlett, said the rankings measured universities against the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations.

“UniSC placed in the global top 50 for three categories entered – Life Below Water, Life on Land and Zero Hunger – and top 100 for Clean Water and Sanitation and Responsible Consumption and Production,” Professor Bartlett said. 

“We also received full marks across multiple measures, including student hunger, water reuse, operational measures and sustainable report publication and land-sensitive waste disposal. 

“It is not surprising that we continue to perform well in these categories, as Sustainable Development Goals are embedded across our University-wide Strategic Plan, and marine ecology and environmental studies are extremely strong fields of research and teaching for UniSC. 

Our research is led by global experts in their fields who are prolific about sharing new knowledge on important issues including coastline monitoring, forest restoration, ecology, marine conservation and climate change. 

“We offer community outreach and education for people interested in knowing more about the difference they can make, including free online short courses on Life Below Water: Conservation, Current Issues and Possible Solutions, and Life on Land: Ecology, Evolution, Challenges and Solutions. 

“We also work closely with our communities, and we have the globally unique privilege of having our campuses positioned across three UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. 

“This Life Below Water research strength is backed up by our practical measures on campus, where we support the aquatic ecosystem through water-sensitive waste disposal.” 

Professor Bartlett said an additional 350 universities joined the Impact Rankings this year, making them the fastest-growing world ranking.  

“Considering significant growth in the competition, we are pleased to maintain a top-100 overall position,” she said. 

See more on UniSC research in Life Below Water: Global lessons across our widest ocean 

UniSC highlights 


  • First in Queensland and second in Australia for Zero Hunger 
  • First in Queensland for Climate Action

Global top 50 categories 

  • Zero Hunger 
  • Life Below Water  
  • Life on Land  

Global top 100 categories 

  • Clean Water and Sanitation 
  • Responsible Consumption and Production 

Perfect scores (100 from 100)  

  • Student Hunger (Under SDG 2 Zero Hunger). This includes UniSC programs Uon student food insecurity, sustainable food choices on campus, healthy and affordable food choices. 
  • Water reuse (Under SDG 14 Clean Water and Sanitation). This includes policies and measurements to ensure sustainable reuse and recycling treated water across our campuses.  
  • Operational measures (Under SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production). This includes policies on ethical sourcing, waste disposal of hazard materials, landfill, minimisation of plastic use, disposable items, as well as supply chain and suppliers. 
  • Sustainability report publication (Under SDG SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production). Accountability of sustainability practice through regular reporting.  
  • Local ecosystem maintenance (Under SDG 14 Life Below Water). This includes the maintenance of aquatic ecosystems and monitoring health and stewardship practice, collaborations, and watershed management strategies. 
  • Land-sensitive waste disposal (Under SDG 15 Life on Land). This includes water discharge guidelines and standards and policy on hazardous waste disposal.  

Media enquiries: Please contact the Media Team media@usc.edu.au