This article was first published on LOGIN.
Tec de Monterrey is the first university in Latin America and, for the third consecutive year, the first in Mexico for its climate actions within the framework of the 13th commitment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN Agenda 2030 . This was announced by the Times Higher Education Impact Ranking 2022which measures four items in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, defined by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015: research, administration, dissemination and teaching.
“It is a great achievement to have this ranking in first place, but it is also a responsibility that we take on,” said Cynthia Villarreal, director of sustainability and links at Tecnologico de Monterrey, in an interview with CONECTA. . In the specific case of SDG 13 (Climate Action) compared to the previous year, Tec moved from fifth to first place in Latin America and maintained its leadership in Mexico by increasing by 10.7 points percentage. Also, the institution ranked 51st out of 674 universities worldwide. “Our new ranking is a reflection of the commitment we have had in Tec for decades, but which we redoubled last year with the release of Ruta Azul,” Villarreal said.
Tec de Monterrey also stands out in other ODDs
In the 2022 edition of Impact Rankings, Tec stands out for its climate actions under SDG 13, which deals with climate issues. To this end, it has excelled in topics such as climate action research, low-carbon energy use, environmental education measures, and commitment as a carbon-neutral university. .
But in addition, it stands out in five other UN SDGs assessed by Impact rankings, where it occupies one of the top three positions in Mexico and Latin America. In SDG 17, which deals with partnerships to achieve the goals, Tec de Monterrey ranks first in Mexico and Latin America. In SDG 12 (Responsible production and consumption), Tec ranks first and second respectively. In SDG 6 (Clean water and sanitation), the institution ranks second and in SDG 1 (End poverty), second and third places, respectively. In SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), it ranks second and third; in SDG 13, as already mentioned, it ranks first.
Cynthia Villarreal explained that a university’s final score in this ranking is calculated by combining the SDG 17 score with the three highest scores of the remaining 16 SDGs. Sustainable Development Goal 17 represents 22% of the overall score, while the other SDGs have a weighting of 26% each. This means that different universities are scored based on different sets of SDGs, depending on their approaches.
A sustainability plan in the face of climate change
According to Villarreal, Tec’s high scores in the Impact Rankings are partly due to its commitment to the 2025 Sustainable Development and Climate Change Plan, Ruta Azul, which presented its first annual progress report in April 2022. This roadmap stems from a change of mindset in the face of the environmental crisis. Its six axes are mitigation, adaptation, research, networking, education and culture. “This year, we had a good participation in number of investigations, above the world average for the publication of scientific articles on the environment”, declared the leader of Sustainable Development and Liaison. “We have also reduced the use of non-renewable energy. That is our goal, to achieve carbon neutrality.” In Villarreal’s opinion, another thing that had an impact THE impact ranking is Tec’s collaboration with various institutions.
She said one of Tec’s most notable accomplishments was in the world Race to zero (RTZ), in which Tec succeeded in getting 14 municipalities in the metropolitan area of Nuevo León to commit to taking action to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, considered a milestone in the entity. “We assume ourselves as a catalyst for climate actions; thus, we collaborate with various organizations, institutions, universities and governments so that together we have a real impact against climate change,” said Villarreal.
In recent months, Tec de Monterrey has also transferred knowledge to civil society organizations to adopt a proactive culture in the face of the climate emergency. “In addition to showing the achievements, this report also endorses the commitment to climate change in each of Tec’s six axes,” Villarreal stressed.
2025, the deadline to avoid a climate catastrophe
The latest report by scientists from the UN Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has set 2025 as the deadline for averting climate catastrophe. The head of sustainability and links at Tecnologico de Monterrey said that in this scenario, the institution assumes leadership, commitment and collaborative actions in the six axes.
She pointed out that Tec has implemented environmental education measures to achieve its objectives, including the dissemination Ruta Azul throughout his community. “Actions range from changing our culture, to mitigating our carbon footprint, adapting, building resilience to impacts, educating students and including the issue in education plans.”
Villarreal said they are looking for clues in the culture axis that measure the shift in mindset that results in sustainable decision-making and action. Among the plans to help Mexico achieve the goals set. Among the strategies to help Mexico achieve the goals set in the Paris Agreements, she pointed out that there is the creation of a fund to continue promoting interdisciplinary research and, therefore, actions in favor of the ‘environment. “Being in the top spot in the Times Higher Education rankings in this SDG motivates us to keep working and improving towards the main goal of having a sustainable planet in which future generations can live,” she concluded. .
Translation by Daniel Wetta.