Find out which are the most sustainable universities in Latam

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Here we tell you which are the most eco-friendly Latin American universities and why

Find out which are the most sustainable universities in Latam

Taking care of the environment and protecting natural resources are not exclusive tasks of the State and its agencies. On the contrary, all institutions and citizens have the responsibility to participate actively in environmental conservation.

Leer en español: Descubre cuáles son las universidades más sostenibles de Latam

An example of this is universities that, beyond their educational purpose, care about the environment. UI Greenmetric World University Ranking published the most sustainable higher education institutions in the world, thanks to the programs they implement.

Among the 719 institutions that the University of Indonesia, responsible for ranking, studied there are 8 Latin American establishments within the first 100 positions. Brazil and Colombia are leaders in this field, with 3 and 5 universities respectively.

This is the ranking for Latin America:

23. Universidade de Sao Paulo – USP (Brasil)

38. Universidade Federal de Larvas – UFLA (Brasil)

43. Universidad Autónoma de Occidente (Colombia)

51. Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Colombia)

60. Universidad del Rosario (Colombia)

73. Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano (Colombia)

79. Fundación Universidad del Norte Barranquila (Colombia)

99. Universidade Positivo (Brasil)

Among the aspects that Greenmetric evaluates there are:

•  Water
• Energy and climate change
• Environment and infrastructure
• Waste management
• Transportation and education

What do these institutions do to be the most sustainable?

In colombia

The Autonomous University of the West (UAO, Spanish) occupies the third position in Latin America and the 43 in the world. This institution is a pioneer in the use of alternative energies and implements programs of social responsibility and commitment.

According to Semana Sostenible, UAO developed the "Photovoltaic Solar System, in partnership with the Pacific Energy Company (Epsa)". This system is the most powerful in Colombia and supplies 15% of the energy of an educational institution.

In fourth place in Latam and in 51 at the world level, Universidad Nacional is located. This is one of the most recognized public institutions in the country and it was located within the top 100 universities thanks to the execution of an environmental culture at the community level. The university carries out initiatives such as waste collection and tree planting.

Read also: Find out if you are an environmentalist with this quiz

In the 60th position of the ranking and fifth in Latin America is the Universidad del Rosario. The institution has a Sustainability Coordination that "works on issues of energy, air, flora and fauna, water, waste and environmental education" according to David Díaz, director of the Directorate of Habitat of the institution, in statements for Semana Sostenible.

This university has had surprising results. For example :

  • Water consumption has been reduced by 600 liters per year, since 2014
  • All the lighting of the university is led, decreasing consumption by 10 kilowatts per person
  • It has more than 420 bike users
  • In 1.2 hectares of downtown Bogota, the university has revitalized the flora and fauna

The other two Colombian universities, Jorge Tadeo Lozano and del Norte, also have projects and initiatives for the environment. In the first case, according to Semana, "in education the university has at least 300 subjects that address the environmental issue from some perspective. In infrastructure, new constructions have included not only gardens but also green areas, a key aspect given the location of the institution in the center of the city"

In the second case, "the academic and administrative actions contemplate three dimensions: economic, social and environmental and in them promote development seeking balance for future generations, with an efficient and transparent management of resources," says Alma Lucía Díaz Granados, administrative and financial vice-rector, in an interview with the same media.

In Brazil

The three Brazilian institutions stand out for promoting environmental care actions. In the case of the Universidade de Sao Paulo , first in Latin America and 23 globally, it has the Superintendence of Environmental Management. According to the website of the institution, the Superintendency "develops conservation actions of the University's natural resources, encouraging actions and projects in search of a healthy environment, promoting environmental security within the campuses, stimulating the rational use of resources ; educating for sustainability; seeking to build, in a participatory manner, a sustainable university, transforming the USP into a model of sustainability for society".

Regarding the Universidade Federal de Larvas, this is a leader in energy. It has increased its energy efficiency and is expected "the installation of more 8,886 lamps with LED technology, which, added to those installed in phases I and II, will integrate a total of more than 33 thousand new lamps on campus", according to the web page .

Finally, the Positive University has a "commitment to the quality of education, critical training and innovation in teaching methods are the main contributions of the Positive to sustainability. These guidelines, associated with the values of ethics, work and progress, present from the beginning of the trajectory of the institution, guide the management of the companies of the Group." This university works five transversal axes:

  • Education
  • Development of Collaborators
  • Ethics in Commercial and Institutional Relations
  • Return to Society
  • Management of Environmental Impacts


LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza
Translated from "Descubre cuáles son las universidades más sostenibles de Latam"