The contribution of Riga Technical University (RTU) in climate neutrality measures has brought fruit, as RTU is placed the 55th in the GreenMetric World University Rankings 2022. Invariably, RTU is the only university from Latvia and also from the Baltics that has been assessed so high in this ranking, as no other university in the region has succeeded in being ranked among the world’s 400 greenest universities.
In GreenMetric, the world’s universities are ranked according to their commitment to reduce harmful impact on environment. The compliance of activities of universities to green principles is evaluated according to six criteria – setting and infrastructure, energy efficiency and climate change reduction activities, waste management, efficient usage of water resources, transport infrastructure and environmental education and research.
RTU has achieved the highest results in environmental education and research, transport infrastructure, efficient usage of water resources and waste management categories.
RTU has adopted an ambitious strategic decision to achieve climate neutrality by 2030, which means that by this year the operation of RTU will produce a minimal or zero carbon emission. Environment, climate neutrality and sustainability issues are included in RTU Strategy for 2021–2025, defining sustainability as one of the RTU values, aiming at the balance of ecological, social and economic development by using the available resources commensurately.
As the university of engineering, RTU draws special attention in its studies and research to energy efficiency and environmental issues. An international group of experts has assessed the study programmes «Environmental Engineering» of the study field «Environment Protection» of RTU Faculty of Electrical and Envrionmental Engineering during the accreditation process as excellent, this way confirming its competitiveness both locally and on the international scale.
Whereas, the range of interests of RTU researchers include climate neutrality, e.g., issues related to energy efficiency, biodegradable and ecological materials, smart energy, biological water treatment tehnologies, heat insulation of buildings and other topical sustainability issues. Green technologies created by RTU researchers are also used in the infrastructure of RTU Ķīpsala Campus.
For a number of years, RTU has been implementing the Green Ķīpsala concept by performing sustainable resource management, for example, transferring to the use of electric transport, as well as expanding awareness of environmental issues among RTU employees and students.
Wageningen University and Research Centre, the Netherlands, is ranked the first in GreenMetric 2022, Nottingham Trent University is the second and University of Nottingham is the third, both from Great Britain. As to Latvia, Liepaja University (422nd) and Rezekne Academy of Technologies (878th) were included in the ranking. In total, 1050 universities from 85 countries have been evaluated in the ranking.