About us

It is our mission to have an positive impact on the transition to a sustainable society through the development of excellent and relevant knowledge, to influence political and private decisions by communicating this knowledge and by educating the change agents of the future. Given the integrated nature of sustainable development issues, knowledge development often benefits from a multidisciplinary focus.

Scientific Excellence

The most recent research quality assessment forming part of the Netherlands’ environmental-science and sustainability research evaluation ranked Utrecht University’s Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development as the best in the Netherlands. The foreign experts unanimously praised the exceptional quality of the institute, with this top rating endorsing Utrecht University’s leading role in research into a sustainable society.

For the period 2011 and 2015 Utrecht University’s research in the category ‘Environmental Sciences’ had the greatest impact worldwide according to Times Higher Education. Utrecht’s scientific publications scored higher for citation impact than universities such as Stanford and Harvard.

In 2018 Utrecht University researchers ranked second worldwide in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Ranking) category Geography. Only the University of Oxford achieved a better ranking in this field. 


Management Support