Sustainability coordinators of universities and applied universities from across the country, from Maastricht to Groningen, came together at University Twente on Thursday, 21 March 2019.
Environment and Sustainability Policy Officer, Brechje Maréchal, kicked-off with a warm welcome and an overview of the status of energy and sustainability measures already adopted at the campus. Radboud university informed us on the United Nations EcoCampus label that they are working on, University Groningen presented their Ambassador program and fellow organizer Saskia Hanssen from HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht shared how they incorporate sustainability in education and research.
From the 13th floor on the Horst we had a beautiful view across the campus and the cool circle, which we viewed up close during a mini-sustainability walk. The cool circle and the efficient cooling machine, where we also had a look inside, provide a lot of energy saving to the university, explained Henk Hobbelink, Energie coordinator. If you would like to know more about energy saving measures, have a look at our website on sustainability.
After a wonderful lunch by Appèl, with vegetarian and vegan buns, soup and juices from Thijstea, made from rescued fruit, we were recharged to start an afternoon of working group sessions. In total 2 times 3 working groups we discussed the SDG charter in higher education, SustainaBul/Benchmarks, operational management with a focus on purchasing, Green Office/Student participation, operational management with a focus on user behaviour, and methods to obtain expertise for the vision shaping process.
The day was rounded off by a tour past all institutes present, where all coordinators shared many interesting initiatives and plans on sustainability. There is a lot we can learn from each other as we are all developing approaches on the topic of sustainability. By sharing and openly discussing our barriers and options we can make bigger strides forward. Besides these gatherings where we meet face-to-face we will set up a LinkedIn and WhatsApp group to share information in an easy and efficient manner and to be each other’s sparring partner. It was an inspiring day!