UTDesignLabDreamTeamer Petar wins Sustainability Award

DreamTeamer Petar wins Sustainability Award Shaping Sustainable Futures

Reaching for the stars sure does pay off! We are thrilled to share that our very own DreamTeamer Petar Vuckovic was awarded with the Green Certificate for his efforts to organise an event in a sustainable manner. He scored ‘Gold’ which is the highest score possible.  

Petar is a beloved DreamTeamer and part of the University Innovations Fellow Cohort since 2022. He studies Electrical Engineering at the University of Twente and is very active in finding sustainable and smart systems that help to resolve global warming problems and consequences. He was in charge of sustainability for the entire UIF Meetup. We think you’ll agree that he was perfect for this job.

As you may remember, DesignLab hosted the UIF Meetup, which was the biggest event DesignLab has ever seen. 400 people joined DesignLab from all over the world for a weekend they would never forget. With so many people, came a whole lot of responsibility. Each country goes about sustainability in a different way, so it was important to communicate the sustainability rules thoroughly. Presentations were held at the beginning of the meetup, and instructions and workshops were given to students and faculty to help them make the ‘green choice’.

What is a Green Certificate?

A Green Certificate is an award that was created by Green Hub Twente. This analyses and proves the commitment to sustainability while hosting an event. To achieve this award, there are 5 categories that must be dealt with correctly: Communication, Water, Waste, Food & Drinks, and Materials.

So, how was it done?

Each category was carefully analysed and planned. By using the Green Hub Events Guide, it was possible to predict and prevent certain things from happening.

Communication: Because this event was such large scale, the communication was very important. This was done 100% digital and paper free, which is the most sustainable way to go about it.

Water & Waste: 100% composable napkins were handed out during each meal, as well as reusable plates, cups and cutlery. There were no disposable water bottles handed out during the event. Each participant (whether they were students, faculty, or anyone else) was asked to bring their own refillable water bottle or cup. This way, there would be no waste in terms of drinks. Any time that mugs were handed out, it was done as a deposit (the Dutch ‘statiegeld’ system) to ensure there would be no waste here either.

Food & Drinks: Panashe Mangezi, a University Innovations Fellow Cohort since 2021 oversaw catering. She made sure it was all 100% vegan, organic, and local. All catering portions were delivered to the exact amount of people who attended the event. When food was left over, it was handed out to students at DesignLab and the O&O Square. Once we shared that there was free food, there were so many people eager to help out. And we don’t blame them, because the food was tasty!

Materials: DreamTeamer Blanca Alonso was head of materials. She started well ahead of time to collect materials and asked the DesignLab staff to help out. 
She made sure that the materials that were needed for workshops and activities were all recycled. In order to reduce potential waste, an estimate was made of how many materials were needed. 

Petar and Olga Karageorgiou (another University Innovations Fellow Cohort since 2022) took on another challenge for the planned company visits: Sustainable transportation. Supporting local companies was a must, so a trip was planned to FC Twente, a football club here in Enschede. And how did they get here sustainably, you might ask? They did so by walking. That's commitment alright! Bikes were also rented via the NS app for some people. In case walking or biking wasn't an option, electric buses were recommended. 

We are so proud of everyone for their efforts in reducing the carbon footprint, and we're excited to see what the future brings. We have a feeling it will be green and glorious.

Thank you to Petar and his team for opening up the floor to laying down foundations on how to host an event sustainably at the University of Twente.