In Shaping 2030, the University of Twente's strategy for 2020-2030, the mission and vision of the university are defined.
"The University of Twente is the ultimate people-first university of technology. We empower society through sustainable solutions."
"In 2030 we envision a society where UT is contributing to the development of a fair, sustainable and digital society."
As a university, we consider sustainability to be a precondition for everything we do. This includes our own operational management. The goal is to ensure that by 2030 the University of Twente has become a sustainable organisation. To achieve this, a sustainability policy has been developed.
The goals of the policy in operational management center around ten themes, to facilitate the implementation within the organisation. These themes cover the majority of aspects related to operational management. Every year an implementation plan will be developed that focuses on concrete steps neccesary to achieve the goals in the sustainability policy. In 2020, the main focus will be on the themes Waste and Travel & Mobility.
To achieve a continuous decrease in the University of Twente's dependency on fossil fuels. Reduction of both building-related and user-related energy consumption and efficient use of energy.
By purchasing and generating renewable energy, and by compensating greenhouse gas emissions from consumption of fossil fuels. By intensifying the monitoring of energy consumption with built-in meters to, for example, optimise the maintenance of installations.
To strive towards a reduced water footprint with the ambition for a closed water cycle on campus and a zero water footprint (water neutral). Recovery of nutrients from waste water and the strengthening of resilient water infrastructure.
By harvesting rainwater and storing it for use during periods of drought and for purposes that do not require drinking water quality water. Reduction of water consumption. Apply in-house knowledge of separation technology and membrane filtering to recover nutrients from waste water.
A circular campus. Reduction in the consumption of resources. Improve the recycling of waste.
- Rethink (is it really necessary?).
- Refuse single use items.
- Reduce the amount of waste (focus on quality, longevity, durability to reduce the consumption of natural resources).
- Reuse (establish a system where surplus items can be donated or sold. Buy second hand or refurbished items).
- Repair (maintain and repair components and parts instead of buying new products).
- Remanufacture (work with companies that make new products out of second hand materials, upcycle).
- Recycle (separate waste streams properly).
- Food and drinks
Minimise the environmental impact of food and drinks served on campus.
By visualising the carbon footprint, water footprint and land use footprint of products offered on campus. Increased focus on plant-based diets. Reduction of food waste.
- Travel and mobility
Reducing travel, more sustainable travel and increase cycling & public transport .
By prioritising sustainable travel options offered by travel agency. Facilitate electric car sharing. Limit compensation on unsustainable modes of travel, commuting or work travel. Compensate CO2 emissions of work trips. Teleconferencing.
Increase biodiversity on campus and biosequester carbon .
By conducting an assessment and develop plans to improve biodiversity of selected areas. Report on sustainability criteria applicable to the maintenance of the campus.
- Procurement & purchasing
Circularity is the norm in 2050. Focus on decreasing the carbon footprint of services and products purchased. Expand and strengthen criteria on sustainability used in assessment contracts.
- Expand and optimise the selection criteria applied for sustainability in new contracts.
- Integrate sustainability criteria in the awarding criteria for new contracts.
- Focus on longevity of materials and appliances during the procurement process. Prioritise low carbon, recycled or refurbished products.
- Increase participation in the sharing economy and service economy as alternatives for ownership of products. This can be realised by increasing the weighting of sustainability criteria (the allocation of points to meeting the sustainability criteria).
- Decrease of the carbon footprint through compulsory criteria in contracts on CO2 monitoring and the requirement for suppliers to work on decreasing their CO2 footprint during the duration of the contract.
- Establish a method where the client is provided with a list of criteria before a product is purchased in order to avoid inefficient use of energy or other resources.
- Monitor compliance with agreed criteria.
- New buildings: Energy Neutral buildings are the norm. Built-in energy monitoring.
- Existing buildings: Always start with an energy scan to identify the opportunities for improvement. Strive towards the highest attainable improvement for insulation at times of large renovations to reduce the energy demand of a building. Phase out natural gas consumption.
- Consider the Total Cost of Ownership (initial costs ~ 15%, operating and maintenance costs and personnel costs ~ 85).
- For new buildings: initial investment in sustainable solutions balance out when assessing construction plus operating and maintenance costs overall.
- For existing buildings: when maintenance or renovations are carried out, apply additional insulation simultaneously (for example roof maintenance).
- To integrate this is the decision making process a check needs to built-in where the sustainability aspects are assessed before a final decision is made.
- Use (circular) materials with low CO2 footprint.
CO2 neutral events, circular events and congresses.
- Reduce waste.
- Consider alternatives for plastic disposables.
- Facilitate and improve waste recycling rate.
- Transfer to low environmental impact food options.
- Include fun elements of awareness raising.
- Include sustainability criteria in contracts with (external) event organisers.
Integrate sustainability in financial procedures. Sustainable banking and investments.
- Extend return of investment period to end of life for depreciation of installations and buildings.
- Change banking partner to a sustainable bank that does not invest in unsustainable practices such as mining where child labour occurs or the environment protection is lacking, arms industry and fossil fuel companies.
- UT lobbies with pension fund and investment partners to invest in a sustainable portfolio.
You can download the sustainability policy of the University of Twente, or contact Brechje Marechal, sustainability policy officer.