Maastricht University (UM) wants to be a sustainable university by 2030. We will contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDGs) by further limiting the ecological and social footprint of our operations.
UM's sustainability programme focuses on three pillars:
The ambition is to lead the way with our education and research and to follow the usual standards with our operations. In order to involve the entire academic community in sustainable education and sustainable research, we have set up the Sustainable UM 2030 agenda. At the kick-off event on 7 December, the ways to shape and implement the Education and Research pillars were explored and the next steps in our joint sustainability vision were shaped.
Within the three pillars there will be a focus on the following SDGs:
Keep reading in the Sustainability Vision 2030
With the Green Impact programme, UM encourages staff members to participate in a sustainability competition. Participating teams gain credits for sustainability actions – such as encouraging the use of public transport and bikes or working on an advice on double sided printing. By taking concrete action the Green Impact campaign ensures positive, sustainable changes of the workplace. At the end of the year there is an award ceremony. Unfortunately it is not possible anymore to subscribe as a Green Impact staff team for this academic year.
Since its foundation in 2010, the Maastricht University Green Office (UMGO) has played a major role in turning sustainability into a key theme at UM. The UMGO initiates, coordinates and monitors sustainability projects, bringing students, staff and third parties together and providing advice on sustainability issues. Run by students and supported by UM staff, the office promotes out-of-the-box thinking and facilitates the development of surprising solutions. The UMGO works closely with Facility Services on the sustainability of UM operations, and joins forces in the areas of education and research with the sustainability institute ICIS and the educational innovation centre EdLab.
Making the university more sustainable requires more than saving energy and reducing waste. Everyone should get involved. That is why two key themes of Sustainable UM2030 are education and research. Hence the Sustainable UM2030 team organized an afternoon of brainstorming with staff and students about these subjects last December, as a ‘kick-off’ for taking action.
“Self-righteous, pale, scrawny, joyless” – that is an excerpt from my online dating profile, but it also sums up the general perception of vegans. That’s a shame because, as Paul Smeets has illustrated at the Opening of the Academic Year, even an occasional hand in the cookie jar of veganism can have a great impact.
UM is the first academic institute in Europe to register for the WELL Building Standard. The structure, design and use of the buildings at the Tapijnkazerne – a large-scale expansion of UM – will explicitly focus on measures aimed to improve health and well-being.
UM students Elisa Etrari, Anna Reyneri and Becca Bowers are running Library of Things. It’s exactly what you think it is: you sign up, choose something from their online catalogue or just browse – then you borrow whatever you need and bring it back once you are done using it.
"As academics, we need to cooperate with peers in other disciplines, governments, NGOs and private companies to carry out research that contributes to achieving the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals." - Rob Bauer, leader of the Sustainable Development research theme.
MUSTANGH is a humanitarian student organisation that tries to create a win-win situation for the West Gonja Hospital in Ghana and Dutch students, with the aim of supporting and improving healthcare in Ghana.
How student organisation Enactus created sustainable notebooks together with social organisation Athos.
Legal philosopher Marieke Hopman is investigating the violation of child rights and children's rights to education in several countries, including the Central African Republic. As part of her research, she has documented the level of physical violence taking place at schools in the strife-torn country.
Match offers students opportunities to contribute to Maastricht's community. By facilitating volunteering, Match enables students to put to use and develop their skills and talents in real-life practice.
The Maastricht Centre for Arts and Culture, Conservation and Heritage (MACCH) is an interdisciplinary research centre that brings together economic, legal, (art) historical, philosophical, sociological and practical expertise to the context of arts and heritage.
The study association of the master's programme in Sustainability, Science and Policy, ASAP, has kept a community garden for about four years in Maastricht on the Mergelweg. Under the inspiring leadership of Colin Laviolette, around eight students maintain the garden.
Precious Plastic Maastricht is currently setting up a local recycling workspace that turns plastic waste into entirely new goods, such as bins, beams, 3D printer filaments, and much more.
Green Impact Challenge
February 15th was the National Warm Sweater Day. All over The Netherlands more than 200.000 people participated by turning down the heat by 1 degree.
At Maastricht University a majority of its buildings participated during the whole week. We want to thank all of you for bearing with us! We got lots of reactions spanning from “Please do this during the whole year” to “I had to wear my coat to work”. Sometimes the working conditions were really unbearable.