8 June 2017

‘Sustainabul’ for Maastricht University

On the recent National Day for Sustainability in Higher Education, Maastricht University scored 8th place in the ranking of a total of 20 universities and universities of applied sciences. The ‘Sustainabul’ rankings look at sustainability in the broadest sense of the word. The 8th place is a significant improvement over last year, when UM no longer appeared in the ranking.

The rise in the ranking can be explained primarily by the improved definition of what sustainability includes (more than just waste and energy). Marc Fischer, UM’s sustainability advisor and coordinator of the UM Green Office: “Sustainability is a broad concept, so you first have to understand what it’s all about. Then you try to make as much progress as possible within that broad spectrum, and that’s what we hope to achieve more of in the coming years.”

In concrete terms, for example, UM buys 100% green energy, has decreased its CO2 footprint in the last few years and recently implemented waste separation in all of its buildings. However, Sustainabul also looks at, for instance, whether students are encouraged or supported in finding a sustainability-related topic for their internship or thesis. Taking responsibility in general is also a feature of sustainability. In the new strategic programme, ‘Community at the CoRE’, UM has identified sustainability as one of the four core values ​​in education, research and operations.

Most iconic project
This year, for the first time, an award for the most iconic, innovative and sustainable project (in which students also played an important role) was included in the ranking. UM was one of the six nominees with the ‘UM Duurzaam onder Dak’ project, done in cooperation with UMGO, in which integral sustainability was sought for education and research, as well as operations, at the Tongersestraat 53 building. In the end, Eindhoven University of Technology won the award with their new main building called ‘Atlas’.