12 September 2019

Four sustainable plans for the coming year

The new academic year has started, so it’s time to get to know UM’s resolutions regarding sustainability for the coming year!

Behind the scenes, a team dedicated to sustainability has been working hard to get UM’s sustainability policy on track: taskforce Sustainable UM2030. The taskforce got a lot of help from students and staff participating in Green Impact, a competition in which teams could compete each other as to make the most sustainability actions happen.

Not only was this an engaging competition for the teams involved, it also gave the taskforce some guidance as to where next steps are needed.

1. Green Office

First of all: a lot of valuable feedback came from students. That is why the taskforce will work much more closely with Green Office as of this year. Ideas from students are very valuable for the UM and its community, since they are more prone to come with so called out-of-the-box suggestions. However, we did notice that students sometimes have a hard time working with a large organisation such as UM, so the taskforce will help them a hand. Vice versa, Green Office can help the taskforce to engage more students with sustainability.

2. Sustainable Development courses

Quite some students have it made clear that they want more education on sustainable development. In order to make education on sustainable development open for all UM students, the taskforce is working on creating a minor about sustainable development. The plan is to have it up and running next academic year.  

3. Interdisciplinary research / symposium

Sustainability is a very broad subject. Many different issues such as biodiversity, climate change, inequality and justice affect each other. That is why interdisciplinary research is needed to create solutions. In order to facilitate more interdisciplinary research about sustainability at UM, the taskforce will host a research symposium on November 29th. Both students and researchers are welcome to join.

4. New round of Green Impact

Last but not least: Green Impact will be continued this year. Last year 13 teams worked tirelessly on sustainability issues in their own sphere of influence with great success. Now we want to take Green Impact to the next level. Instead of each team working on the same smaller actions, we want to create insterdisciplinary teams around more complex themes. These themes are based on the feedback from Green Impact 2018-2019:

  • Business flights
  • Making UM events and meetings more sustainable
  • Making the campus more green and work on biodiversity
  • Sustainable research labs
  • Sustainable catering
  • Sustainable procurement
  • Less waste

If you are interested in one of these subjects then make sure to join Green Impact! Whether you are a (academic) staff-member or a student, you are welcome to join. Practical information about signing up and planning will follow in autumn.