4 September 2018

Opening Academic Year 2018/19: towards a sustainable UM in 2030

On 3 September 2018, UM celebrated the opening of the academic year 2018/19. This was dedicated entirely to  sustainable development. In the recently adopted vision document ‘SUSTAINABLE UM 2030’, UM describes its ambition to be a sustainable university by 2030, with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN as the guiding framework.

In the morning programme, students from our Green Office organised a symposium about behavioural change. How can we—if it is at all possible—encourage people to make the right decisions in their daily lives? As part of a competition, students and staff presented ideas for projects that would contribute to the realisation of the SDGs. During the official afternoon ceremony, four keynote speakers discussed how essential cooperation is in realising the SDGs, especially for European universities. Take a look at our recap.

New sustainability programme
In order to realise its ambition, UM has implemented a new sustainability programme (SUSTAINABLE UM 2030), which focuses on three pillars: education, research and operations. Each pillar is managed by a project owner, who is supported by a sustainability coordinator and the UM Green Office:

  • Education: project owner Ron Cörvers (ICIS), coordinator Ceren Pekdemir (ICIS)
  • Research: project owner Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt (FHML), coordinator Rick Kramer 
  • Operations: project owners Erwin Kuil (FS) and Antoon Vugts (HR), coordinator Rabbe Dormans (FS)

A taskforce monitors the programme and consists of the portfolio manager from the Executive Board (Nick Bos, chair), the project owners, a representative of the University Council (Rebecca Kavanagh) and two external advisors (Bert Kip, Brightlands Chemelot Campus and Pierre Senster, Province of Limburg). The taskforce is supported by a coordinator (Anja van Bogaert, ICIS).

This project organisation facilitates initiatives, small or large, coming from all levels of the organisation. Do you have an idea about how to make UM more sustainable? Sign up for the Green Impact programme.