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What a waste: sustainability at the University of Groningen

If all 67 million photocopies produced by the University of Groningen every year were put onto a pile, it would be as tall as 67 Martini Church towers (6.5 km). If the entire surface area of the University was flooded with the water that the University uses in a year, then all staff would be up to their knees in water. In addition to paper waste and hazardous waste, the University of Groningen produces more than 350 tons of residual waste a year.

Promoting sustainable development

Although these amounts of waste, paper and water use are not unusual for a large organisation such as the University of Groningen, there is a growing global need to live sustainably. As a socially responsible institution, the University has set itself the goal of promoting sustainable development in all aspects of the university. This covers both the promotion of sustainable development in teaching and research and the expression of this in accommodation, management and business operations.

Education and research

When it comes to education in the field of sustainability, the university offers the Master’s degree programme Energy and Environmental Sciences. This programme has a strong focus on topical large-scale issues such as climate change, sustainable development, the greenhouse effect, and ozone depletion. Researchers of the University of Groningen can be found in a wide variety of disciplines related to sustainability, including climate research, energy research and renewable resources. GESP (Groningen Energy and Sustainability Program) is the new university platform that coordinates all research on energy and sustainability at the University of Groningen.

Sustainable construction

Given the pressure on energy supplies and rising energy prices, the university considers it crucial to limit energy use as much as possible with regard to accommodation and construction. This is why new buildings such as the Bernouilliborg and the Life Sciences Building have been built according to the latest insights in sustainable construction.

> Find out more about sustainability at the University of Groningen

> Read more about GESP

Last modified:16 March 2020 4.47 p.m.