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About us Profile Facts and figures Sustainability Policy


The UG distinguishes three main pillars in academic research. Healthy Ageing, Sustainable Society and Energy. Those three pillars are multidisciplinary and also create space for research in sustainability topics . Healthy Ageing mainly focusses on the question: “How can we stay healthy, happy and socially active for longer?”. Sustainable Society is engaged in the way we can live together in the future within a changing globalizing society. The pillar Energy is involved in the transition towards more sustainable and renewable energy sources.

Within the Energy pillar the Energy Academy Europe plays the important role of engaging with partners and networks to bring together plans to work towards the energy transition. Doing research is one of the main three core pillars of the Energy Academy.

All three pillars are strongly multidisciplinary and create space to do interdisciplinary research on sustainable issues. About 24% of all publications of the University may be related to sustainability. See an overview of sustainable projects at the University.

Living Labs

The University of Groningen aims to make the university as sustainable as possible. Sometimes research is needed to investigate how this can be done. Students can in cooperation with the Green Office use the university as a Living Lab for their research and practical assignments on sustainability, providing interesting insight and practical tips on how to make the UG greener and/or stimulate awareness and green behaviors in staff and students. Living labs are a win-win situation: the student can conduct assignments into a 'real' case and the Green Office receives advice, which in many cases can actually be implemented or used.

Greener Lab Committee

The Greener Lab Committee was founded in 2020 by a group of PhD student and lab technicians from FSE, in collaboration with the Green Office, with the mission to make laboratories more sustainable. This includes informing and inspiring others, and to provide a platform for lab users to share ideas and experiences. One of their products is a ‘Lab Guidebook’ that contains a lot of practical tips to reduce (plastic) waste, and energy and water consumption. In April, a kick-off meeting was held to involve lab users from different backgrounds but with the same interest for sustainability. The initiative has piqued the interest of the UKrant.

Food Committee

A group of academics and support staff got together to work on making the canteen greener. The staff members come from different backgrounds, including the faculty of Arts, Spatial Science, University College, the University Service Department and the Green Office. The committee worked on the food-related ambitions of the Sustainability Roadmap and is now working to create an interdisciplinary living lab to study the transition to more sustainable food systems.

Course on Sustainability for PhD students

The Green Office worked together with the FSE PhD council to organise a course on being sustainable as a PhD student. On 31 March 2022, the first one-day course took place. Students followed presentations on different topics, ranging from digitalization and open science to sustainability in the lab and mental health. The course will be extended to other faculties in the next academic year. If you have questions about this course or you'd to implement it in your faculty, please let us know at greenoffice

Last modified:12 May 2023 11.02 a.m.
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