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Sustainable student organization

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Green Subsidies

Do you want to make the organization of your association more sustainable? The Green Office can help you! The Sustainability Subsidies offered by the Green Office provide financial aid for associations to implement impactful sustainability initiatives. Associations eligible for the CUOS Graduation Fund can apply for up to €1000 in funding, spread across up to 2 initiatives. It is also possible to apply jointly with other associations.

Questions or remarks? Feel free to reach out to us through Discord or via email at greenoffice

Application Deadline: January 26th 2024, 23:59 CET

Some things have changed. What’s new this year?
  • Changes in participation requirements: No need to indicate participation before submission anymore.

  • Participation in Green Label Programme Required: Associations applying for Green Subsidies must also apply for a Green Label.

  • Impact Reporting: After implementing the initiatives, associations must submit a brief report outlining their impact and effectiveness.

Is my association eligible?

To be eligible to request a Green Office subsidy, your association needs to be recognized in the Graduation Fund list of the Central Executive Board for Student Organizations (CUOS).

What can I get a subsidy for?

The Green Subsidies are intended to financially assist concrete initiatives that induce positive and impactful changes to move towards more sustainable associations. Applications are assessed individually and initiatives can be of different nature, so there is no clear list of what you can ask a subsidy for; however, these are the general guidelines:

- The initiative should be concrete, well-planned and feasible.
- The initiative must induce positive changes in your association’s sustainability.
- The initiative should have a high impact and reach many of your members.
- The initiative should preferably contribute to lasting change and should not require another subsidy to last.

For ideas and examples of previously funded initiatives, see the Green Subsidy FAQ below.

How are applications reviewed?

Applications are individually reviewed by the Green Office. Decisions are based on:

  • Projected sustainability impact
  • Feasibility and quality of the plan
  • Compatibility with the University’s policy.

Green Subsidies Timeline

  • Applications Open: November 13, 2023

  • Application Deadline: January 26, 2024 at 23:59 CET

  • Decisions will be announced before February 16, 2024

Sounds great! How do I apply?

Applying for Green Subsidies is easy:

1. Review the programme timeline above.
2. Fill the Subsidy Application PDF Form (download it here) using a web browser (e.g. Firefox or Chrome)
3. Submit your filled form via the button below before January 26, 2023, 23:59 CET.


Additional questions can be directed through the Association Discord Server or greenoffice

Q: What if our initiative changes after applying?
A: Contact the Green Office to discuss amending your application. Funding may be adjusted if the scope changes.

Q: Who owns materials purchased with subsidy money?
A: Purchased items are the property of the funded association.

Q: What are some example initiatives? A: Here are some examples of previously funded initiatives:
- Upgrading to energy-efficient lights, appliances, etc.
- Replacing disposable items with reusables
- Workshops/events focused on sustainability
- Making events more sustainable
- Reducing the environmental impact of your association’s operation
- Connecting members to social organizations such as Humanitas or the food bank

Q: When will I receive the subsidy?
A: Associations whose requests have been approved will initially have to fund their initiative themselves. After the initiative is implemented, a brief report on the impact of the initiative must be sent to the Green Office. Associations must participate in the Green Labels programme, after which the Green Subsidy decision letter, receipt(s) and relevant proof can be sent to the Financial Shared Service Centre (FSSC) to receive the subsidy. Full details are provided upon approval.

Q: Can I apply for the same initiative with another association?
A: It is possible to apply jointly with other associations, in which case, for each participant, the join application counts towards the limit of two initiatives and €1000 maximum funding.

Green Office Labels

In 2017, the University of Groningen's Green Office introduced the Green Office Label programme to acknowledge the urgent need for all university stakeholders to take action against the climate crisis. As student organisations affiliated with the university are a big part of students’ lives and play a significant role in setting an example for them, it is crucial that they also contribute to creating a more sustainable university and, consequently, a more sustainable society. 

The Green Office Labels programme aims to incentivise organisations to be more sustainable by rating them based on various sustainability criteria. We developed the programme not only as a scoring tool but also as a way to inspire change and guide organisations towards important sustainable behaviours, which are not always clear without a clear list of things to look for; in this sense, the Green Office Labels offer a great opportunity for the boards to reflect on the impacts of their organisations and their role and duty to be sustainable. We hope that an environment of friendly competition and the benefits of receiving an official sustainability score will lead organisations to strive to receive better scores year after year, thus reducing the environmental impacts on the University of Groningen and its students.

Who can participate?

All student organisations located in Groningen and focused on students of the University of Groningen can participate in the Green Office Labels. The term student organisations refer to study associations, student associations, sports associations, religious associations, cultural associations, and other similar types of associations affiliated with the University of Groningen.

*Note that this differs from the Green Office Subsidies, where only CUOS-recognised organisations receiving a board grant can participate.

Why participate?

Participating in the Green Office Label offers numerous benefits to student organisations, enabling them to become leaders in sustainability and contribute to a greener university community and society. By participating, organisations fulfil their ethical responsibility to address the urgent climate crisis, set an example for members, and inspire awareness and action. The programme provides valuable insights into sustainability performance, helps identify areas for improvement, and facilitates the development of targeted strategies and actionable plans for progress. It also allows organisations to benchmark against peers, foster friendly competition, and learn from best practices. The Green Office Label can also attract sponsors who prioritise sustainability and increase the chances of securing funding through sustainability subsidies and sponsorships.

How to participate

Please download and carefully read the guideline file. It contains all the instructions and resources needed to participate. 

In short, the main steps are:

  • Read the guideline file

  • Fill in the submission form

  • While filling in the form, also fill in the evidence files, as set out in the guidelines.

  • Submit the form and evidence file

Q&A Session

We have organised a Q&A session for the board of all organisations to ask us questions. On the 28th of May, between 13:00 and 15:00, you can visit us physically at the Green Office or join the session online at this link to get answers to all your questions and doubts about the Green Office Labels programme. See you there!


  • 13th May: Green Office Labels opens to all organisations

  • 27th May: Reminder to submit

  • 28th May: Q&A session at Green Office (online also available) 13:00 - 15:00

  • 16th June: Submission deadline

  • 25th June: Green Office Labels award ceremony 15:30 - 17.00 (Senaatskamer, borrel in Spiegelzaal)  + results live on the website

Last modified:04 July 2024 3.26 p.m.
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