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Collaborative research | Living Labs

Students regularly use the university as a Living Lab and do research into how the university can become even more sustainable. A win-win situation: the student can conduct research into a 'real' case and the Green Office receives advice based on scientific research.

Examples of research on sustainability in collaboration with the Green Office are:

  • Research into the most sustainable way of drying hands in the toilets.
  • Research into heat stress in the Mercator building.
  • Research into sustainability knowledge among students.

Year 2019 2020 2021
Projects 4 13 30
Students involved 9 27 59

The number of projects and students involved grow annually.

Success stories


Nina Buisman | Honors Masterwork: Take the Lead!

Global warming is a well known topic among students, and sometimes it can be intimidating to look at the future because of it. But, there is still time for change. How can we as students take responsibility? And how can we make the most impact for a sustained future? Medicine student Nina joined the UG's Master Honors Program 'Leadership: making the difference!' in 2020-2021. In collaboration with the Green Office, she created 5 main green tips and wrote a master work to educate students about the importance of stepping up in fighting climate change.

Eowyn Wieringa | Leadership Lab: Second-hand books

At the university, students who want to sell their used books might run into the problem that there is not really a good system for this. Eowyn noticed that and, for her Honours programme, she worked with the Green Office Law Embassy on developing a system in which students can easily exchange textbooks. This is not only nice from a financial point of view, but also more sustainable!


Rik Klement | Bachelor Thesis: Disposable vs reusable cups

What is better for the environment: disposable cups or reusable mugs? For his bachelor thesis, Rik, industrial engineering student, conducted a life cycle analysis of I-shop reusable mugs and UG disposable cups. He found out that the production of the cups, regarding materials and production method, is the main element of influence. Douwe Egberts cups resulted to be more sustainable than Ecotainer cups. Furthermore, after at most 75 uses of a ceramic or travel mug, these reusable alternatives beat the DE disposable cup on sustainability!

Daniël Nicolai | Master thesis: Sustainability Survey

Tackling climate change requires a behavioral change. Questionnaires can be used to reach as many people as possible in a relatively easy way. For a master thesis in communication and information studies, Daniël designed a questionnaire to investigate student’s knowledge in several sustainability topics and make them reflect on their everyday behavior.

Future Living Labs

Would you also like to do research on sustainability within the UG? We have the following questions you could get started with in your programme:

  • Reducing light pollution in Zernike
  • Environmental impact of reusable notebooks
  • Integrating sustainability in education
  • How to communicate effectively about sustainability
  • Use of colors (red vs green) in messages to motivate sustainable behaviors

Do you have a good idea for collaborative research? Contact us via greenoffice

Last modified:13 April 2022 11.21 a.m.
View this page in: Nederlands