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Planet - sustainable practices

All of our sustainability goals you can find in the Roadmap 2015-2020.

We want a more sustainable world, so we're starting at home, by making the UG more sustainable.

Sustainability per faculty:

In 2018, Green Office visited every faculty to see how they're doing and what their goals are in regards to sustainability. You can read our report here.

Sustainable canteens:

The Green Office advises our caterer, Beijk, and helps them towards more sustainable restaurants. Towards this end, we created a Food Group. This group discusses policy and standpoints, but also helps organize a Meatfree Week, vegan tastings, and other special events.

The Food Group focusses on more sutainable food choices, more and clearer information about the availble products, reduction of food waste, and reduction of plastics used to wrap or package foods.

Both restaurants and catering should offer healthy and sustainable food as a first option, and proudly market these products to their customers.


Being careful and sustainable about energy is one of the most important points in the sustainability policy of the UG. We measure the use of energy per square metre, which you can read in the Environmental Performance Indicators. One of the ways to be more sustainable in our energy-use is the use of geothermal heat pumps, and only building the highest grade of sustainable new buildings. Of course we also have our own solar field called Sungrazer to give us renewable energy.

Read more about energy.


The University’s energy use is determined by its size, i.e. the number of buildings, the amount of floor area in square metres, the actions of individual users and the business operations. As the University grows, and the complexity of teaching and research also increases, energy consumption rises and thus also the burden on the environment.

Read more about sustainable construction.


One of the goals in our Roadmap Sustainable University is to help our employees to travel as sustainable as possible: take the train or the bike! Apart from that, for the next years Groningen will see a lot of planned roadworks, causing overburdened roads and traffic jams. This is why we're asking everyone to go by bike or public transport whenever possible!

Read more about our mobility policy.


The printing facilities from RICOH made a lot of environmental savings at the University of Groningen. The Green Office presents these savings in an infographic. In this infographic the savings on paper, ink, and other resources can been seen in the third quarter of 2016. We saw the highest impact on the printing orders not collect and deleted by the system. If everyone is aware of the environmental impact of printing and uses the facility with conscience, savings can even get higher.

Read more about printing at the UG.

Sustainable ICT and E-waste:

The Green Office wants to contribute to a more sustainable university and hopes to contribute to this with ICT and the reduction of E-Waste. Together with the ICT department, we are looking at the possibilities for improvement, for example with regard to the recycling of computers or other electronics, durability of electronics, sustainable purchasing, and examine how ICT can be used to make processes more efficient.


At the UG we weight every kilo of waste that is produced, and keep a clear log of all the waste we produce. This is a valuable instrument to reach a further reduction of how much waste we produce. Waste is separated in 28 different streams and a part of our waste is collected by an electric truck. The way the UG treats its waste is one of the reasons we score high in the GreenMetric World University Ranking.

Another example are the compactors on the Zernike campus. There waste containers compact the waste they receive, and are powered by solar energy. By compacting the waste, they can hold up to five times more than a regular trashcollector. because of this, the container needs to be emptied less often. This helps us save on CO2 exhaust.

All details about out waste management are here.


The University of Groningen offers external parties the possibility to provide a service for the university. The Green Office advocates for the most sustainable option of these external services and provides advice on this matter. The Green Office has been partner in the tenders for printing, catering, sanitation, and transport.

We measure our results with Environmental Performance Indicators.

Last modified:15 August 2019 2.35 p.m.
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