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University of Groningen most sustainable university in the Netherlands

16 January 2013

The University of Groningen has reached an impressive 53rd place of the world-wide UI Greenmetric Ranking of World Universities 2012, higher than any other university in the Netherlands. The University of Groningen achieved the best score of the five Dutch universities that participated in the ranking programme this year.

The UI Greenmetric ranking list assesses universities on their ‘sustainability on campus’ and ‘environmentally friendly management’. The ranking list is drawn up by Universitas Indonesia (UI) and aims to promote a changed attitude towards sustainability in society. ‘A benefit to us all is the prospect of change. We believe the universities are the nexus for bringing about real change in society,’ says Indonesian rector Gumilar Rusliwa Somantri.

‘We joined this ranking system because we are committed to sustainability and we want to show that we trying to work in a sustainable way,’ says the President of the Board of the University of Groningen Sibrand Poppema. ‘If we want to teach our students the value of sustainability, the least we can do is practice what we preach.’

The UI Greenmetric World Ranking was published for the third time this year. This year, 215 universities from 49 countries participated, which is 178 more than last year – a spectacular increase. The UI hopes that the number of participating universities will reach two thousand within the next few years.

Within the Netherlands, the universities of Groningen, Eindhoven, Twente, Amsterdam (UvA) and Rotterdam participated.

The ranking list is based on the categories ‘Setting and Infrastructure’, ‘Energy and Climate Change’, ‘Waste’, ‘Water’, ‘Transportation’ and ‘Education’.

Groningen scored particularly well in the categories ‘Waste’ and ‘Transportation’. According to environmental coordinator Dick Jager, this is because the University of Groningen separates its waste into no fewer than 28 categories and collects it with an electric garbage truck. With regard to transportation, says Jager, the University is luckily located in a bicycle-friendly city. However, the transportation plan introduced by the University in 2000 has also made a great contribution.

There is still room for improvement in the other categories. The University is already working hard on this within the fields of ‘energy’ and ‘water’, Jager says enthusiastically. ‘Since 1996 the University has already managed to save 33 percent on water and 60 percent on energy, mainly thanks to technical improvements.’

See also:

UI Greenmetric Ranking of World Universities

RUG website: Sustainable University

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.31 p.m.
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