The 51st edition of KEI week is devoted to the theme of sustainability. On Monday 12 August, around 6,000 KEI participants and KEI leaders were handed cloth bags instead of plastic ones and a KEI wristband with a chip enabling digital payments. A vegetarian meal was served on Monday evening, following the Meatless Monday trend. Coming up later in the week: a sustainable lunch in the Stadspark on Tuesday, a pilot use of reusable cups during the Open Air Festival on Thursday, and the presentation of the KEI Sustainability Award for the most sustainable tip or trick during KEI week. This is all thanks to the proud efforts of the UG Green Office.
Over the past few years, more and more sustainable initiatives have been launched and existing projects have been improved. Stichting KEI (the KEI foundation) wants to inspire students and take on its own societal responsibility. KEI week is being rewarded for doing its utmost to become ever more sustainable each year. In 2014, KEI week was awarded the UMEF certification for sustainable events and in 2017, the Green Key, which is the international certificate for sustainable businesses and events. The only other public event in the Netherlands to have gained this certificate is another Groningen-based event: the Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival. KEI week was awarded these certificates not only for organizing sustainable activities but also for using environmentally-friendly vehicles, for example, and paper bearing the FSC quality mark.
Since last year, the GREEN team has been carrying out measurements: not only to be able to see how KEI week has become more sustainable each year but also to be able to make this visible to the outside world. The GREEN team was established in collaboration with the Green Office of the University of Groningen and is made up of students. During KEI week, the students will map the use of water and energy and record how much waste is produced. The data from 2018 and from this year will be used as the baseline measurement. In this way, KEI week can set itself new goals and ambitions every year, in order to become even more green.
KEI week is the general (non-compulsory) introduction week for all new first-year students of Hanze University of Applied Sciences, the University of Groningen, AVAG (the Amsterdam/Groningen Midwifery Academy) and Stenden University of Applied Sciences.
The Green Office is the platform within the University of Groningen that organizes and coordinates projects in the area of sustainability. The Green Office organizes activities during KEI week and advises Stichting KEI on furthering its sustainability.
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