We are the hub in Leiden where students and staff members cooperate to support the sustainable development of our University!
As an internationally prominent university, Leiden University is aware of the role of education and research in the transformation towards a sustainable society. Therefore, various departments of the university have worked together with students on developing the institution’s environmental policy: Milieubeleidsplan Universiteit Leiden 2016-2020. This document is an important step towards a more active and visible policy on the influence of the university on the future and parties involved will continue to develop the plan over time.
One of the key-aspects of the policy is the involvement of the community within the university, mainly students and staff, in the execution of the plan. This is why the Leiden University Green Office was started in 2016, that will have the noble task of designing and enhancing the continuity of that goal. This is mainly done by raising awareness and involvement.
You might wonder “What is a Green Office?”. Let’s explain this shortly!
A Green Office is a physical platform on sustainability within a university, meant for both its students and staff. The team executes projects on sustainability and supports the realization of ideas by the community or the university on the topic.
The Green Office model has been developed by RootAbility. On one hand, the knowledge and dynamic way of interacting that students have can be used to realize projects on sustainability. On the other hand, the contacts of staff members and the continuity they provide by their work, can be used to pave a sustainable way within the university. This is important because students often perceive the university as an impenetrable organization.
The first Green Office was only opened in 2010 in Maastricht. Now 6 years later, almost every university has one or is starting one. And this is not only in the Netherlands but in Swede, Italy, Germany, the UK and Belgium as well!
As green office, we communicate about the environmental policy and the resulting actions from that. We also support staff members and students to carry out their own green idea’s. And last but not least, we organise events to gain awareness for the topic. So far, we have been worked together with the introduction weeks of Leiden and the Hague where we had a Sustainable Photo Booth, the Perpetual Plastic machine and smoothie bikes. We plan on organising Green Drinks every month for you to meet like-minded people and exchange your thoughts on sustainability!– under construction.