SDG Challenge University

Utrecht University Students tackle Heineken’s sustainability questions

Utrecht University SDG challenge team
Utrecht University team members: Anik Metgzer, Michelle van der Vegt, Nina Vodnjov, Ece Sanli, Marthe Gunnink and Mabel Dortmans

How can Dutch bar owners become more sustainable while remaining profitable and enhancing consumers’ experience? A team of six Utrecht University students*  tackled this question in the SDG Challenge University

The students faced-off against teams from 14 other Dutch universities, who also presented sustainability proposals for their external partner organisations.

The Green Star Club

The students proposed a sustainability network for Dutch bar owners: The Green Star Club. Members will receive training on responsible waste management, energy consumption reduction and best practices from other members. Bar owners who join the sustainability network will receive a Green Star Label that increases their social responsibility rating. 

What is exiting about this initiative is that companies are willing to work differently. We like that they are eager to listen to our ideas

Anik Metzger
Anik Metgzer, master's student Bio Inspired Innovation

Shifting towards sustainability

The students were inspired by the fact that companies are willing to shift from their business-as-usual approaches to adopt more sustainable operational models. They really appreciated that platforms such as the SDG-Challenge allow them to network and share their ideas. 

Hopes and expectations

After the event, the students hope that Heineken will adopt and implement their sustainability ideas, integrating them into its business strategy. Our students hope that Heineken can build on the event to mainstream key ideas into its future operations.  

What was interesting for me was the ability to focus on all the SDGs holistically, rather than in isolation. With the view that all SDGs are interconnected, we were able to design a proposal that looks at the entire system.

Michelle van der Vegt
Michelle van der Vegt, master's student Bio Inspired Innovation

*About the SDG Challenge University

Student teams working on SDG-challenges

In the SDG Challenge University, student teams of Dutch universities team up with an external organisation to work together on a SDG-Challenge.

Digital pitching

Six Utrecht University students, Anik Metgzer, Michelle van der Vegt, Nina Vodnjov, Ece Sanli, Marthe Gunnink and Mabel Dortmans digitally presented their ideas on how Heineken can facilitate Dutch bar owners’ quest to become more sustainable while remaining profitable and enhancing consumers’ experience.

Fifteen participating universities

Our students faced-off against teams from 14 other Dutch universities. Congratulations to the winning team from Tilburg University and Gemeente Den Bosch! We look forward to participating in the next edition of the SDG challenge.