Green Office Living Lab

Utrecht University faces many challenges in its bid to become a green, sustainable university. By researching the obstacles that keep us from going green, we can find solutions and implement them in our own business operations. 

That is what we do at the Green Office Living Lab. 

How it works

University support staff put forward sustainability challenges in their business operations that require research. University students then conduct research on these topics in courses [or theses] supervised by lecturers. Research outcomes are fed back into the university’s business operations and implemented by support staff.

In this process, the Green Office connects the dots and unites the three pillars of the university: support staff, lecturers, and students.

The Living Lab and me

Lecturers, support staff and students all have a part to play in the Green Office Living Lab. Find out what this means for you.

I am a lecturer
I am a support staff member
I am a student

Success stories

Many students, lecturers and support staff members have worked together in the past to research and implement sustainable solutions in our university. Below are some recent examples of successfully implemented changes based on Green Office Living Lab research.

Climate-proof buildings

Based on the results of a GO Living Lab study on climate-proof buildings, the university is starting a pilot with sustainable building materials.

The missing emissions

For the UU CO2 footprint report, students investigated which CO2 emissions have not been included in the reporting thus far. The results showed that there are more emissions, from student air travel in particular, which the university later incorporated into its footprint.

Recycled paper in printing

In 2019, a group of students researched the effectiveness and costs of recycled paper for printing. Thanks to this Living Lab, the UU switched to recycled paper use for printing in 2019.

The future of our food

In September 2019, the Future Food Lab in the Educatorium restaurant was opened. Within the Future Food Lab, students, scientists, staff and the university's caterer explore how we can make our food supply more sustainable. Various GO Living Labs were carried out for the Future Food Lab in 2019 and will continue in 2020 and 2021.

22 Green Office Living Labs took place in 2019 
Learn more about them in the Sustainability Monitor 2019

Any questions? Don't hesitate to contact the Living Lab Coordinator, Tom McDevitt, at: livinglab.greenoffice@uu.nl