Green Office Living Lab
The Green Office Living Lab matches students to facility employees who are looking for solutions to their sustainability issues. This gives students the chance to put their academic knowledge about sustainability into practice.
One of the 22 Living Lab projects in 2018 was research into tableware. On behalf of the University Facilities Service Centre, students researched whether using biodegradable disposable tableware such as plates, cutlery and glasses made of sugar cane, corn and palm leaves was more sustainable than rinsing ordinary tableware. The students concluded that rinsing is in fact the more sustainable option.
Based on these results, the University decided not to replace the ceramic tableware used in its restaurants with a biodegradable variant.
Ilse van der Voorn, Living Lab Coordinator at the Green Office Utrecht:
"The Living Lab collaboration gives students the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice in a complex organisation such as a university and encourages employees to conduct research into the issues they may be facing, but it also stimulates discussion between students, researchers and employees about exactly what kind of university we want to be.”