About this monitor

Since 2018, Utrecht University has published an annual sustainability monitor that includes sustainability achievements in education, research and operations accompanied by an annual carbon footprint report. For 2022, we opt for an integrated and concise summary of these results. A detailed report can be read in the UU annual report.

The transition to a sustainable society is beginning to take shape and accelerate. Societal developments are identified in European and Dutch policies and increasingly translated into legislation. For instance, the European Green Deal and the Dutch Climate Agreement set high ambitions for real estate and mobility. Legislation on reporting obligations will be mandatory in the future as an instrument to accelerate the transition. 

From our public role as a university, we bear a great social responsibility. Sustainable development is therefore one of Utrecht University's guiding principles (Strategic Plan 2025). Using the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals as a guideline, UU has formulated a number of sustainability goals in the Strategic Plan that it aims to achieve in the foreseeable future.

In this report, we talk about our steps taken in 2022.

New set-up of sustainability monitor reporting 2022

We are opting for 2022 as a first step towards a new, comprehensive format for this reporting. This results from a number of issues:

  • The Executive Board indicated late last year that it wanted to move towards integrated reporting, in which there would eventually no longer be a Sustainability Monitor. 
  • UU's annual report has paid increasing attention to the subject of sustainability for a number of years, partly because this is one of the pillars of the Strategic Plan ("sustainable development").
  • European legislation requires non-financial reporting on so-called ESG topics (Environmental, Social and Governance) to be integrated into the annual report from 2026 (fiscal year 2025). 

The sustainability paragraph in the UU annual report does not yet comply with the new European legislation, but the first steps of integration are now being taken. This means that for sustainability reporting for 2022, we will opt for reporting on the Sustainability Office website, showing what we have done in terms of sustainability in 2022. This will then be 4 main topics: (1) Programme Sustainability, (2) Education, (3) Research and (4) Operations, the latter then divided into 3 sub-themes (SDG 12, 13 and 15).

Review of previous years

The Sustainability Monitor gives a picture of the steps the university has taken over the past year towards its sustainability plans and ambitions. Also take a look at the results of previous years.

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