Reducing the Biodiversity Footprint

Utrecht University wants to increase biodiversity at local, national and global levels. That is why our own (global) biodiversity footprint is also critically examined. This footprint is shaped by what the university purchases, builds and throws away, and influences biodiversity far away and close by, depending on where materials are produced and how waste is processed.

For now, the university places the emphasis of the reduction of the footprint on the five components of the Dutch biodiversity footprint and CO2 compensation. These are the use of meat, dairy and other food, wood and paper, construction, transport and infrastructure, and clothing and fabrics. Waste is a part of all of the above-mentioned components, and water use and quality are also included in a reduction plan.

Initiatives

Materials Centre - The university has its own waste-collection facility, also called the Materials Centre, where waste/ construction materials are separated and possible options for reuse are examined. The waste-collection facility is in Utrecht Science Park.

Circular furniture - Since February 2022, the university has a new policy regarding the purchase of (new) furniture. The starting point is circularity, which means that as many pieces of furniture as possible are being reused. If this is not possible, second-hand furniture is purchased. In this is also not possible, new circular furniture is purchased. 

Catering – The university works with catering service Eurest on a responsible, nature inclusive, waste-free supply with a focus on vegetable food. For instance, Eurest collaborates with Winnow and Too Good to Go in order to fight waste, the corporate uniforms are circular and made of recycled fabric and PET bottles, and Eurest only provides environmentally-friendly disposables.