Utrecht University follows three guiding principles when designing, building and managing university property: healthy, energy-generating and circular.
In 2019 the Executive Board adopted the ambition document 'Future-proof buildings'. 'We strive for a sustainable society. That is why we want to put these principles at the heart of our own operational management,' says President of the Executive Board Anton Pijpers.
The university aims to be CO₂ neutral by 2030. Creating future-proof buildings will help us achieve this.
Future-proof buildings: sustainable and affordable
Future-proof buildings revolve around the principles: health, energy generation and circularity. The university's new buildings are designed to contribute to the well-being and performance of both students and staff. The buildings will generate energy instead of consuming it. They will also be dismountable to ensure that the raw materials in the building retain their value. In addition, the buildings' structure will be adaptable to ensure future developments in research and education. 'Future-proof buildings are essential for the development of a sustainable, vital and affordable campus,' said Fiona van 't Hullenaar, Real Estate & Campus Director. 'This benefits both people and the environment. It is also financially beneficial, because it helps to reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs for example.'
Sustainability simply makes sense.
What else is Utrecht University doing?
In addition to creating future-proof buildings, the university generates energy by means of solar panels and using thermal storage facilities. It also buys sustainable vertogas and green energy generated by wind turbines in the Netherlands. There are also many other initiatives, both large and small, such as the recent removal of disposable water bottles from vending machines and the introduction of standardised vegetarian lunches.
Fiona van ’t Hullenaar: 'The fact that action is required was underlined by the climate letter in 2019, which called on universities to take more measures to reduce emissions. A great initiative that will gradually make our university even more sustainable.'