A greener campus and more education about sustainability

Sustainability Progress Report shows intermediate results
Students sitting at a table at the campus

Three new masters on sustainability, research on harmful substances that are discharged in the environment and two sustainable buildings that opened their doors: as Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), we are working hard to make our education, research and our campus ever more sustainable.

In the Sustainability Progress Report 2022, we show what was achieved within EUR in regards of sustainability last year. This second edition of this annual report contains achieved results and inspiring examples, and shows the importance of accelerating our plans for sustainability. Ellen van Schoten, vice president of the Executive Board: "The report presents in a beautiful way what we are all doing to make the campus more sustainable. And that is a lot. I am proud of what we have achieved together over the past year, and at the same time I also realize that there is still much work to be done."

Ellen van Schoten in Polak Building.
Ellen van Schoten.
Alexander Santos Lima

Green campus

Anyone who regularly walks around campus Woudestein sees that much has already happened. Van Schoten: "We have invested in sustainable buildings, such as Langeveld Building and Sports Building. We have also invested in a thermal storage, in solar panels and we are busy with the change to LED lighting. In addition, we have taken steps for more plant-based food options on campus."

Sustainable mobility

Van Schoten: "Last year we signed the Rotterdam Climate Accord, making us a partner of the Climate Alliance Sustainable Mobility. We hope to move forward with the travel policy for international travel. We also want to motivate people to travel to campus more often by public transport by tightening the policy around commuting. For example, by adding the OV bicycle to the options."

Sunny day on campus Woudestein.
Alexander Santos Lima

Mariecke van der Glas, Program Manager for Sustainability, adds: "Mobility has a major impact on our CO2 footprint. Every day many students travel to and from our campus. Therefore, we should not only look at employee commuting, but also at how we can inspire students to travel to campus sustainably. There are still many gains to be made there.

Karlijn and Levi in front of the entrance of Erasmus Sustainability Hub with bowls of soup
Karlijn and Levi with bowls of soup in front of the Erasmus Sustainability Hub

Call from students

According to Levi Polderman, president of the Erasmus Sustainability Hub, the call for action from students is becoming increasingly louder. Polderman: "Students have spoken out strongly about sustainability within our university in 2022, for example during the OccupyEUR occupation and with the Erasmus Sustainability Hub petition. They are showing the most important signal: action must be taken now to secure a livable future."

Improvements in education and research

There are still many ambitions in education as well, according to Van der Glas: "One important step is to look at how we can further integrate sustainability in education, in all disciplines. More and more courses are offered on this theme, but ultimately we want everyone who graduates from EUR to have learned enough about sustainability."

To provide insight into how our teaching and research is related to the Sustainable Development Goals, a beta version of the SDG mapper has now been launched. This tool shows whether our academic publications and courses relate to one or more of the SDGs. With these insights, we can better refine our research and education policies.

Mariecke van der Glas on campus.
Mariecke van der Glas.
Winish Chedi

Long term plans

There are many more longer-term plans, including for a greener campus. Van Schoten: "Starting in 2024, we will start a tender process to redesign the campus space, guided by the principle of less stone and more greenery. That promises a lot. Thus we are moving more and more towards a more sustainable Erasmus University Rotterdam and I am proud of that."

More information

Want to know more? Check out the Sustainability Progress Report from 2022.


See what else our university is doing on sustainability.

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