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The Green Office Movement

"A Green Office (GO) is a platform for sustainability that is established and run by students with the support of the university or Applied Sciences school staff members. The primary goal of a GO is to ensure that the institution is becoming more sustainable in all its facets. This way, the sustainable initiatives of GOs become more visible and thus the involvement of students on sustainability is stimulated."

Six Principles

The Green Office model, initiated by RootAbility, exists out of six principles:

1) Students & Staff

A dynamic team of student employees, volunteers and university staff form the core of a Green Office. They are directly responsible for running the Green Office and its activities.

2) Mandate

The Green Office receives an official mandate to drive the sustainability transition of the university, by creating new impulses, connecting and empowering actors, improving communications or developing sustainability strategies.

3) Resources

The university grants a budget to pay for salaries, training, project expenses and office space. These resources are crucial to guarantee the continuity and commitment of student, and enable them to implement high-impact projects.

4) Integration

The Green Office is integrated into the institution’s organisational structure, and is supervised by a steering group. The Green Office team also joins relevant sustainability committees.

5) Collaboration

All activities of the team are conducted in close collaboration and partnership with internal and external stakeholders. The Green Office also becomes part of the vibrant network of Green Offices around Europe.

6) Training

The Green Office and its volunteers receive training from rootAbility. This helps to inspire and motivate them, and build their competencies as sustainability change agents.

The Beginning

The Green Office movement began in 2010 as an experiment at Maastricht University and since then has turned into a international movement engaging hundreds of students and staff.

A Green Office is a student-led and staff-supported sustainability hub that coordinates and initiates a dynamic change process towards sustainability within your academic institution.

The movement is developed by RootAbility.

The Storyline

Leiden University is one of Europe’s leading international research universities, guiding both staff and students alike to aspire to be the change-makers of tomorrow. Sustainability has become a growing area of concern not only for governments, but also for us, citizens.

A leading institution like Leiden University can effectively utilize its research in such a way in which significant impact is achieved not solely in research and in-university operations, but also in areas such as climate change and sustainability in the external world. As such, there is vast untapped potential with regard to Leiden University becoming the most sustainable university in the Netherlands. To achieve this goal, however, unity between the entire Leiden University community, staff and students included, is key. The Leiden University Green Office is not only doing their utmost best to create awareness of and knowledge about sustainability among university students and staff, but also contribute to the reduction of the ecological footprint of the university. We, as members of the Leiden University community, deserve to work and live in an environment that is sustainable and can be conserved for our future generations. Let Leiden University and its community lead, as key players in tackling the global challenge of sustainability.

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