Universiteit Leiden

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Leiden University takes 18th place in SustainaBul sustainability ranking

Leiden University has taken 18th place in the SustainaBul, the sustainability ranking of universities and universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands. A total of 32 institutions took part in this the tenth edition of SustainaBul. Although Leiden University is two places higher than last year, there is still much to be done.

‘Sustainability is an important topic in our operations,’ says Daphne van den Berg, Programme Manager for Sustainability at the university. ‘What is lacking at the moment is a long-term vision and a multi-year plan to succeed the Environmental Policy Plan 2016-2020. The vision and associated programme, just like the strategic plan, were postponed for a year because of coronavirus, but are now being developed. The vision should help make our teaching and research even more sustainable. It is clear that these areas need more efforts, visibility and attention.’

Importance of sustainability

In the area of sustainability in its teaching and research, Leiden University’s score is below average. But at 11th place it has a high score for sustainable operations. ‘Although big steps still need to be taken, it’s clear that there is general consensus at the university that sustainability is important,’ says Van den Berg. Associate Professor in Environmental Sciences Thijs Bosker was recently awarded a grant. He wants to use this to develop learning modules and to incorporate sustainability in many more programmes at the university.

SustainaBul is the initiative of the Studenten voor Morgen student organisation. Students evaluated the 32 participating research universities and universities of applied sciences in terms of sustainability. They awarded points in the categories of operations, teaching, research and best practices. Wageningen University & Research took first place this year.

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