UvA Green Office
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What does the UvA Green Office do?
The University of Amsterdam Green Office is a student-run organisation that turns students’ ideas for a more sustainable university into reality. Working in collaboration with students and staff we are the central hub for ideas, projects and conversations regarding sustainability at the university.
Being based on rootAbility’s Green Office Model, UvA Green Office aims not only to make the university more sustainable, but also to contribute to the education and empowerment of UvA students. By working on sustainability projects, students learn real-life skills and are enabled as society’s potential change-makers in the field of sustainable development.
Based on RootAbility’s Green Office Model, our mission as the UvA Green Office is to make the University more sustainable by empowering its students to initiate change on their campus. We provide a platform for discussion, collaboration, and creativity aimed at solving challenging issues at the university, such as sustainable consumer choices, energy efficiency, recycling, and more. Our hope is to educate and transform the university through projects created and designed by its own students.
The Green Office UvA is part of Facility Services of the University of Amsterdam and our projects are either assigned by the university itself or initiated by the UvA Green Office. We work together in collaboration with students and staff. Our team currently consists of two managers, Esmee Kooijman and Kelsey Walker, and twelve student volunteers. Our members represent a variety of faculties within the university ranging from Science to Economics and Business and are a very international group, from countries including Italy, Indonesia, USA, and the Netherlands. We find that this diversity breeds creativity and innovation, which helps us find solutions to issues at our University.
Who are we?
- Esmee Kooijman- Green Office Manager
- Kelsey Walker- Green Office Manager
- Aaron Meyer- Contact Coordinator, UvA Facility Services
- Ewout Doorman- Sustainability Coordinator for the UvA
Change on campus begins with you! If you have ideas on how to change the university, please let us know. You can contact us via email with new project ideas or connect with us on Facebook to keep up to date with our latest campaigns, receive sustainability tips, and more.
Want to do more?
Do you see a project you want to take part in or do you have an idea for your own project? Apply to volunteer at the UvA Green Office. We are always looking for new proactive students who are ready to take initiative and create change at the university. Send your CV and a short motivation to firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for the Green Office Team.
Every year, Studenten voor Morgen organises the ‘’SustainaBul’’, the ranking for universities on sustainability performance. The survey has 37 questions on sustainbility in education, research, operations (e.g. catering and waste) and institutions' integrated approach. The UvA Green Office carries out this survey for the University of Amsterdam.
The SustainaBul is useful as a benchmark for the university’s sustainability performance and an overview of initiatives taken in this area. The University of Amsterdam received the following awardst in the SustainaBul ranking:
- 2015: Bronze
- 2014: Bronze
- 2013: Silver
Curious about the full results of previous years? Visit the SustainaBul website at www.sustainaBul.com.
Programme for recycling pens and markers
The UvA Green Office is working with TerraCycle to collect empty pens, markers, and highlighters and recycle them into new material. Look out for our collection locations at the Kohstammhuis and the AUAS location at Wenckebachweg, and Science Park 904. Learn more about TerraCycle and their other projects and products at www.terracycle.nl (or visit their English website www.terracycle.com).
With each meal you make decisions about what you will eat based on how healthy it is for you and how much it costs. But do you know how healthy it is for the environment, and how much your meal costs the environment? Do you know your food footprint? The UvA Green Office is working to educate consumers about how costly their food is to the environment by including the CO2 emissions associated with various products and providing information on alternative products with smaller carbon footprints. The red, yellow, and green footprints you see in the canteens on campus quickly let hungry students know how much CO2 is released with food items. Our hope is that with more education more environmentally responsible choices will be made by the average student. After all, your choices make a difference and climate change can happen on your plate.
We plan to extend this awareness campaign to include the water use, energy use, and land use associated with food production.
Join the Pipe
In an effort to reduce our plastic consumption and waste production on campus the Green Office is currently working with the local Amsterdam business Join the Pipe and our New caterer to offer reusable water bottles and tap water at canteen locations across the UvA campus. You can sign our petition to support the switch to re-usable bottles and tap water at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/UvA-BantheBottle.
You can also find out more about Join the Pipe and their mission at http://join-the-pipe.org
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