Climate change, nitrogen emissions, the energy crisis, environmental pollution, hunger, poverty, increasing inequality… Our planet and society face enormous challenges that are strongly interconnected. For Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, sustainability is not only about the environment, but also about the human, economic, social and cultural aspects. Sustainability is therefore one of our priority areas.
At VU Amsterdam, we’re passionate about working on sustainable solutions for the interconnected challenges of this century. As a university, we see an important role for ourselves. We educate the leaders of tomorrow. We research sustainability from multidisciplinary perspectives. We develop scientific knowledge and insights. We create value for society. And with more sustainable operations, we also take responsibility for our own organisation. For the planet and society, for current and future generations.
Sustainability starts at home
As the VU community, we contribute to the transition towards a sustainable campus, university and society – every day. An ecosystem in which knowledge about sustainability flourishes and spreads – both within VU Amsterdam and beyond. Almost all faculties and departments of the VU organisation are involved. Because being sustainable starts at home. Join us!
Science for Sustainability is one of our profile themes. Take a look at how we work towards an ecologically healthy, socially just and economically viable world, not only in our operations, but also in our scientific education and research.
The most sustainable university in the Netherlands
VU Amsterdam has been ranked as the most sustainable university in the Netherlands by SustainaBul, and comes in second place overall. This ranking is organised annually by Studenten voor Morgen (Students for Tomorrow). On the basis of a survey, Dutch higher education institutions are assessed on sustainability in education, research, operational management and best practices. VU Amsterdam scores full marks for research and best practices.
Contribution to the SDGs
With sustainability as our priority area, we contribute to all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): no poverty (SDG 1), zero hunger (SDG 2), good health and well-being (SDG 3), quality education (SDG 4), gender equality (SDG 5), clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), affordable and clean energy (SDG 7), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9), reduced inequality (SDG 10), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), responsible consumption and production (SDG 12), climate action (SDG 13), life below water (SDG 14), life on land (SDG 15), peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG 16) and partnerships for the goals (SDG 17).
Following the principle that “to measure is to know”, the Aurora Network has developed the SDG dashboard under VU Amsterdam’s leadership. The dashboard measures and shows our sustainable impact on society based on the 17 SDGs. Our focus on sustainability is also reflected in the Times Higher Education (THE) Ranking 2022. For example, our teaching and research ranks among the top 15-20% of 1,406 universities worldwide when it comes to impacting the SDGs: gender equality (SDG 5), industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9), reduced inequality (SDG 10) and climate action (SDG 13).