Our 3 strategic goals

To give form to the sustainability policy, we have formulated 3 strategic goals:

  1. We are accelerating our sustainability transition to meet international targets. This is especially necessary in the field of 'Planet', as is shown by the 'Sustainable Development Goals' (SDG) materiality exercise and the evaluation of 10 years of sustainability policy.
  2. We are becoming a true learning organisation, in which everyone acquires and shares knowledge and skills about and for sustainability, and in which more VUB people can personally realise lasting change.
  3. We walk the talk (we do what we say). By guarding the learning and experimenting space and daring to anchor successes at the same time, we position ourselves as an engaged, sustainable university, in word and deed.

Our 3 strategic actions

We have translated our strategic goals into strategic actions:

  1. We are jointly developing the Sustainability Action Plan, with indicators related to the SDGs based on a renewed sustainability vision and renewed goals.
  2. Vice rectorates, faculties, and managements adopt, plan, and realise the Sustainability Action Plan. A task force (Sustainability unit within Strategy and Policy Preparation) is mandated to facilitate this implementation and to stimulate learning.
  3. We share what we do, bring the results together, validate them scientifically, and communicate them in an attractive way. Thus, we raise awareness in the broad VUB community and strengthen collaboration.

Action plan for sustainability

In the Sustainability Action Plan 2021-2024, we explain in concrete terms what steps we will take in the coming period. We develop our actions on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular focus on the SDG Partnerships. After all, we are convinced that we can achieve our goals through intense collaboration.

We strive for a broadly based action plan; an integrated approach is central. In total, the Action Plan comprises 26 actions with priorities on 4 axes:

Education and student policy

On the first axis, actions related to education are central. For example, we focus on education about sustainability through such means as offering inter-university courses. We support our instructors and free up their time and capacity so that students can enjoy quality education delivered by energetic teachers.

Research and valorisation policy

The second axis of the action plan focuses on actions on sustainable research that can be used to improve society. To address sustainability challenges, we encourage interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research groups to conduct studies on these issues. To facilitate that research, we look forward to support from the European Union and use our campuses and the city of Brussels as a Living Lab.

Our partnerships

We engage to involve the entire VUB community - students, staff, researchers, partners - in sustainable transition and following the sustainability action plan throughout the functioning of our organisation.

Our own operations

The last axis focuses on making our own operations more sustainable by a large variety of actions. We reduce our climate impact by drawing up and implementing quantified plans. For example, we are launching the future-oriented Mobility Strategy 2030, the Travel ABC, and a zero-waste community. In addition, we focus on sustainable water use, sustainable food, sustainable campuses and buildings, and a sustainable investment portfolio.

All actions are works in progress. Together with the activators, our partners, and the Core Group on Sustainability, we are constantly developing them further and making them more and more concrete. This makes the Action Plan a dynamic and inspiring process. Because we learn by doing.

The Sustainability Action Plan is part of our General Strategic Plan 2030, together with the Equality Action Plan and the Well-being Framework. An overview of these plans can be found here.

Sustainability reporting

The trend towards greater transparency has been evident throughout society for some time. When it comes to sustainability, students, staff, and other VUB stakeholders also want to know what concrete steps we are taking. That is why we are committed to monitoring and reporting our impact through clear key performance indicators. This is also one of the goals in our sustainability action plan, and is in line with the data-driven institution that the VUB strives to be. We do this through our Report to Society that also addresses the two other transversals, wellbeing and equality.

Discover here our Report to Society.