Traffic-safe and accessible campuses

In consultation with all the authorities, we design our campus environments tailored to pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport. We work to eliminate bottlenecks and make the infrastructure pedestrian friendly and conflict free. In the past 10 years, many bicycle lanes have been added around our campuses. As part of the total renovation of Etterbeek station, there will soon be a pedestrian bridge leading to the VUB Main Campus.

2022_Fietsenstalling_Gebouw I_VUB_Etterbeek

Less commuting

Commuting from home to work or movements from home to campus causes emissions into the living environment. Long-distance commuting also puts pressure on the well-being of our students and staff. Working independently of time and location is an example of a measure to reduce VUB emissions and maintain a healthy work-life balance for our people.

Living close to the campus or in student rooms has many advantages. VUB provides affordable housing for students. We are also investigating how we can better adapt mobility policy to those who live in Brussels or the vicinity. In terms of education, we focus on blended learning, combining face-to-face and online instruction.

Studenten en fietsers op de esplanade aan het gebouw D op Campus Etterbeek

Alternatives to the car

We choose sustainable means of transport as much as possible, such as the bicycle, public transport, and car-sharing systems. Walking and cycling are encouraged, through tailor-made campuses, cycling facilities and a 'cycling community': cyclists receive a package of equipment, at VUB there is a working group run for and by cyclists, and the mobility coordinator and GreenTeam are often in contact with cyclists. VUB is also in conversation with the authorities and the public transport operators to increase accessibility of the campuses.

Electric mobility

We design our campuses in ways that facilitate electric mobility. We are investigating what is a suitable infrastructure and approach to prepare the campus for the electrification of the vehicles used in Belgium.

Our Travel ABC for international travel

International travel of our staff emits approximately as much CO2-eq as the total gas consumption of the VUB (in the 2018 carbon footprint). In the future, we want to continue to encourage international cooperation, but with a lower climate impact. That is why we introduced the ABCs principle for business travel:

  • Avoid trips: avoid travel altogether. Among other things, we are focusing on technological alternatives to remote collaboration.
  • Book an alternative: travel by train. For journeys that take less than 6 hours from Brussels-Midi station, we always choose the train. For journeys between 6 and 8 hours, the train is highly recommended. The VUB Train Map of Europe bundels all destinations within 6h/8h reach from Brussels-Midi.
  • Compensate: offset the CO2 emissions of your air travel. When travelling by air for a VUB assignment or project, we always calculate a contribution that effectively compensates the emission of greenhouse gases through certified climate projects.
A new tool to book your international travels

To put the Travel ABCs into motion, we have concluded a framework contract with a travel agency. This will facilitate the organisation of business travel. A new booking tool automatically checks whether a destination is also easily accessible by train. You can find more information on our Intranet. We are also developing a sustainable approach for students who travel internationally.