Climate plan Ghent University

Ghent University supports the EU ambition to be climate neutral by 2050 and makes this path specific for the next 10 years with a climate plan. For all relevant policy domains, goals are set, boundaries are defined and actions are formulated. The results are monitored annually by the Board of Directors and the actions are adjusted where necessary. The Climate Plan deals with 3 major aspects: climate mitigation (CO2 reduction), climate adaptation and circular economy.

With mitigation, we focus on the causes of climate disruption (e.g. reducing the net emission of greenhouse gases, mainly by strongly influencing our energy consumption and using renewable energy) and with adaptation we focus on adapting to the consequences (e.g. heavy rainfall, more heat waves and longer periods of drought). Because our consumption and production patterns have a major impact on CO2 emissions, we also need to thoroughly work on the circular economy. The policy and transition plans of UGent concerning these 3 aspects can be consulted and followed below.

Consequently, the Climate Plan aims for more than just a reduction in CO2, and at the same time it fits in the broader vision of Ghent University on sustainability. The biodiversity plan, for example, provides for action in the area of climate adaptation, but the action plan must also address biodiversity loss. The business transport plan, on the other hand, aims for fewer fossil fuel cars, but must also lead to more accessible campuses and liveable cities. The Climate Plan's focus on CO2 reduction is necessary, but we should not separate it from the broader sustainability policy at Ghent University, which is followed up biannually with a Sustainability Report. In parallel and more specifically, we now also use a CO2 footprint as an important indicator for the biannual follow-up of the Climate Plan.

Research and Education

CO2 reduction

Circular economy

Climate adaptation

Transition working groups

Each transition plan was set up by a working group of experts, policy officemakers and committed staff and students, and then approved by the board. The working groups further shape the transition action plans, monitor it and formulate proposals for adjustment.

CO2-eq footprint of Ghent University

Ghent University has been calculating its carbon footprint every year since 2019. This is the sum of all the greenhouse gases we emit. With our climate plan, we aim to reduce our university's total emissions year on year. The end goal? The Paris Climate Agreement standard: net zero emissions by 2050.