Sustainability pact

Towards a sustainable university, step by step and with as many people as possible! Engage with department, faculty, ... through the sustainability pact.

What is the sustainability pact?

With the sustainability pact, we invite research groups, departments and services to commit to one or more sustainability actions that go beyond the general guidelines. In this way we can experiment with more far-reaching measures and convince others to join us.

Join one of your colleagues' initiatives!


Sustainable catering

With our sustainable catering policy, we are going for at least 50% varied veggie offerings and limiting fish to those with a label and with plant-based diet and meat with a low footprint and attention to animal welfare.

Who goes the extra mile?

  • Doctoral students in the Department of Psychoanalysis and Counseling Psychology receive 400 EUR for organizing a doctoral reception if they commit to doing so veggie and with organic products.
  • In the department of Conflict and Development studies they always go for 100% veggie when catering.


Sustainable events

Are you organizing an event? With some creativity you can show that you take sustainability to heart! Make your sustainable choices visible and known, so they can inspire others. Here you can find our guidelines.

Need ideas?

  • The Department of Orthopedagogics offers only reusable and environmentally friendly items in the goodie bag (e.g. pencil instead of ballpoint pen, water bottle instead of key ring) and allows participants to compose their own goodie bag, so they only get things they will use.

Vliegen is voor vogels

Sustainable Travel

With the sustainable travel policy, we no longer fly if we get somewhere with a train journey < 8h, we take the lead in international research cooperation and make agreements on sustainable mobility, and a contribution of 50 EUR/tonne CO2 is collected for flights that we have to do anyway.

Who is also shifting this 'standard'?

  • The department of Psychoanalysis and Counseling Psychology wants to do everything that is under 10h by train.
  • The department of Orthopedagogy opts for sustainable mobility choices in educational activities and discusses this with its students to make them aware of the sustainability issue (e.g. by train to the location of the study trip, by bike to the internship).


Sustainable mobility

With the sustainable mobility policy, we want to reduce the number of car trips and convince people to take the bicycle or public transport.

Who has some good 'tricks'?

  • On campus Coupure, campus Dunant and campus Sterre, parking lots were transformed into green space. Students and staff came to plant with them! That makes the loss of parking, or better the shifting of cars to something further away, a lot more digestible.
  • Part of the parking lot of the Gontrode campus is being made greener


Phasing out drink and snack points

In new construction or major renovations, no new beverage vending machines will be installed. The existing vending machines are phased out.

Who is pulling the cart?

  • The faculty of DI took away all of its soft drink vending machines.
  • The faculty of RE greatly reduced its vending machines. There will be 1 beverage and 1 candy vending machine left.
  • Faculty of Arts Philosofy will experiment with Drippl vending machines: drinks based on tap water, without packaging waste.


Get rid of disposables at drink points

Disposable cups are offered at coffee vending machines. Materials that are as recyclable as possible are sought, but usually you walk away with such a cup and dump it in a trash can somewhere.

Can we get rid of those?

  • The EB faculty is experimenting with a coffee corner in the foyer without disposable cups. Bring your own cup!
  • The Department of Conflict and Development Studies bought some 60 'Join the Pipe' water bottles as a welcome gift for the staff of the department.


Fair and Circular ICT

With the transition plan fair and circular ICT we want to influence ICT companies to make their production chain structurally more sustainable. We also want to extend the lifespan and collect more IT material for reuse and recycling.

Good examples?


Giving Away shelves

What you are discarding might still be useful for someone else? See if it can get a place on the UGent sharing platform, or arrange for a hive in a busy place.

Where are they already located?

  • Faculty of Arts and Philosofy, in the cafeteria seating area
  • Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, in the foyer

Green Hub

The most sustainable purchase is not a purchase

We look for sustainable products and look for responsible ways to dispose of our stuff.

But perhaps we should also question our own purchases more often?

  • The Translation, Interpretation and Communication department chose refurbished office chairs. DESKO (in Dutch) did this for them and they received a 4-year warranty.
  • At the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Science, the meeting areas were furnished with materials from the thrift store.
  • The Green Office worked together with NNOF (lockers and tables made from discarded office materials) and Labeur (in Dutch) (wooden shelves).

coupure bollen.jpg

More (and more ecologically valuable) greenery on campus

We want to preserve and enhance the existing greenery and biodiversity. Look around your campus and discover opportunities.

Maybe we can tackle them together with you?

  • The Faculty of Veterinay Sciences went looking for opportunities to manage the greenery on campus more ecologically. They collaborated on the ecological green management plan.
  • The faculty of Sciences set up a biodiversity trail on the Sterre campus.


Less disposable materials and fewer reagents in the labs

Together with researchers, we are looking for ways to reduce disposable plastics, reduce volumes and use less reagents and energy during lab work. My Green Lab is a very nice guide. These examples of our UGent'ers might provide additional inspiration:

  • The Centre for Medical Biotechnology (CMB) uses a farewell checklist for people who leave CMB. It should be checked that their used refrigerators and freezers have been cleaned, samples that need to be stored should be inventoried, etc.
  • The Department of Translational Physiology, Infectiology and Public Health at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine collects packaging materials for a company that has to ship a lot by mail.
  • The sterilization cloths in which surgical sets are packed are no longer residual waste! The Faculty DI collects these polypropylene cloths for Mozaïek vzw , a daycare center for people with special needs. They remove the labels in order for the polypropylene to be recycled. 


Fewer ultra-freezers, smarter use

The presence of many individual freezers consumes a great deal of energy. A -80°C-freezer consumes yearly 3000 à 3500 kWh (comparable to the energy consumption of an average Flemish family). Therefore, we should use ultra-freezers more together, clean them regularly and consider whether a higher temperature is possible. Follow the guidelines and see how other groups are doing.

  • In the Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Poultry Diseases, they reduced the temperature of their ultrafreezers from -80°C to-70°C.
  • he faculty of Bioscience Engineering organized itself so that there is 1 backup ultra freezer for the entire campus. In this way, a possible breakdown can be dealt with or it can be used when another ultrafreeze is being cleaned out

Did you do something yourself that others could learn from?

Let us know, and get a spot on our wall of fame!