Green Offices

What is a Green Office?

A Green Office is a student driven and staff supported institute within the institute of higher education, with the primary goal to help the university becoming more sustainable in all its dimensions. The Green Office Model according to rootAbility consists of 6 principles: it consists of students and staff, has an official mandate to enhance sustainability in the institute of higher education and receives resources to achieve this, is integrated into the institution’s organizational structure, collaborates with internal and external stakeholder and learns how to achieve this change through training. As such, the Green Office is in a unique position with both characteristics of ‘traditional’ university sustainability programs and grassroots student sustainability groups.

green office definition

Students working towards Sustainability in Higher Education

The GO’s try to achieve sustainability in all dimensions of higher education. This means both in its academic role as its operations. The academic role is about the universities role in society: what do we teach our students? Does the research conducted in the university lead to a more sustainable world? How are we engaging students and staff for sustainability? The operations are about the actual carbon footprint of the university and is about energy, catering, building regulations and so on.

sustainability in higher education

Green Office Movement and partners

Green Offices exist all over Europe. RootAbility, the founders of the GO Model are facilitating collaboration and learning on the European level. They are also helping new GO’s to lobby and set up a new GO. In the Netherlands, all GO’s are member of Studenten voor Morgen. Femke, the Green Office Coordinator and Studentennetwerk board member Nikki are coordinating the existing 13 Dutch GO:


The first Green Office was established in September 2010 by the University of Maastricht. After that, multiple universities in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Sweden and the UK followed their example. The GO Movement is still growing every year.

Start a Green Office

No Green Office at your university? Would you like to start one? Check out the steps to take here. Still questions? Contact rootAbility:

More info

The GO Model (developed by rootAbility)
And more documents


Femke Lootens: Green Office Coordinator NL & BE
Twitter: @GreenOfficeNl
Facebook: Green Office Movement