Since 2012, the SustainaBul (which is a pun, as a ‘bul’ is the degree you receive when graduating from university) ranks the extent to which Dutch higher education institutions are sustainable. The ranking is organised annually by Studenten voor Morgen. Participating institutions are assessed based on a questionnaire on the topics of sustainability in education, research, operational management and integral approach. With the SustainaBul, Morgen works on continuing to make higher education more sustainable. This is being done by stimulating due to the competitive element, but also by sharing knowledge gained in the past. In this way, Morgen aims to make the Dutch education sector in its entirety more sustainable. Good education is crucial for a more sustainable society.
Through the years, the SustainaBul has grown into the biggest project Morgen organises and is unique in its sort. This type and scale of classification cannot be found any place elsewhere in the world, completely initiated and voluntarily executed by students. From this unique position, the SustainaBul is set to contribute further to making Dutch higher education increasingly more sustainable.
SustainaBul Coordinator: Mignon Vieveen
My name is Mignon Vieveen. In the coming months I will be helping with the coordination of the SustainaBul. I just finished my bachelor Industrial Design. Since last year I am part of Team Energy, a student team at Eindhoven University of Technology that is involved in the transition towards sustainable energy. I think it is important to be in contact with each other in the area of sustainability and to share a lot of knowledge, since most of the time there is no clear answer and it is therefore very important to learn from each other. I think that with the SustainaBul we can strive for more sustainability in education, where today’s students determine tomorrow’s innovations. I am looking forward to work on this project this year and I hope we can learn a lot from each other! Do you have any questions? Send them to email@example.com.
The yearly sustainability ranking of Studenten voor Morgen for Dutch institutions of higher education will this year be organised differently than in the previous years. The 30 largest higher education institutions will be assessed in the ranking, during which students will fill out the first round based on online available publications. The questionnaire has been adapted focusing on five important aspects: a policy plan, a strategy, the implementation to achieve the goals, transparancy, and the involvement of students and employees. Read more about this in our press statement.
How does it work?
In 2020, students will fill out a questionnaire for the participating institutions based on information that is available online. To every given answer, the institution policy documents or different kinds of proof are delivered to substantiate the given answer. The next step is that volunteers, called ‘rankers’, will check the answers. They will provide feedback for the institution and assign a corresponding number of points. After this, the education institutions will be given the opportunity to improve their answers, after whch the definitive ranking will be created. This list of ranked institutions is annually announced on the NDDHO, the national day of sustainability in higher education. In 2020, the NDDHO will be held at Van Hall Larenstein in Velp on May 29.
SustainaBul winners 2012-2019
The SustainaBul of 2019 had 18 participants, of which 10 universities and 8 Universities of Applied Sciences. Unlike in past years, not the institution with the highest number of points on the ranking, but the institution who contributed the greatest best practice, won the SustainaBul of 2019. By doing this, Studenten voor Morgen listens to the wish of the higher education institutions who had indicated that they wanted to learn from each other and preferred a focus on sharing their knowledge instead of focusing on the competition element. And the greatest best practice from which other institutions can learn a lot, was sent in by the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) this year.
TU/e winner SustainaBul 2019
In collaboration with Team Solid, the TU/e is researching the use of iron powder as a green and even circular energy source for the university. The expert jury, consisting of Rachel Heijne (Director VVM (Association for Environmental Professionals) and council member of GroenLinks in Utrecht), Ron Hendriks (managing director at Van Beek engineers) and Kimberly Roersma (founder/director at Mother Nature Cleans and part of the Sustainable Young top 100), became really excited about the iron powder initiative from TU/e. But besides the TU/e, the WUR (Wageningen University and Research) also impressed the expert jury with its ‘Campus as a Living Lab’ best practice, within which the WUR uses its own campus as part of their research projects and thereby facilitating innovative projects that link to the domain within which the WUR does research and provides education. Thus, this practice managed to get them the second place within the best practices league. Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, who offers a course to both students and lecturers that eventually puts knowledge regarding sustainability into practical ideas to make the university more sustainable, managed to get themselves a third place in the best practices league.
Picture by Vera Duivenvoorden
Ranking SustainaBul 2019
Despite of the focus on integral best practices this year, the original ranking will of course sustain. The rankersteam consisting of 15 voluntary students concluded that this year the WUR (Wageningen University and Research) was the most sustainable higher education institution of the Netherlands. The results of the ranking can be seen below.