The Erasmus Sustainability Hub opened on Thursday. This space is destined to become the sustainability spot on campus, developing, collecting and publicising green initiatives. “There is actually a lot happening, but people don’t see that.”
“I would also like us to join hands for a moment,” says Eva Rood, Sustainability project leader, just after the Erasmus Sustainability Hub’s official opening by President of the Executive Board Pauline van der Meer Mohr. Somewhat uncomfortably, the dozens of people join hands. “And then repeat after me,” Rood continues. “We can make it happen!” “We can make it happen!” resounds through the hall.
They are clearly enthusiastic at the Sustainability Hub, which since Thursday has been located in the plinth of the Sanders building, beside the food court. The festive opening – with champagne, even – was the starting shot for the employees of the Hub to create a place where all of the sustainability initiatives on campus can be charted. It is also intended to be the place students and employees go with their sustainability initiatives and ideas for greening up the campus. Rood says that the Hub is inspired by the Green Offices found at the Universities of Maastricht and Utrecht.
In addition to collecting and devising new projects, another task for the Hub is making sustainability visible on campus; Rood says this should be “vibrant and inspiring.” “After all, there is actually quite a lot happening on campus with respect to sustainability, but people don’t see that. The EUR’s image is really that of a professional university.”
The Hub’s focus will not be limited to environmental aspects of sustainability, either. “Social sustainability is a part of sustainability – looking after the community in which you live. That’s why the volunteer project Erasmus4Rotterdam, for example, is also part of the Hub.”
Eight student assistants have been appointed (among others) to help make the Sustainability Hub a success. Magid El-Massoudi, Entrepreneurship student, is one of them. He mainly sees the Sustainability Hub as a place where different groups can come to work together. “It’s fantastic that there’s now a place where projects can complement each other. This also means that you have less overlap between initiatives organised by students and associations.”
Grabbing the bull by the horns right from the start, those present at the opening were treated to workshops about recycling and sustainable leadership, among other things. And there was a Green Tour, in which a handful of interested people were shown the existing green projects by Jan-Cees Jol, sustainability and energy coordinator. This tour passed the moss-covered roof of the food court, the solar panels on the new Polak building, the triple-glazed windows of the Erasmus Paviljoen, super-efficient LED lights in the parking garage and the thermal building systems. And, Jol added, the bee can probably also be added in the future, because the Hub is working on giving it a place on campus too. “But that’s not completely certain yet.” EvR