Sustainable IT

Radboud University is reducing the university's footprint by making hardware, software and data storage more sustainable. The university is also working on digitising smarter and more efficiently: by generating data on the systems the university uses, it is becoming clear what opportunities remain for further sustainability.

Our objectives

In 2025:

  • The university follows the '10R' circularity model when procuring IT equipment;
  • More than 50% of used appliances will be reused for another user;
  • At least 70% of end-of-life appliances will be treated in a high-quality manner;
  • The average useful life of appliances has been significantly extended and more repairs are being carried out;
  • More than 75% of users know what Radboud University is doing in terms of circular hardware, are aware of their actions and choose the sustainable option;
  • There is a better understanding of the climate impact of IT at Radboud University;
  • There is a handbook on how to use IT sustainably in your work/study.

In 2030:

  • The 10R circularity model will be used alongside qualitative, financial and customer satisfaction aspects and will be the standard for all our procurement and maintenance contracts;
  • Appliance repair is the norm: all appliances are maximised thanks to repairs;
  • It is the norm to sustainably reuse the used appliances that are released and still functioning with another user;
  • Will at least 90% of discarded appliances be treated in a high-quality manner.

Where we are now

  • A Green Team has been established within the Information & Library Services division. This Green Team acts as a booster in making ICT more sustainable at Radboud University;
  • Work laptops, computers and phones are no longer replaced when their economic life has expired but when they are beyond repair or cannot be adequately secured;
  • There is less and less printing: compared to 2020, there is 60% less printing. The number of printing devices on campus has fallen from 300 to 238 machines;
  • A reseller for person-to-person hardware has been selected, with sustainable operations being decisive for the award;
  • There is a collection point for old computer equipment so that it can be reused: Radboud Recycle in the University Library; 
  • ICT waste is sent to the regular recycling partner. This dismantles the data carrier and ensures proper, safe and environmentally aware processing of the raw materials. 60% of the equipment offered is reused. 

This is what we are going to do

  • We are currently very focused on the ILS and mainly on laptops and computers, but we are pulling this wider, to other ICT equipment and services as well;
  • Putting the strategy for personalised hardware into practice, and informing students and staff about it;
  • Launch an annual data clean-up campaign;
  • Creating a handbook for the campus on sustainable use of IT facilities;
  • Mapping the climate impact of our ICT facilities and data storage.

How can you help?

Act digitally sustainable:

  • Turn off your appliances at the end of the working or study day. This way, they do not consume unnecessary power; 
  • If you work from home: make sure you haven't set up a double workstation, but that you can take the work laptop home with you;
  • Turn in your old laptop for reuse. You can do this via Radboud Recycle in the University Library;
  • Buy refurbished rather than new equipment. See and;
  • Make sure you only store important data and clean your storage regularly;
  • Put your appliances on eco mode to save energy.

Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are seventeen goals aimed at making the world a better place by 2030. They serve as a global compass for addressing challenges such as poverty, education and the climate crisis. 

Radboud University’s sustainable IT plans are in line with the following SDGs:

  • 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • 12: Responsible consumption and production
  • 13: Climate action