Interview Wilma de Koning

“We have a golden opportunity because a number of our buildings are due to be renovated and renewed,” says Wilma de Koning, member of the Executive Board, about sustainability on campus.

WilmadeKoning“On my way home in the evening I often walk past the offices. If there are lights on, I turn them off. I hope that my colleagues do the same for me. This is good, of course, but I think that we have to take further steps to raise awareness among staff and students alike. I expect that by giving the campus a more sustainable appearance, for example by consciously offering vegetarian and organic products, we give people food for thought.

The sustainability agenda was created with the intention of listing what we are already doing about sustainability on campus and what steps we plan to take in the next four years. Actually, a lot is already happening. This theme plays an important role in the faculties’ curricula, as well as in research. And if you look at our operations on campus you can see that we do a lot.

The only thing is that we have never yet made sustainability into a specific focus area. My task is to make sure that we do so now, and that we communicate about it, so that everyone can see that we as a University are committed to sustainability.

The faculties’ deans clearly see the necessity of collaborating with other faculties in this domain. This is a true cross-disciplinary theme, which is also an advantage.

We have a golden opportunity now because a number of our buildings are due to be renovated and renewed. This allows us to immediately implement our plans in the field of sustainability. In ten years’ time I expect that we will have an even greener and more sustainable campus.

I have to admit that I always come to work by car, because I live far away and in a remote area. We do try to run our household as sustainably as possible. We use organic products, and cycle as much as possible. At the moment we are trying to figure out how to make our house more energy efficient."