7.1 Sustainability in 2021

Sustainability was one of the main themes of the previous Tilburg University strategy, which was in effect through 2021. Part of this strategy is the desire to communicate and report transparently on progress in the area of sustainability. This new section in the annual report is a result.

Tilburg University is nevertheless still in the early stages of reporting on sustainability. There is not yet any structural collection of quantitative data on sustainability. In preparation for the compilation of this annual report, a survey was conducted within the organization. This clearly indicates that there is a substantial amount of activity in the area of sustainability, but it is not reported on in a coherent manner. Different definitions are used as well (e.g., the broad SDGs and the narrower definition of Climate). Tilburg University aims for continuing improvement in the monitoring of sustainability targets, in line with the ambitious sustainability goals in its strategy. In the coming years, we would like to take steps toward integrated reporting, in line with the rapidly developing regulations.

Sustainability is comprehensive and is manifested in a variety of ways: in education, research, and operations. It is for this reason that green boxes are scattered throughout the annual report. In this section, we re-iterate the frameworks.

Tilburg University aims to be at the forefront of finding answers to complex, fundamental societal challenges. Caring for our climate is a fundamental challenge relevant to the future of our society, as outlined in the new strategy, Weaving Minds & Characters: Strategy Towards 2027. In the previous strategy (2018–2021) as well, Tilburg University described that the University is committed to contributing to the UN SDGs in research and education, in the day-to-day management of the campus, and in the management of assets.

In 2021, it was announced that Tilburg University was the greatest riser in the GreenMetric Ranking, winning the Most Sustainably Improved University award. This ranking is based on themes including energy, waste, and education and research.