Tilburg University: Fair & Green

Tilburg University is committed to a sustainable society and encourages researchers, teachers, support staff, students, and stakeholders to actively contribute to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).


Tilburg University is currently running environmental projects in the following focus areas:

CSR ledampen


Power consumption

Power consumption dropped considerably on campus in 2014!


We use digital instruments to monitor all forms of energy consumption at Tilburg University. The measurements enable us to take effective energy-saving measures.

The data for heat and gas shown here is based on actual use following degree-days correction.


  • Participation in Warm Sweater Day



Our Agreements

Further information (project members)

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CSR containers


Tilburg University’s policy is to source-separate specific waste and to recycle or incinerate subsequently separated residual waste, with energy recovery. Our objective is to achieve the highest possible level in the Waste Hierarchy. Subsequent separation of waste removes the fuss for staff, students, and visitors. Staff and students are helping by working to produce as little waste as possible.

What have we achieved?

  • € 42,000 reduction in our waste transport and processing (2013).
  • Minimal fuss for students, staff and visitors.
  • Contributions to strengthening the environment.

What are we doing?

  • We are separating waste at the source (source separation).
  • Using underground waste containers ensures minimal nuisance. 
  • We separate (source and subsequent) waste and recycle waste flows (by Van Happen).
  • Our policy of double-sided printing and digitization is reducing residual waste and waste paper.
  • We keep the campus clean.
  • We purchase cradle-to-cradle sanitary paper.
  • Tilburg University buildings contain 1791 m2 of Desso cradle-to-cradle carpeting.  In 2015, another 7800 m2 (i.e. almost two acres) of cradle-to-cradle carpeting will be installed in Simon building.
  • We use Ecover cleaning agents.
  • Some 150 bicycles are abandoned on campus each year, which are put to good use.
  • Plastic to Plastic: the CWS company will take back the stretch film it uses to wrap the pallets for delivery to customers. The recovered stretch wrap is used to make plastic bags.

Our agreements

  • The regulations laid down in Article 14.4 of the National Waste Management Plan (Landelijk Afvalbeheerplan, LAP) 2009-2021): Waste separation at businesses.
  • Also see our vision on waste.

Further information

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CSR bio food


Tilburg University pursues a policy of sustainable food production, waste reduction, and a safe working environment.

What have we achieved?

What are we doing?

  • We impose sustainability criteria in tenders for catering services.

Our agreements

Criteria for sustainable purchases of catering products and services:

  • Use packaging with a low environmental impact such as paper, laminated cardboard, and biodegradable plastic.
  • Use polypropylene or polyethylene garbage bags.
  • Use environmentally-friendly cleaning agents.
  • Source-separate and reduce waste flows.
  • Use returnable bottles and packaging materials.
  • Offer sustainable food products (e.g. Fairtrade, MSC, Organic, UTZ).
  • Ensure a safe working environment for employees.

Further information

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CSR oplaadpunt


Tilburg University already has a policy on commuting and business trips for its 2,600 staff members and approximately 13,000 students, which it aims to develop further.

What have we achieved?
There is a wide range of alternative options for car and air travel.

What are we doing?

  • Public transport: there is an excellent bus service to and from the university. Connection times have been improved in consultation with the municipality of Tilburg and the province of Noord-Brabant. Updated public transport information is provided on our website and through narrowcasting. The Tilburg University train station lies right outside the campus.
  • Commuting: There is an attractive tax benefit available for the purchase of a bicycle. Staff members are encouraged to live near the university through a reimbursement for relocation expenses and an incremental reduction in the reimbursement for commuting expenses after four years of employment.
  • The name of the NS railway station has been changed from Tilburg West to Tilburg University.
  • There are plenty of charging stations for electric cars on campus. The charging points are public and can be used by anyone with a charging card. The availability of charging points can be checked on websites such as oplaadpalen.nl (in Dutch) and the app Nuon Laadpunten App (in Dutch). Click here for the exact locations.
  • Company cars that run on natural gas.
  • Carsharing: staff and students at Tilburg University can use our car sharing program. StudentCar is a program based around the car sharing concept, in which people can rent a car for a period of several hours. StudentCar is ideal for students and staff members who need to use a car for company visits, errands, meetings, and so on.

Further information

•    John Essens

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CSR koeling servers


The university wants to maximize efficiency and to use equipment that is the least harmful to the environment. Staff and students are asked to switch off any equipment not in use. The university also offers facilities for them to work and meet remotely.

What have we achieved?

  • Energy savings.
  • Reduction of waste.

What are we doing?

  • More effective cooling of the server room by only cooling a portion of the space.
  • Tilburg University offers the option and tools to work off campus, making it possible to work, study, or meet at another location. This has helped to reduce the number of business trips and, consequently, contributed to a reduction in CO2 emissions.
  • Wherever possible, we are working with other universities to set up joint solutions and share IT infrastructure. All new projects and renewals take cloud solutions into consideration. Large cloud suppliers (like Google) offer more efficient data centers.
  • Equipment removal for reuse or recycling: all surplus and obsolete ICT equipment is offered for reuse or recycling. This is organized in coordination with a specialized company that has been recognized by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. 
  • The university has two server rooms, one of which has a targeted cooling system. Thanks to a smart server configuration, it is not necessary to cool the entire space.
  • The aim is to implement this system in both server rooms.
  • Working with the municipality of Tilburg, we are now also investigating possibilities for sharing server space.

Further information

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CSR groen dak


Tilburg University is constantly investigating sustainable alternatives for construction, renovation, and refurbishment activities. Such alternatives are assessed on the basis of specific energy efficiency and environmental criteria.

What we have achieved

  • Decreased need for new buildings.
  • Sustainable renovations in conformity with GreenCalc (A-status Faculty Club).

What we are doing

  • We are making more efficient use of existing buildings: Tilburg University’s space allocation model is designed to promote more efficient use of existing buildings. By relying on the existing property portfolio to accommodate students and staff, the need for new buildings can be avoided.
  • Use of sustainable materials: use of construction materials with a low environmental impact, reuse of building shells, responsible origin of materials, and use of robust designs to minimize future maintenance.
  • Renovation of the Cobbenhagen and construction of the Faculty Club.
  • In the case of renovation projects, Tilburg University prepares a cost-benefit analysis in consultation with an energy expert during the provisional design phase. This analysis, the available budget, and the future designated use of the premises are then used to determine measures keyed to the need for energy efficiency. The renovation project manager is provided with a set of key variables: budget, time, scope, and quality. As of 2013, the quality variable also entails an energy savings target as referred to in the Energy Efficiency Plan.

Further information

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CSR toptas

Introduction week new students (TOP)

During TOP Week (Tilburg Orientation Program), new higher education students get to know each other and the city of Tilburg. Earlier this year, a number of students has conducted a survey into the possibilities for a more sustainable week. Those organizing Top Week have taken the following measures.

  • Sustainable paper will be used for all printed matter.
  • All plastic cups used during Top Week are biodegradable.
  •  Waste will be separated (into organic and other waste).
  • Plastic bottles and other plastic will be recovered and recycled.
  • Surplus food will be taken to Pater Poels and the Food Bank.
  • Light & sound providers mainly use LED lighting and other energy-efficient equipment.
  • (External) parties will be fined if they leave their pitch full of trash, to prevent inconvenience as a result of TOP week.
  • The beer mugs used for the Tilburg University Cantus (TUC) are owned by the organization and are reused every year.
  • Use of office supplies and printing by the organization will be restricted to a minimum.
  • The proceeds will go to charity (in the context of sustainable society).
  • Communication with participants is conducted mainly digitally.

For 2014, Top Week has launched the following new projects.

  • The characteristic tote bags will be made of durable jute, in cooperation with Pure Jute (in Dutch).
  • We will opt for hybrid vans or vehicles running on natural gas wherever possible.
  • The organization team’s outfits will be reused.
  • In the long term, a TOP week application will replace the program booklet and newspaper, i.e., in time, the app will prevent much printed material.
  • In addition to the conventional food stalls, this edition will also feature stalls offering organic snacks and food prepared in a more healthy way.

The TOP committee is still busy organizing this new edition of Top Week and will take the opportunity to discuss with all parties whether their products or services can be made sustainable or more sustainable.

Ideas and suggestions are always welcome. Since the TOP committee wants to make TOP week as sustainable as possible, it is welcoming all your input.

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