Contributing to a more sustainable future
Tilburg University operates at the center of society and is committed to contributing to solutions to the big social challenges we face. Sustainability is an important spearhead of our university in our Strategy towards 2027. We share the concerns about climate and take responsibility as a university to make efforts through our teaching, research, and operations to contribute to a more sustainable future.
We cannot do this alone. Collaborations of the university with the business community and civil society organizations are important to identify urgent issues to ensure a greater social impact of scientific research. For example, to achieve a successful energy transition, we work with many organizations so that our research truly contributes to a future with, for instance, cleaner energy. For each project, we carefully assess whether it meaningfully contributes to the energy transition, so that it has a truly positive social impact. Being on the alert for greenwashing is important in this context, and every project requires a customized solution. In the fight against greenwashing, our Accountancy Department is conducting research on how companies can give an evidence-based account of how sustainable they are.
Collaborations with the fossil-fuel industry
Independence in science is crucial. It constitutes one of the five principles of scientific integrity laid down in the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. Tilburg University is committed to the contents of this Code of Conduct. Academic freedom is essential to proper academic practice. Scientists must be able to conduct their research, build and exchange innovative ideas, publish their results, and teach in freedom. That does not mean that collaboration with enterprises in the fossil-fuel industry is not a point of discussion at universities. After all, scientists and universities also have the responsibility to find a balance between academic freedom and social and scientific responsibilities. Universities are therefore ideally placed to conduct discussions about these types of collaboration. Tilburg University acknowledges and shares the nationwide concerns on the subject of (collaboration with) the fossil-fuel industry and this will remain a topic of discussion and further analysis.
Academic Collaborative Centers
At this moment, no endowed or regular chairs at Tilburg University are funded by fossil fuel energy companies. Tilburg University collaborates to a very limited extent with a few organizations active in the fossil-fuel industry. Most of these companies are innovating, working to become more sustainable, and are taking steps to reduce their environmental impact in the coming years. Research conducted, for example, by our Academic Collaborative Centers contributes to this.