News and events Tilburg University

Sustainability at Tilburg University in research, education, and business operations

Published: 05th June 2023 Last updated: 05th June 2023

Today is World Environment Day. At Tilburg University, sustainability is a theme that is firmly embedded in research, education, and business operations.

We are a university that, based on its mission, seeks to shape a valuable and sustainable society. We educate our students to become committed people who are active members of their communities and of society as a whole and who also reflect on their position in society. We want to contribute to solving complex social issues. Sustainability is one of the most critical issues of our times and constitutes one of the central topics in our research, education, and business operations. In our strategy, Weaving Minds and Characters, we describe our responsibility and set ambitious goals for the coming years.

Sustainability in research

Our research on sustainability is conducted at the intersection of economics, ethics, and law. Researchers are working on subjects like corporate social responsibility, sustainable development, sustainable investment, environmental economics, and climate change.

Our research is also visible on campus. Did you know that one square meter of ‘garden’ was left unattended for one year? As part of a crowdsourcing project initiated by Assistant Professor Ben Vollaard in collaboration with daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad, garden owners throughout the Netherlands let nature take its course on a small patch of their garden and discovered the effects of wilding on the garden and on themselves.

To emphasize the importance of sustainability, Dr. Arie Trouwborst was appointed as Professor of Nature Conservation Law last March.

And as a university that focuses on the humanities and social sciences, we joined NERA (Netherlands Energy Research Alliance) to strengthen our collaboration with other research universities, universities of applied sciences, and knowledge institutions in the field of energy research.

Sustainability in education

Strengthening knowledge, skills, and character is central in our education. This means that, in teaching our students, we explicitly focus on sustainability issues in all disciplines. In addition, we pay ample attention to social orientation, philosophy, and ethics to prepare our students for their future roles as socially responsible leaders.

Read the interview with instructors Luc Renneboog and Jasmin Gider of the Finance Department on how sustainability is embedded in their teaching.

Sustainability in business operations

Finally, we also want to be a vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable community. Sustainability is structurally embedded in our business operations. To that end, we reinforce measures already taken:

  • We opt for sustainable modes of transportation.
  • And for reducing our use of energy.
  • We apply circular economy principles in constructing our buildings wherever possible.
  • We act responsibly.
  • And we create a healthy and safe working environment​.