You’re studying or working at a university. You recognize that sustainable development is the largest challenge of our time and you want your university to make a difference. But, do students and staff know what your university is doing on sustainability? Do they know who’s working on the issue or where to get support for their initiatives? If your answers are “No!”, then you might want to establish a “Green Office”.
Our approach: Green Office Model
A Green Office (GO) informs, connects and supports students and staff to act on sustainability. At the same time, a GO develops its own ideas to better embed sustainability in education, research or operations. The first GO was established at Maastricht University in 2010. Since then, the model has been replicated by universities across Europe, and won the UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development. The model is open-source – you can adapt and improve it to suit your needs.
- Students, staff and academics become empowered to lead on sustainability
- Existing sustainability efforts become more visible, appreciated and connected
- Local sustainability efforts get access to an international network
What does it look like?
Different from most volunteer-led initiatives, a GO enjoys strong institutional support. The ‘typical’ GO has:
- Team of student employees and at least one staff member
- Student volunteers engaged in projects
- Funding from the university
- Office space and online presence
- Mandate from university management
These features illustrate how a GO differs from most student-led sustainability initiatives, who lack institutional support, mandate and access. It also differs from staff-led sustainability efforts, who lack student input and ownership. On the contrary, a GO enables student and staff collaboration. It also strengthens bottom-up engagement and mobilizes top-down support.
What does a GO do?
This is what it feels like!
Watch the video from the 2017 European GO Summit in Utrecht.
The GO Movement spreads accross Europe
Since 2010, the GO Model has spread accross Europe. View the map below. The green dots show GOs with institutional support and funding. The white dots depict initiatives still lobbying for support. When will you join?
We can support you in four ways
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Work with us to establish your GO:
|Invite students, staff, faculty and higher management to a lunch time session in which we present the model and answer their questions. This can be the start to get the word out and people excited.|
|We moderate and co-organise a half-day workshop for your students and staff. During the workshop, they to design their GO. This is a great way to co-create your GO.|
|There are many pitfalls in writing a great proposal to your Executive Board. We assist you developing your arguments, calculating the budget and fine-tuning the proposal for success.|
|Regularly consult with us via telephone or in personal meetings. We support you to plan your engagement process, write the proposal, find funding and lobby for support.|
Your benefits of working with us
- Save time, energy and money through our expertise
- Design a high-impact Green Office that will work
- Reduce the risk of failure that your funding application gets rejected
Get in touch with Felix
You are curious about the GO Model and want to learn more? Or you already have tangible plans to establish your GO, but want to discuss how best to start? We can support you through a free initiation call, as well as workshops and process advice. Please get in touch with Felix, co-founder of the first GO at Maastricht University and supporting the establishment of new GOs ever since.