You might feel strongly about making the catering at Avans more sustainable but can’t make time for it in between your studies that aren’t related to environmental sciences either. Where you would once have had to put your environmental principles to one side, GreenOffice is now providing Avans with a solution.
The green initiative recently established itself in the temporary building on Hogeschoollaan in Breda and is run by four dedicated students. Their goal is to make Avans more sustainable and teach students how to run an organisation.
‘I’ve noticed that students are often unaware that they can make a real impact,’ explains second-year Environmental Science for Sustainable Energy and Technology student Alex Chiodo. Alex, who is from Italy, is one of the project leaders at GreenOffice and believes that students must become the driving force behind sustainability at Avans. It is his mission to create awareness amongst his fellow students. ‘GreenOffice provides me with the opportunity to finally do this.’ At the green office at Avans, Alex will be working with Isaac Elizondo, Michele Petrillo and Giacomo Sardonini to organise and manage green projects. These entrepreneurs are a cosmopolitan group in which diverse nationalities are represented.
Run by students
The GreenOffice will regularly brainstorm about topics to formulate new projects that involve students and the various schools. They will ask questions such as: Are we not still using too much paper in this digital age? What does Avans do with the leftover food from the cafeteria? And when will the cafeteria finally implement Meatless Mondays? All of these questions present concrete possibilities for future projects.
Working together for a better environment
GreenOffice is headed by Isaac Elizondo who is also an Environmental Science for Sustainable Energy and Technology student. The ultimate goal for Isaac is unity and fellowship. For him, the GreenOffice is a place where students come together to work towards a better world. ‘I want to make a contribution to improving the environment, but increased interaction with other students is also important to me. I often miss this warmth and sense of fellowship in the Netherlands,’ explains Isaac.
A multidisciplinary approach
The Avans GreenOffice takes a unique multidisciplinary approach to the project. ‘So, if you have a great idea that promotes sustainability, you now have a platform where you can implement your ideas. You no longer have to study Environmental Science for Sustainable Energy and Technology to make a change,’ says coordinator Esther Punte. ‘Inventive and creative students who care about the environment are always welcome at the GreenOffice.’ Punte believes that the initiative will only be truly effective if ideas from different schools are combined. ‘Together, all these disciplines can turn this organisation into a great success.’
ECTS credits and payments
An added bonus is that committed students who make a real and effective contribution to sustainability are given ECTS credits or receive payment for their projects. In this way, Avans tries to motivate students to think about a more sustainable institution in particular and a more sustainable society in general.