The vision of HZ states that its focus in the coming years will be even more on current (sustainability) issues. The HZ objectives are translated into four ambitions, based on our core values and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. These core values and SDGs form the basis for education and research, business operations and the ambitions of the HZ Green Office and SDG Events.
We are a knowledge institute where education and research are seamlessly intertwined. In its practice-oriented research, HZ focuses on complex social issues in three areas: water, energy and vitality. When selecting research topics, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are our guiding principle. From our research and knowledge centres, HZ plays an active role in the fields of climate adaptation, water, coastal protection, energy transition and in the transition to a bio-circular economy.
In the coming years, we will focus even more on current complex (sustainability) issues.
At HZ, we are working on the future, which includes a sustainable working and learning environment. We do this by offering sustainable transport options to employees, such as a public transport chip card, bicycle, electric carrier bicycle, electric shared car, or the carpool app Nabogo. We encourage sustainable travel by offering a higher allowance if you travel by bike or public transport. To our students, we offer GoAbout shared bicycles.
When further developing school buildings, sustainable options are chosen: both in building materials and furnishings. In line with the Green Revolution Zeeland schoolyards, we have started greening our school environment, creating a green outdoor classroom and a food forest in collaboration with students. In doing so, we contribute to improving student welfare, biodiversity and climate adaptation. HZ plays a leading role in the development and greening of De Kenniswerf in this respect.
HZ catering is in-house and is the first corporate caterer in the Netherlands to be Green Key (Gold) certified, due to its sustainability measures. New sustainability targets are set during each audit from Green Key. In 2024, we started the 'Boer & Buur' project, aiming to further increase the share of organic and local vegetables within HZ catering. From the HZ Green Office, students are closely involved in implementing improvements. They also work together with the HZ Vitality Manager. Lunches and drinks are vegetarian as standard, energy drinks have been removed from the range, there is soup from De Verspillingsfabriek, the range of salads has been expanded and fruit is mainly bought organically and locally.
The HZ combats waste; leftover food is handed out and the use of mugs is encouraged. As a replacement for disposable cups, the HZ will use the Billie Cup from 1 January 2024. The HZ separates its waste into four streams: plastic, paper, organic waste and residual. Part of the coffee grounds are processed as compost in the HZ's Food Forest. Students grow oyster mushrooms on part of the coffee grounds.
A sustainability coordinator will be hired in 2024. This coordinator will be the advice and contact point for all issues surrounding sustainability. This will look at creating more awareness and the coordinator will provide input from the sustainability theme in collaboration with ongoing initiatives from HZ Vitality, SDG Events, Campus Facilities and Green Office.
HZ Green Office is an organisation of students and staff working together with internal and external partners to build a sustainable society. The Green Office organises weekly activities, such as beach cleanups, garden sessions in our student garden and the small-scale HZ food forest, and actions aimed at changing behaviour.
Through educational projects, we actively involve students in making our own school more sustainable, working in close cooperation with the facilities department, other support departments and the study programmes. As sustainability and health often go hand in hand, we also work closely with the HZ vitality manager and organise activities together with HZ Community, such as a SUP cleanup in the canals of Middelburg or a cycling trip to Bruges.
SDG Events is a project set up to promote sustainable development among students and staff and create awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. We encourage taking action to achieve these goals together. The project offers various activities related to the SDGs, focusing on awareness, inspiration and impact, all related to the SDGs.
SDG Events for everyone
The events are for students from all programmes and years of study and all employees within HZ. We want to raise awareness and understanding of the SDGs and inspire you to think action-oriented and contribute to a sustainable society. By participating in SDG Events, you can broaden your perspectives and develop skills relevant to personal and professional development.
Bringing together within the HZ
HZ is the place where everything comes together. Cooperation between students, teachers, researchers, companies, governments and knowledge institutions leads to new insights and surprising results. The aim of the SDG project is also to be a connecting place where practice, education, and government come together for knowledge sharing and with a focus on the sustainable development goals. Therefore, we are not only targeting students, but also professionals and citizens from the region.