The University of Antwerp finished creating a new Climate Action Plan. The goal is very ambitious: by 2030, the university wants to be climate-neutral, and by 2050, fossil-free. To make that happen, interventions are needed in all areas: buildings will be more energy-efficient, 85% of staff travel will be sustainable, and student restaurants komida will offer predominantly vegetarian dishes.
In recent years, the university has already made some impressive efforts, but there are still a lot to be achieved. In 2018, UAntwerp’s emissions amounted to 41,882 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. To put those figures in perspective, that is as much carbon dioxide blown into the air as a 160-million-kilometre car journey. To become fully climate-neutral by 2030, the university’s emissions must decrease by 4.6% every year.
The biggest consumer on campuses remains infrastructure: accounting for 39% of the total carbon footprint. Being committed to making buildings energy-efficient therefore remains crucial. Mobility accounts for 34% of the university’s total climate footprint. The university’s ambition is for at least 85% of staff commutes to be on foot, by bicycle, electric bike, e-scooter or public transport.
We want to discourage the use of parking spaces by employees and students whose commute is shorter than 15 km.
‘To achieve this modal shift, we want to discourage the use of parking spaces by employees and students whose commute is shorter than 15 km’, climate coordinator Matthias Verstraeten explains. ‘Those parking spaces can then make way for greenery on campus.’
The komidas, UAntwerp’s student restaurants, aim for 80% of their menu to be vegan or vegetarian by 2030. Did you know that today meatless dishes are already becoming student (and staff) favourites? Between January and October 2022, 55% of meals ordered were meatless.