We share concerns about the climate and the depletion of the earth’s natural resources. That’s why we are investing in sustainable buildings and constantly striving to increase the energy awareness of our tenants, contractors and colleagues.
Investments that really make a difference
We want the student rooms we rent out to be as energy efficient as possible and are ready to make the necessary investments, but these will actually need to lower energy bills or demonstrably reduce CO2 emissions. We have already taken a number of simple energy-saving measures, such as installing double glazing, water-saving taps and LED lighting. But how do you make properties dating from the 1970s and 1980s gas free and carbon neutral, as well as supplying them with renewable energy? Together with advisers we are looking at what is possible/not possible at each complex. To a large extent we will be able to meet the challenges in the area of sustainability through new builds. Over time these gas-free buildings with low CO2 emissions can then replace older complexes.
Reduced energy consumption, increased awareness
We are keen to limit our tenants’ energy consumption as much as possible. Tenants are aware of this issue and are motivated to act. Now it’s just a question of changing their behaviour. That’s why we are encouraging tenants to use energy and water sparingly and look after their building. We monitor their behaviour, provide feedback on it and organise competitions and campaigns. Students themselves are also supporting us in this area. They give us insights and tips to help us increase the energy awareness of our tenants in a fun way.
Minimising the footprint of products and materials
We are keen to minimise our footprint. For that reason we ask contractors only to use materials that have as little impact as possible on people and the environment, such as FSC-certified wood and recyclable materials. We only replace things when this is genuinely necessary and use environmentally friendly products to maintain our grounds.
Improving our sustainability together
It is always possible to do things more sustainably. That’s why we carry out regular pilots together with the WUR, the Province of Gelderland, the municipality of Wageningen and students. The self-sufficient housing we have created at Droevendaal is a good example. This was a genuinely participatory project – one carried out for and by tenants and WUR students.