8th UNICA GREEN Workshop



On 21-23 March 2018, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel kindly hosted the 8th UNICA GREEN Workshop: Implementation of SDGs in Higher Education.



The UN Sustainable Development Goals: everybody is talking about them, but what role can higher education institutions play in their implementation? Are the SDG’s an effective guiding principle to develop a sustainability policy? And how do students achieve the competencies they need to realise the SDGs? These and many other questions were addressed at the 8th UNICA Green Workshop.

Prominent keynote speakers shed the light on the SDG policy in Higher Education, practical workshop was held and inspiring good practices from around Europe were shared. 




More photos are available in this Flickr album and on the website of the photographer Jean Cosin at this link




Welcome by Sonja SNACKEN, Vice rector International Policy VUB and by Cathy MACHARIS, President of the Sustainability Core Group VUB


Session 1. Introduction to the SDGs: the historical context, the role of the higher education sector, the critical perspective.

An introduction to a universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world – the SDGs framework, by Peter WOLLAERT, Director
of CIFAL Flanders, UNITAR affiliated International Training Centre for Authorities & Leaders

The concept of the SDGs from a critical perspective, by Pieter MEURS & Bieke ABELSHAUSEN, VUB (link to text)

Workshop session by SUSTENUTO, Sustainability management coach for organisations in both the public and private sector (Belgium) 


Session 2. SDGs and their implementation in sustainable management policy: should SDGs be the guiding principle for sustainability policy development at higher education institutions? How to report and monitor progress? 

The social responsibility of universities, by Caroline PAUWELS, Rector of the VUB

Presentation of the outcomes of the UNICA GREEN Sustainability Survey, by Andreas WANKE, FU Berlin 

How can your sustainability reporting become a tool for outreach? By Ullika LUNDGREN, Gothenburg University

Outstandingly Green: from vision to practical strategy, by Jorulf BRØVIG SILDE, University of Oslo


Session 3. SDGs and their implementation in education

Exchange of inspiring practices on SDGs and their implementation in education. Are the SDGs implemented in the curriculum and how (level of content, teaching methods)? How do students achieve the competencies they need to realise the SDGs?

Inventory of research and teaching skills in sustainability, by Delphine DOUCOT, Université de Lausanne

The new area “Sustainable Development” in the General Professional Skills Courses, by Andreas WANKE, Freie Universität Berlin

Social responsibility in education, by Linde MORIAU, VUB

The integration of sustainability in courses and programmes at ULB, by Emilie MUTOMBO, VUB 


Interactive session: debating statements based on the keynote presentations
Moderated by Alexandra DEMOUSTIEZ, Emilie MUTOMBO & Wouter ACHTEN, ULB


Session 4. SDGs and the importance of community engagement

World Café on community engagement and stakeholder participation to reach the SDG’s, moderated by Tim STRASSER and Anselm GRAHL, ROOTABILITY, the Network of Green Student Offices 


Parallel Workshops

1. Rootability and the Green Office model: presentation and Q&A sessions with Green Office students, by Tim STRASSER and Anselm GRAHL, Rootability

Green Offices: 23 different case studies of Green Offices from 6 countries

2. How to work with students towards global citizenship? Creating partnerships between students and society. How to go beyond?, by Bram CLEYS, UCOS, University Center for Development Cooperation

3. Green Impact as a tool for sustainable change: What is Green Impact and how does the Green Team of VUB make it work at the university?, by Jo KEMP, NUS and Anne SPIRA, Rootability, and GreenTeamVUB


Notes taken by Green Office students (Sofie and Leendert) available here



Target Audience:

The Workshop was mainly aimed at Sustainaibility/Environmental coordinators, Vice-Rectors responsible for the implementation of institutional sustainability strategy from UNICA member universities, as well as representatives of UNICA GREEN Partners, peer networks, governmental bodies, and city authorities. A limited number of external participants was also welcome.

UNICA GREEN is a platform for Sustainability/Environmental Coordinators to discuss and exchange experience and practices in different elements of the implementation of environmental sustainability strategies at universities: strategic tools, environmental management systems, and best practices related to the day-to-day work of a sustainable management office, student involvement, and outreach. 



In case of any questions, please contact Ms Laura Brossico from the UNICA Secretariat: office@unica-network.eu



Wednesday, 21 March, 2018 to Friday, 23 March, 2018
Host Institution: 
Vrije Universiteit Brussel