Our (digital) campus should be a sustainable and safe space that is conducive to studying, working, collaboration and interaction. For part of 2022, that in-person interaction was impossible. By then experienced in switching gears quickly, the university promptly moved forward with online education. However, our educational vision states that interaction among students and between students and lecturers is essential for the learning process. We were therefore extremely happy to welcome everyone back to campus in September. We will incorporate the lessons we learned during the coronavirus pandemic with regard to hybrid working into the further design of our (digital) campus.
1. Developments on campus
The implementation of the campus plan, in which hybrid working and sustainability are key principles, is on track.
Implementation of the campus plan
The first large project – the new home of the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies on the site where the Spinoza Building currently stands – is in preparation. Last year, we worked on the Programme of Requirements, which will be presented to the Executive Board in early 2023.
At several locations on campus, we are taking stock of how we can adapt working environments in such a way that they contribute to sustainable use for people (activity-oriented, healthy) and climate (preventing unoccupied buildings, increasing occupancy). The Executive Board requested a transition plan for associated changes in the working environment; that plan is now being developed. The pilot projects involving a new way of working show that the search for the right forms is ongoing, but there are compelling reasons to continue the development.
Campus building occupancy was already low before the pandemic. Since then, hybrid working has become even more common and occupancy in certain buildings has declined further. At the same time, there is also a shortage of space. The challenge of solving both problems in tandem is great. Several pilot projects are now underway (InWork in the Berchmanianum and a pilot project in the Huygens building).
We are working with Radboud university medical center, HAN University of Applied Sciences and the municipality on a Master Plan for the campus grounds. This will enable us to make joint agreements about the development of the grounds. The Master Plan is an elaboration of the Municipal Plan from the municipality of Nijmegen. In the Master Plan, we elaborate on the ambitions for the Heijendaal campus. We are looking at how much science park and how much housing there should be, how we can better connect areas to each other, and how we can let functions reinforce each other.
2. We are investing in a safe digital campus
Information security is receiving explicit attention. All universities have jointly agreed on the desired maturity level in that area. This level is assessed annually through an external audit. The external auditor uses a standards framework developed by SURF, but the institutions themselves have to organise their information security operationally and policy-wise.
The external audit for 2022 revealed limited improvement across the board compared to 2021 in terms of the security measures assessed. It is striking that there are significant differences in how the various environments and departments score and what progress has been made. In 2022, preparations were started to realise a significant improvement Radboud-wide in 2023 with the help of an external party.
An Information Security Steering Group was established in 2022 with representatives from operations, education and research. It is chaired by Agnes Muskens. This steering group will drive the information security programme, set policies and prioritise. Mitigating the biggest risks is the current priority. A related project that is already underway (part of the programme) is multi-factor authentication; we want to introduce this for all university services. In addition, the Security Operations Centre has now been operational for more than a year and the anti-phishing measures implemented earlier are working well, as demonstrated when we repelled a major phishing attack on one of the faculties in December.
Radboud University aims to embed knowledge security (policies) more explicitly within the organisation. The aim is to allow international collaboration to take place safely, taking into account both the opportunities and risks involved. The current situation will be mapped out using the Knowledge Security framework from the Universities of the Netherlands (UNL) and the National Guideline for Knowledge Security. More information can be found in the chapter ‘Our organisation: on the move’.
3. Sustainability on campus
ILS sustainability plan
The Information & Library Services (ILS) division developed its own sustainability plan in 2022. The plan outlines how ILS can contribute to a climate-neutral, circular, inclusive and healthy campus environment. The goals and measures address making ILS operations more sustainable, greening IT resources, and making contributions through their use of ICT.
Sustainable food and drink
More sustainable food and beverage offerings were developed in a variety of ways in 2022. The lunches were already offered in vegetarian or vegan form by default; now the hot and cold bites are too. Efforts have been made to further phase out the use of animal-based dairy products by offering plant-based milk in the MAAS coffee machines. In addition, more sugar-free soft drinks are available, catering and Coffee Corners offer sustainable biscuits made by De Koekfabriek and, to reduce food waste, the Too Good To Go app is being extended to more locations. After a successful pilot project in the Huygens building, the Billie Cup was introduced at all Coffee Corners in May, replacing the disposable cups. The Billie Cup is a reusable and exchangeable cup that reduces the amount of disposable waste and creates a more circular campus. The introduction of the Billie Cup and the reintroduction of crockery led to 165,511 fewer disposable cups being used in 2022.
A green, traffic-free campus
Based on the collaboration as part of Duurzaam Bereikbaar Heijendaal (sustainable accessibility for Heijendaal campus), new steps were taken to make mobility more sustainable in 2022. For instance, shared bicycles and scooters are available on campus (which can reduce the number of car trips) and e-bike try-out weeks were launched again in the autumn (and filled up in no time). Chain mobility is also being encouraged, with a number of employees experiencing what it is like to park remotely and then take the train to Heijendaal campus. Work has begun on developing a campus-wide Mobility as a Service (MaaS) app. Awareness about sustainable travel was raised with a campus-wide campaign ‘I travel... to campus’, and with a campaign on consciously considering whether or not to fly. A start was also made on Zero Emission Zone City Logistics agreements (to be introduced in 2025), and a pilot project used a cargo bike from GoLo bike for emission-free transport catering.
The biodiversity vision adopted last year was also elaborated on. As part of that, a plan was created for the green-blue structure. This plan aims to increase the number of plant and animal species in the coming years. In the near future, it will be translated into action plans for management, maintenance, layout and construction, among other things.
When considering accommodation issues, we are increasingly looking at sustainability aspects. For example, instead of demolishing the Spinoza building for new construction, we opted for circular renovation and expansion. And the Maria Montessori building has been awarded an A+++ energy label.
In 2022, considerable attention was paid to implementing the procurement policy ‘Purchasing with Impact’, with a focus on raising employee awareness of the hidden impact of procurement. Starting this year, all European procurement tenders include sustainability as one of the award criteria. In some procurement processes, such as for furniture, we start by setting sustainability ambitions for the project. These focus on circularity. Circularity strategies were drawn up for some product groups in 2022, and they are expected to have the necessary impact on the purchasing of items such as IT resources, food, drinks and furnishings. Examples of procurement projects and tenders where sustainability is an important weighing factor include travel agents, flowers, construction projects and interior landscaping as a service. Furthermore, since this year, all suppliers complete a newly developed Optimal Planet Scan to learn their own sustainability score.
Last year, we completed the rollout of our hybrid energy grid on campus. Now 85% of the building area is connected, including on the east side. In this way, we can reduce our dependence on gas and lower energy costs.
In the future, we will link our grid to the grid for Radboud university medical center. We can already exchange heat and cold between our own buildings; soon, we will be able to do the same with Radboud university medical center. We also plan to connect student accommodation on campus to the hybrid system.