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Green Team, from left to right:  students Lycia Van Roy, Clinical Psychology - Leendert Plaetinck, Human Ecology - Angela Pisani, Archeology - Younes Rifaad, Urban and country planning.

Leendert, Angela, Younes and Lycia. Four seniors, each with a different major and background. One thing they do have in common though: they want to give sustainability an everyday place at their university. They are the brains behind the sorting isles, the flower meadow with insect hotel and Boeren en Buren. Audacious lot, this VUB Green Team…. And now they bring their latest creation ‘Green Impact’ to us.

Photo: Bas Bogaerts

This article appeard HENRI Magazine n°7.


Green, with an impact
Lycia Van Roy explains the context of the project: “Students are interested enough in sustainability, but they often miss that little boldness to talk to professors and set in motion a cultural shift. We want to provide the tools for them to personally get involved in this story. Through Green Impact.”


The idea? Students and staff think about how the university can limit its ecological footprint together. Actually, VUB is the first university outside the UK that is a part of this UNESCO awarded ‘engagement-program’. Students are trained to help departments excel as the ‘greenest on campus’. About 20 - mostly international - students participate. Currently seven departments are competing.


“At the end of 2016 our pilot started,” says Angela Pisani. “How does it work? The different departments register their efforts in our online toolkit and receive bronze, silver or gold scores. Through concrete specific actions they vie for the sustainable hero, the innovation of engagement, or student leadership awards, and so on. At a closing awards ceremony we will highlight all the efforts of the participants.”


Leendert Plaetinck is definitely is keen: “Green impact can definitely also mean added value in the curriculum. Green Impact allows you to strengthen your skills such as teamwork, public speaking, quality assessment, proactivity… Who knows one day it could even be translated into course credits?”


Young heroes wanted
The entire Green Team will graduate this year. Are you willing to take over the reigns? Contact us about opportunities at


Find out more about the Green Team on their Facebook page.