WUR becomes 'Nature-Positive University'

December 8, 2022

Wageningen University & Research (WUR) is one of the founding members of the global Nature Positive Universities Alliance, launched today during the UN biodiversity summit. Participation in this alliance means that we will prevent or repair damage to nature as a result of our activities and operations and stimulate positive change.

"By signing the pledge, we show our commitment to contributing to a nature-positive future. We take responsibility for our impact on nature through research, education and partnerships, together with other universities," says Rector Arthur Mol. Joke Luttik, corporate social responsibility coordinator at WUR, agrees: "I am really looking forward to being part of the Nature Positive Alliance, because it will help us speed up our nature-positive actions."

Wageningen Campus is already one of the most sustainable knowledge campuses in the world. Since 2017, WUR has ranked first in the Green Metric sustainability ranking. "On campus there is quite a lot of nature. There are nature gardens, with rare plants and all kinds of insects, birds, mushrooms and bats. We put a lot of effort into the development and management of the green space on campus to enhance biodiversity", Luttik says.

The Wageningen Biodiversity Initiative is one of the driving forces behind WUR's participation in the Alliance.

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Measuring progress

As a 'Nature Positive University', WUR will report annually to the Alliance on its goals regarding sustainability, biodiversity on campus and the impact of research on nature. Luttik: "We are currently extending our carbon footprint reporting to get a full picture of all our greenhouse gas emissions, from energy use in buildings, travel as well as purchased goods and services. We can use this action to also map out our impact on biodiversity and eventually aim for zero net impact on both green house gas emissions and biodiversity."

Global initiative

The alliance of nature-positive universities is an initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the University of Oxford, as part of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. 114 universities worldwide have already signed the official pledge and 408 intend to do so in the future. So far, Wageningen University & Research, TU Delft and Radboud University are the only Dutch universities in the Alliance.

The Nature Positive Universities Alliance will be launched at the CEPA Fair at COP15 in Montreal on 8th December 2022 at 8am EST / 2pm GMT+1. You can register to join the event virtually here.