The AUAS designated sustainability as an important theme for the entire organisation at the end of 2018. This implies greater focus on sustainability in education and research as well as business operations and behaviour. This has been converted into ambitions and promises in the 2021-2026 Strategic Plan.

Sustainable, Digital and Diverse & Inclusive

In its Strategic Plan for 2021-2026, the AUAS has chosen three courses of action: Sustainability, Diversity and Digitalisation. These will be the main axes for the further development of research and education. A Professor of Practice has been appointed for each course of action.

For Sustainability this is economist Kate Raworth. She is leading a project to shape the Sustainable Development Goals in Amsterdam together with the AUAS. She is also a strategic advisor to the Centre for Economic Transformation and her work is central to the Amsterdam Donut Coalition.

Here are some of our sustainability ambitions:

  • it is natural for us to work in a diverse and inclusive environment where our actions and choices are as sustainable as possible and digitally innovative.
  • every student learns to recognise and use sustainability, diversity & inclusion and digitalisation as automatic and important elements of their profession and of contemporary citizenship.
  • the '3 Ds' are prominently visible and tangible in everything we do in the AUAS community.

Please see more examples and stories (in Dutch) on

The AUAS adopted the Sustainable Development Dashboard in 2021 in order to more clearly establish its sustainable development ambitions for education, research and operational management.

The Sustainable Development Dashboard is a list of targets that define all the AUAS's sustainability activities. The targets were established in co-creation sessions with colleagues and students from all our faculties and departments and supplemented with elements of the SustainaBul ranking and the AISHE (Audit Instrument for Sustainability in Higher Education).

The targets address aspects of both environmental and social sustainability in education, research, operational management and organisation.

The Dashboard provides all AUAS faculties and departments with tools to jointly give form and substance to sustainable development. It is monitored annually.

The following is a selection of the dashboard’s objectives:

  • Sustainable development is integrated into all curriculums.
  • The AUAS encourages and trains staff on SDGs and doughnut economics to integrate sustainability into professional practice.
  • Campuses are respectful of biodiversity,operate circularly and are climate-proof.
  • The AUAS is an inclusive and diverse university where students and staff can be themselves.

More information on the Dashboard (in Dutch).

In 2019, the strategic sustainability program re-set was launched to give the AUAS a strong boost in its development into a sustainable organisation. The three-year program ran from 2019 to 2021 and focused on making operations, research and education more sustainable. The program had a vibrant network of change agents within the faculties and services, pivotal to the work within the organisational units. Through meetups, events, an online platform and a strong community, this network of change ran right through the AUAS.

The current sustainability programme consists of a core team, Green Office HvA (GO HvA) and a community made up of AUAS employees. As part of re-set, GO HvA is a permanent place within the AUAS where everyone who is committed to a sustainable and inclusive university of applied sciences can come together. Here, students and staff work together on tangible actions that have an impact and are committed to making sustainable student initiatives visible, and to helping students and staff connect with each other.

GO HvA also organises the GO Game Changers Awards twice a year; an inspiring award ceremony for and by students who have made a positive impact during their studies.

The AUAS not only focuses on the ecological side of sustainability but also recognises the social character. After all, a sustainable future is about people as well as the planet. Diversity, inclusion and social justice themes are therefore inextricably linked to sustainability. There are various social networks within the AUAS that are committed to a diverse and inclusive university of applied sciences, such as Debatcentrum FLOOR, Diversity Hub, HvA Pride, Limitless and SeSi Community Center.

The AUAS trainee programme was developed to stimulate the achievement of our goals in the field of diversity and inclusion. In addition, the Gender Equality Plan describes what the AUAS is doing to promote gender equality.

Published by  Communication 21 December 2022