Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

AUAS increasingly 'Paris Proof'

3 Nov 2021 16:47 | Communication

The AUAS consumed significantly less energy in 2020 compared to 2019, specifically 16.3% less than in 2019. In the coming years, the AUAS will also be making additional investments to make its buildings and installations ‘Paris Proof’.

The AUAS intends to phase out gas in the near future, meaning that it will be increasingly compliant with the framework set out in the climate agreement. The improvements that have been made in the area of energy efficiency in recent years are a direct consequence of the agreements made by the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences (VH) in the Long-term Agreements on Energy Efficiency.

This covenant set out that universities of applied sciences would achieve energy efficiency improvements of 30% between 2005 and 2020. According to the figures of the Foundation for Sustainable Higher Education (Stichting Duurzaam Hoger Onderwijs), these goals have been surpassed. Although the number of students and staff in the higher professional education sector (HBO) has increased significantly over the past fifteen years, the institutions have nevertheless succeeded in reducing their energy consumption.

Boosting sustainability in higher professional education

Between 2005 and 2020, the number of students increased from 357,000 to 478,008. In addition, staff numbers also saw a significant increase, from 25,000 FTE to over 37,000 FTE. That growth also led to an increase in the number of square metres of buildings used by the institutions. However, this did not lead to additional energy consumption – in fact, quite the opposite.

Energy consumption per student has decreased by 35%, principally as a result of the purchasing of renewable energy. In total, all the various energy saving projects in the HBO sector have resulted in efficiency savings of 1,522 terajoules – the equivalent energy consumption of 23,500 homes.