The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) has worked hard on sustainability, equality and wellbeing over the last policy period, and has been rewarded for its efforts and good intentions. The university’s Report to the Society has won the Best Impact Sustainability Report Award, given by the Belgian Institute of Registered Auditors (IBR-IRE), in the “other organisations” category.
VUB launched its Report to the Society with the aim of bringing together and reporting on all its initiatives related to sustainability. Sustainability was defined in the broadest sense, including environmental, wellbeing, inclusion and diversity. The report covers the university’s three action plans: sustainability, wellbeing and equality, linked to targets, KPIs and case studies.
“Our Report to the Society is a valuable document,” says VUB rector Jan Danckaert. “As an urban engaged university, we’re connected to our region and committed to a better world. Under Caroline Pauwels, VUB launched three important policy focus points: sustainability, equality and wellbeing. We will maintain that foundation in the future. Above all, we want to move forward. The transversal policies of sustainability, equality and wellbeing were started in recent years in the form of a temporary project. By fixing them in our regular policies, we want to permanently incorporate them into our operations.”
“The intention is to issue the report every two years to report on the progress made by VUB,” adds Kato Thibaut, policy officer for sustainability. “In time, we intend to bring the report in line with the EU sustainability reporting guidelines.”
The 2023 edition of the IBR-IRE Awards for Best Belgian Sustainability Reports featured several categories, which were judged by a jury or the public. The public chose VUB for the Best Impact Sustainability Report award in the “other organisations” category.
Stéphanie Quintart of the IBR-IRE: “The Report to the Society is ambitious in terms of inclusion and sustainability, making it an interesting and inspiring report with a positive impact. What’s more, it is well structured and readable. There is good use of images and graphics and the wider sustainability context is described. Moreover, the jury appreciated the clear explanation and definition of challenges, as well as the strong key performance indicators (KPIs). The KPIs are specific to VUB’s challenges and differ from campus to campus. The report’s alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals and the links between these and the 2030 goals were also appreciated. There have been visible efforts on governance and ethics and the jury welcomed the inclusion of social aspects and elements of inclusion beyond environmental considerations. They also liked the fact that it puts VUB’s social role into context. Finally, the report takes into account the value chain and impacts on suppliers and students. This is why VUB took home the award.”
See an overview of all the winners on the IBR-IRE website.
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