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Facilities services and sustainability

Operations can be improved through a broad range of sustainable choices, such as to conserve energy or take a more conscious approach to processing waste materials. The following is an overview of various faculty projects.

Solar panels

In 2016, a total of 1075 solar panels were installed on the roofs of Science Park 904. It concerns buildings A, B, C, D, E, F and G. The panels generate an average of 230,000 kWh of energy annually. This is comparable to 75 households. And from the fall of 2019, the yield will be increased by placing a new glass roof above the central hall of Science Park 904, with innovative integrated solar cell technology.

Geothermal heat pump at Science Park 904

When the faculty building is cooled in the summer months and heated in the winter months, the residual heat from the summer or residual cold from the winter, respectively, is released and stored in sources located on the grounds. The stored heat and cold can then be reused as needed. This system reduces heating and cooling costs and saves energy.

Energy-efficient lighting at the FNWI

Did you know the centrally-controlled lighting system at Science Park 904 (with the exception of building C) is switched off during weekends? This also extends to entrance area lighting in the toilets.

Switching off lighting at centralised level allows us to conserve energy and cut costs. If you are using the building during the weekend, you can make use of the toilets in building C, where the entrance area lighting is always on.

Seperation of waste

The waste within the Faculty is separated into various streams. In addition to the residual waste, the following waste streams can be distinguished: paper/ cardboard (including the used paper towels at the toilets), plastics, glass, chemical waste and small chemical waste (for example, batteries). Furthermore, wood, metals, foils, fluorescent tubes and building and demolition materials are separately disposed of at the Faculty of Science. In some public spaces there are collection means for PET bottles, for other plastics, for paper, for disposables from the restaurant and for glassware. And empty pens can also be returned in a container in the central hall.

Reducing waste

In addition to separating waste, we also try to limit the amount of waste, for example by informing about the use of reusable cups (you get a small discount on coffee and tea if you bring your own cup). And in 2018, a number of ater taps were installed at the faculty to reduce the sale of bottled water.

Furthermore, the printers no longer print an unnecessary cover page and print jobs are deleted from the system after 24 hours. With the scanning functionality on the Follow-me printers there is also the possibility to send and save documents digitally, so that copying is often no longer necessary.


The Science Park is easily accessible by public transport (bus and train) and there are many bicycle parking facilities. The UvA's CO2 footprint shows that mobility through commuter traffic of staff and students makes the largest contribution to CO2 emissions. For electric bicycles and scooters, 4 charging points are available in the bicycle parking facility under building F. And the supplying of the Faculty of Science is increasingly being transported by electric carrier bicycles and trucks that deliver goods from a central hub in Duivendrecht.

Helium recovery installation

Within the Faculty of Science, helium is used, among other things, as a coolant in lab experiments that requires extremely low temperatures. Helium is a scarce natural resource. An installation is therefore present within building D that recovers the helium as much as possible after use. The coolant residue is taken back to the supplier in special cylindersto be recyceled  and then to be used again as a coolant.

Sustainable operations at the UvA

The UvA is also working to green its operations. At present, the most significant efforts are being invested in construction and renovation, energy and purchasing. External parties such as caterers are also expected to meet environmental requirements.