ShowHow: A Flexible, Structured Approach to Commit University Stakeholders to Sustainable Development

Leendert Verhoef, Luuk Graamans, Dean Gioutsos, Ad van Wijk, Jo Geraedts, Chris Hellinga

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an alternative approach and preliminary results to developing a sustainable campus by connecting research, education and real estate management. It is coined ‘ShowHow’: the deployment and display of the knowhow of all stakeholders in a university. The approach is built upon five pillars: (1) Projects: the initiation of a variety of projects; (2) Intensive real estate involvement: the introduction of sustainability and innovation to all levels of real estate strategy and decision-making processes; (3) Programmatic themes: the development of multi-faculty, overarching programmatic themes; (4) Stakeholder integration: The involvement of and intense liaison and co-creation with real estate, facility management, professors, and students, and (5) Outreach: the provision of impetus for regional/national sustainability systems with campus projects. The results are encouraging: In a short period of time, one year, more than 20 projects have been developed, the board of the Real Estate department adopted sustainable development as a key value, three programmatic lines are under construction, personal connections between students, operational and scientific staff were established, and 2020 goals for greening the energy supply will be met in 2017. Additionally, the University also performs a catalyst role for regional sustainable heating transformations. New PhD positions could be established. This approach seems very promising, generating enthusiasm throughout the university. It has elements, typical for technical universities, but the formula may be replicated at other universities in general, by deploying non-technical knowhow, and by including existing local sustainability themes and opportunities
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development in Higher Education
EditorsWalter Leal Filho, Ulisses M. Azeiteiro, Fatima Alves, Petra Molthan-Hill
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-47877-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-47876-0
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameWorld Sustainability Series


  • Innovation
  • Sustainability
  • Circularity
  • Real estate management
  • Campus operations
  • Student participation


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