team duurzaamheid

Working towards sustainability with an integrated impact strategy

As an AOC with 13000 pupils (vmbo), 8800 students (mbo), 7000 students, 3000 employees and 5000 internship companies, Yuverta faces a great challenge to give sustainability a prominent role in education, HR and operations. This is desperately needed. After all, the world is not doing well. We are moving from climate change to a climate crisis. Incremental change is no longer enough, so systemic change is needed. And we want to move from profitability to thrivability. As an educational institution, how do you make sure you move with these transitions? In this article, Yuverta talks about how they are working integrally on sustainability!

At Yuverta, students take courses in blue and green. These include animal care, flower and styling, sustainable living, environment and animal husbandry. Thus, the content of the courses lends itself very well to giving sustainability a prominent role. To do this, an integral impact strategy was developed based on the Theory of Change model. Yuverta's core ambition is to contribute to a sustainable world as a quality institute. They want to make real impact and realize change. They strive to ensure that what they do is reflected in the change they want to create.

A sustainable roadmap
As part of the impact strategy, more than 50 colleagues from different departments collaborated on a Roadmap. In order to realize change, it is important that everyone in the organization is involved: both from education and HR. In a number of sessions, the Roadmap below was created, with two parallel tracks for education and for HR/business:

Roadmap Yuverta

Students and staff are the sustainable doers
In these development sessions, one of the things they looked for was their materiality principle. Here, you make trade-offs based on relevance (the importance that stakeholder attach to the effect) and significance (the scale or magnitude of the effect). They did this by considering the following questions: Where can you create the most positive value? Where is your negative footprint the largest? And your handprint the smallest? Where do you have the most influence? Where can you be distinctive? In answering these questions, they came to a logical but also very insightful conclusion: they can make the most impact through students and staff. They are the ones who can put sustainability on the agenda in their contacts; from assignments with companies to the kitchen table at home. Therefore, the implementation focus is on how they can make a difference. The next step was to figure out what you then need to be able to do. That is why they started with the Profile for a Sustainable Doer: pupils, students and employees who contribute to a sustainable society in an engaged, innovative and entrepreneurial way. Three elements are essential to this: knowing (having knowledge of the bigger problem), understanding (being able to translate this into one's own situation) and being able to do (actively contributing to solutions).

Getting started!
This integral strategy has led to numerous activities. From inspiring Green Talks by colleagues to Green Offices carried by students and teachers, participation in Sustainabul VO/MBO and a network of more than 100 sustainable ambassadors who propagate sustainability at their locations. They have not been idle in their operations either and are working on reducing CO2 emissions, circularity, a sustainable working and living environment, and vitality and employability. For example, they organize workshops, there is a sound purchasing policy, they hold climate talks and there is a desire to make sustainability a point of attention in the onboarding of new employees. There is currently a sustainability team, which is responsible for driving, connecting, supporting and developing. The biggest challenge at the moment is to make the impact measurable. A lot is being done and they like to share what they are doing, but the next step is to make sure that the students and employees actually become sustainable doers. A great challenge!

Do you want to get in touch with team sustainability at Yuverta? You can do so at

Do you also want to work on embedding sustainability in mbo? See how you can use your role contributions and sign up for the network MBO for Tomorrow.

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