Welcome to the page of the Living Lab (LL). The Living Lab is a platform that facilitates research on ‘real life’ sustainability issues by students from various studies at the university. The LL aims to gather cases on sustainability from the university, as well as from external parties. The research facilitated by the LL supports the transition to a more sustainable university and aims to help external parties to become more sustainable as well. To top that off, the LL also enhances the research experience of the students and gives them the opportunity to gain the capacity to solve complex problems for their future careers.



The LL supports sustainability research by:

  • Offering the opportunity to both internal and external parties to present sustainability centered issues or ‘cases’ to be researched by students of the VU.
  • Connecting students that seek research projects that can influence the sustainability of internal and external parties to ‘real life’ research cases.
  • Coordinating the successful completion of each case and supporting students and key stakeholders throughout the process.

This project offers students the opportunity to gain practical experience whilst being instrumental in the creation of valuable research that will ultimately help organizations to make important, informed decisions that improve their sustainability.

Feel free to contact rosa@greenofficevu.nl if you would like to get involved or if you have any related questions.

Living Lab Cases on Offer

The Living Lab aims to connect students of the VU from all academic backgrounds to real life sustainability cases. Below you find the research topics the Living Lab has on offer now. If you are interested in one of these research topics for your thesis or a course assignment, you can contact rosa@greenofficevu.nl or drop by at the Green Office to discuss the opportunities.

How can a University adapt its procurement process to reflect a commitment to sustainability?
Creating a potential rubric for the provision of a more sustainable dining experience at a VU Amsterdam
Universities employ the services of broad spectrum of contractors to provide the services that maintain institutional operations. In this study case, the contractor handling catering for the University has been the service provider since 2014. The contract for this service is due to go to tender in 2018, at which point companies will submit competing bids to be awarded the contract. The aim of this research will be to identify how the Procurement team can adjust the tender document for catering in order to better reflect the sustainable ambitions of the University and meet the needs of those using the catering facilities, while recognising the business imperatives of contracting service providers. Contact us at research.govu@gmail.com if you’re interested to work on this case.

How to get involved


If you want your (thesis) research to make an impact for a more sustainable future, to support the university to become sustainable in all aspects, ranging from operational activities to education and research, or seek to have an impact on the sustainability of external parties, the LL is the place for you! You can find the current cases the LL has on offer here. You can contact rosa@greenofficevu.nl if you would like to discuss the opportunity to take up one of these as a research project.

Internal parties:

If you need research-backed support for making changes in your department to become more sustainable, or if you would like to be consulted on any other matter concerning sustainability in your department, you can contact rosa@greenofficevu.nl. We can discuss how to convert your issue into a research case that can be solved by one of the students of the VU.

External parties:

If you would like academically created consultation on your sustainability issues or if you any other complex questions regarding sustainability, you can find this at the LL. The Vrije Universiteit has students with backgrounds in multiple study areas that are very capable of conducting research. The Green Office would be happy to help you find the right student or student group to work on sustainability related issue as part of their course assignments or (thesis) research. Contact rosa@greenofficevu.nl for more information.


To ensure all projects are completed successfully and to the satisfaction of the students as well as the other stakeholders, the LL is always looking to match supervisors from the University teaching staff to the LL research cases. If you would like to support a student in doing research on ‘real life’ sustainability cases, you can contact rosa@greenofficevu.nl.