Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
This April Corona Meerman, Chairperson of the Eurekaweek planning committee, took the initiative and contacted SRSM Sustainability Coordinator Joey Johannsen for suggestions on making this event - an introduction week for new EUR freshmen, scheduled for 18-21 August 2014 - more sustainable. With over 3000 participants each year from all around the globe, Eurekaweek is the largest event for freshmen on the Erasmus University campus. After Joey generated a list of 'sustainable suggestions' with the SRSM Sustainable Consulting Team students, several planning meetings took place between Corona and Sustainable RSM Student Assistant David Unterdorfer, who relayed the suggestions and obtained agreements on implementation areas.
Thanks to the collaboration and dedication of all parties involved and the leadership of Corona, immediate action was taken to improve Eurekaweek’s sustainable impact. One example: Hard copy invitations for over 5000 international freshmen were halted, replaced by emailed invitations that saved both money and paper.
To increase awareness of sustainability, the SRSM Sustainable Consulting student team also had a chance to coach the Eurekaweek volunteer guides in promoting sustainability among their assigned groups of first year students. Finally, the amount of flyers included in the Eurekaweek gift bags was reduced, with the ultimate goal of eliminating flyering entirely.
SRSM Student Assistant David Unterdorfer remarks: “This cooperation was very enthusiastic from the beginning. We had research and expertise on the consulting team’s side, and a strong will to make a change and see the project through on the part of Corona. I believe that is the reason, that we have already been able to implement measurable improvements for this year's Eurekaweek.”
However, there is more to be done. Plans are being put in place to improve the sustainability of Eurekaweek’s catering process. Furthermore, hard copy invitations for Dutch students, as well as the remaining flyers, are targeted for replacement with digital information.
We hope the partnership between SRSM and Eurekaweek will continue to be fruitful for many years to come. If you're a freshman, don't miss Eurekaweek 2014, themed: Port of Opportunities!