UZ Leuven helps build a climate-neutral Leuven

30 November 2023
A week ago, UZ Leuven signed the first Leuven Climate Contract: 10 pioneering guiding principles, more than 30 partners, 86 break-through projects met actual commitments and a financial strategy, brought together to accelerate Leuven's readiness for climate neutrality by 2030.

Signing the 10 guiding principles by all partners

More sustainable together

The contract is a benchmark that will put climate on the top of the priority list in all our future projects and initiatives. Luckily we're not just doing this on our own. The city of Leuven, Leuven 2030 and scores of other Leuven companies and organisations are also contributing with their own objectives, projects and initiatives. 

We want to start not only from climate targets, but also take the social aspects of climate change into account
Herman Devriese

Herman Devriese, head of the prevention and environment department at UZ Leuven: “Thanks to the collaboration between the city of Leuven, bigger players (such as UZ Leuven, KU Leuven and IMEC), and many enthousiastic smaller players in the Leuven area, the contract translates the ambition for reducing our carbon footprint into a broadly supported plan. Via some 80 projects, which not only start from climate goals but also want to take into account the social aspects of climate change, we are making actual changes together.”

UZ Leuven commitment

UZ Leuven fully subscribes to the ambitious Leuven Climate Contract, taking on several concrete commitments.

In addition to some planned new buildings - in the coming years, we will invest in making our existing buildings more sustainable and insulated. This will not only allow us to eventually switch our heating to non-fossil fuel heating, but also ensure that we will be better able to keep out the heat in summer. 

A second example is the current construction of a new bus lane on the Gasthuisberg campus. In time, this will improve the hospital's accessibility. The ecological and social aspect will go hand in hand here: a hospital that has better accessibility, does not only result in a reduction in car traffic and therefore a reduction in emissions, but also provides a better accessibility of our hospital for people that do not have a car and would have difficulty reaching the hospital. 

Do you want be informed about the commitments UZ Leuven makes within the Leuven Climate contract? Keep an eye on the list of commitments below as well as the UZ Leuven social media channels: 

List of commitments*

  • Further preserving and insulating our existing buildings and the construction a new bus lane. (cf. see explanation above)
  • Stimulating re-use and sustainable processing of discarded products and materials: 
    • As an innovative hospital we will always continue to innovate and renew. In our buildings we look much closer at selective demolition and the reuse of our installations and materials. Think for instance about selective demolition and collection of these materials by the materials bank to enable reuse of certain valuable materials. As a result of outside works and reconstruction, a lot of paving stones needed to be removed. Usually, these types of materials are scooped us by machine and ground to crushed stone. In this case, the bricks were palletised by a bespoke company. The bricks are now for sale via the website of the Leuven materials bank for whoever wants them.
    • Collection of waste as new raw material: there is a lot of material that, given good and selective collection, qualifies for mechanic recycling. This makes these packaging or used materials the perfect raw material for high-quality conversions to new plastics, without the need for intensive cleaning processes or chemical conversion processes.

In addition UZ Leuven will continue to commit to overall sustainability:

  • Make meal preparations more sustainable, by reducing food waste during all stages of the process
  • Encourage employees to use less water, electricity and heating, without significantly impacting the patients' and staff's comfort
  • Commit to thorough selective waste separation


* This list will be further completed and modified. So be sure to take a look here from time to time if you like to stay informed about the commitments UZ Leuven is making in the context of Leuven 2030!

Last edit: 17 January 2024