VU – UTResearch & ImpactResponsible Societies

Creating responsible societies

We are working on a clean and sustainable society  

This theme revolves around a clean and sustainable society. With the impact programme ‘Responsible Societies' we are working on a circular economy, energy neutral developments and adaptive and resilient systems. By doing so, we contribute to an enterprising, healthy and sustainable society that reuses its raw materials.  

Sustainable Development Goals

In our programme, we make complex issues in the area of sustainability clear, appealing and comparable. These include those between the urban region of the Randstad region in the western part of the country and the rural border region of Twente in the east. We also design and evaluate possible solutions. These are broadly linked to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

Robust research network

We work from a multidisciplinary perspective and combine a broad, social, scientific approach of environmental policy, behavioural economics, cultural anthropology, business administration and design with engineering and technology. For all this, we are developing a robust research network and will work together with civil society organisations, companies, NGOs, policy makers and citizens. 


  • Focus areas

    Net-Zero Emissions

    The new demands of sustainability require us to look for new ways to meet society's need for innovative and sustainable energy solutions.  


    Adaptability and resilience are influenced by a system's ability to absorb shocks and still function as a system. To achieve this, we need, among other things, new adaptive and resilient processes in products, production and governance.


    Responsible societies must move from unsustainable patterns of production and consumption to a more sustainable circular economy. This includes a thorough renewal of the whole system in which products and processes are created. 

    Topics we will be working out in 2022

    • Policy approaches for net zero emissions.
    • Keeping fossil fuels in the ground.
    • Energy communities.
    • Land use and emissions.
    • Circular economy in regions.
    • Recycling concepts for polymers. 
  • More information

    Would you like to know more about this impact programme? Please contact Daniel Petrovics, Silu Bhochhibhoya of Peter Chemweno. We would be happy to help you.