18 sustainability events to raise awareness

Organising a sustainability event is a great way to inform students and staff on sustainability topics. Explore our list of event ideas below to get inspired.

You’re currently studying or working at a university, and you’re interested in sustainability. Now you’re wondering, what your university can do to help address climate change, biodiversity loss and social inequality. In this post, you learn what events you can host to raise awareness about sustainability, grouped by level of difficulty and budget size.

Sustainability events for starters

These sustainability event ideas are good for student groups who are just starting out to learn how to organise events. These events require relatively little planning, have a low budget, and can be organised by a small team:

  • Organise an inspiring talk or screen a sustainability documentary or movie (TU Eindhoven)
  • Hold a swap event allowing students to exchange clothes or study books they don’t need anymore (Rotterdam)
  • Run a networking meeting so that all sustainability-focused student groups can get to know each other (TU Delft, Magdeburg)
  • Organise an excursion to sustainability projects in the region, such as a nature reserve, wind park, organic farm or a waste handling facility (TU Delft, Konstanz, Kaiserslautern)
  • Run a repair café that teaches students how to repair broken items (Leuven)
  • Organise a plogging run for students to do sports and collect waste while running (HU Utrecht)
A talk is a great sustainability event to start with

A talk is a great sustainability event to start with

Run more sustainability events through a Green Office


If you already know more about sustainability at your university, have more project management experience and a larger network, then you could realise some of these sustainability event ideas:

  • Set-up an information stand during the introduction week to promote the university’s sustainability efforts and how show students how to get engaged (TU Eindhoven)
  • Offer sustainability tours to showcase innovative sustainability projects on campus, such as newly renovated buildings, solar cells or green roofs (TU Eindhoven, HU Utrecht)
  • Implement a ‘Student Cooking Day’, to allow students to sell homemade, sustainable food to other students (Wageningen)
  • Organise a panel discussion with university management on sustainability at the university (Konstanz)
  • Collaborate with sustainability student groups to organise a sustainability day, conference, information market or festival for students to learn more about sustainability topics, such as zero waste or the energy transition (HU Utrecht, Rotterdam, Gothenburg)
A sustainability day or festival is a great sustainability event to involve many people

A sustainability day is a great event to involve many people

Advanced sustainability event ideas

The following events require more planning, time, and collaboration with external stakeholders. Consider realising them, once you have a large and committed team.

  • Create a ‘Sustainable Business Battle’ to inspire students to develop sustainable business cases for local companies (Leiden)
  • Organise a lecture series over one semester or an alternative introduction week on socio-environmental topics (Hildesheim, Magdeburg)
  • Host a ‘Faculty Challenge‘, where different faculties compete on who is the most sustainable faculty (Groningen)
  • Organise a warm-sweater day, by decreasing the temperature in buildings by three degrees, distributing free sweaters from second-hand shops and raising awareness about the impact of energy consumption on climate change (HU Utrecht)
  • Organise a large model climate change negotiation (Rotterdam)
  • Offer a summer school programme on sustainability topics like global warming, biodiversity or circular economy (Groningen)
A model climate change negotiation is a more challenging sustainability event to organise

A model climate change negotiation is a more challenging event to organise

Run more sustainability events through a Green Office