[Seriously?] Thermo-challenge launched

Kooky news.

WUR is launching a new challenge with the motto ‘How low can you go?’: the temperature in campus buildings will be lowered even further this spring. Those who still want a warm workplace can reserve it via Optare in exchange for a number of leave hours.

There are two motives behind the Thermo Challenge, says energy coordinator Wouter Lionheart: further reducing WUR’s energy bill and reducing our footprint. ‘As long as WUR continues to work with Shell, we will have to go the extra mile on other fronts to keep our narrative about climate change and planetary boundaries credible,’ he explains. The challenge applies both on campus and at WUR sites outside Wageningen. 

To prepare students and staff for the Thermo Challenge, an e-learning environment was put on BrightSpace and the intranet on 29 February in which Wim ‘Iceman’ Hof explains some useful breathing techniques.

Employees can exchange a warm workplace for leave hours in Optare

Further measures are not necessary, according to the energy coordinator, although he advises everyone to dress appropriately for the challenge. ‘Feel free to wear your ski suit. You hardly need it any more anyway. With the changing climate, winter sports are dying out,’ said Lionheart. For visitors who feel the cold, blonesies (blanket onesies) in WUR green can be reserved at the reception desks.

Employees who still value a heated workplace can reserve one in exchange for leave hours via Optare. The conversion factor is 1:1, or one hour of leave for one hour of working at 20 degrees Celsius. In total, up to 500 heated workstations are available on campus, on a first-come-first-served basis. ‘HR looked into the feasibility of dynamic pricing – the higher the demand, the higher the price – but they ran into obstacles to that in Optare. A pity, otherwise WUR could have made a mint on Tuesdays and Thursdays,’ Lionheart chuckles.

For people who can’t work in cold temperatures for medical reasons, WUR is looking into whether workstations can be set up in the heated greenhouse complexes. ‘Be aware that these are only available on presentation of a doctor’s certificate,’ Lionheart concludes.

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