Thesis - Volunteer opportunity: Influence of workplace environment on perceptions of climate change


Karen Holtmaat


This research delves into the influence of professional settings on attitudes towards environmental issues. The study aims to investigate how the physical and cultural aspects of a workplace shape the perceptions of individuals regarding climate change. Whether scrutinizing the impact of corporate sustainability initiatives, office culture, or the availability of eco-friendly practices, this thesis opportunity will aid in examining the multifaceted connection between work environments and environmental consciousness. The research seeks to uncover patterns that may reveal correlations between workplace factors and varying degrees of climate change awareness among employees. Understanding these dynamics is not only crucial for insights into what constitutes an effective sustainable corporate culture but also for tailoring effective strategies to enhance environmental awareness within professional settings. Depending on the approach, survey methodologies and interviews are potentially relevant methodologies. This opportunity provides a platform for the student to contribute valuable insights that bridge the gap between workplace dynamics and individual perspectives on climate change.


Through the Green Action Lab, you will collaborate with VU’s research and staff and help them:

  1. To investigate the influence of workplace environments on employees' attitudes towards environmental issues, focusing on how the physical and cultural aspects of professional settings shape perceptions and awareness of climate change.
  2. To analyze the impact of corporate sustainability initiatives and office culture on fostering environmental consciousness among employees.
  3. To evaluate the availability and effectiveness of eco-friendly practices in various professional settings and their influence on employees’ environmental attitudes.
  4. To identify correlations between specific workplace factors and the degrees of climate change awareness, understanding the nuances of how work environments can either hinder or promote environmental consciousness.
  5. To develop survey methodologies and conduct interviews as potential research methods for gathering data and insights on the relationship between workplace dynamics and individual perspectives on environmental issues.
  6. To provide strategic recommendations for creating more sustainable corporate cultures and enhancing environmental awareness within professional settings.

The anticipated outcome of this project is a set of valuable insights and practical strategies aimed at bridging the gap between workplace dynamics and environmental consciousness, contributing to the development of more sustainable professional environments.

This opportunity is particularly suited for students interested in environmental psychology, corporate sustainability, and organizational studies, offering a chance to contribute to meaningful research in understanding and improving environmental attitudes in professional settings.


- You are interested in the people aspect of Sustainability and

- You are a bachelor/master student at VU Amsterdam for the duration of the appointment

- You can come to VU on a regular basis

- You have good oral and written command of the English language

- You are open towards interdisciplinary collaboration and show a welcoming and tolerant work attitude.

- Desired background: Organizational Psychology, Environmental Science, Corporate Sustainability, Business Administration, Sociology, Behavioral Sciences, Public Policy, Environmental Studies, or other related fields focusing on the interplay between corporate culture, environmental awareness, and sustainable practices in professional settings.

What are we offering?:

By joining the project team, you will gain:

- Sustainability consulting experience

- Flexible desk and a study spot at the Green Office VU

- Peer reviewed publication in “Science for Sustainability” open access academic journal (when thesis is graded above 7.5)

Duration: From 1 February until 30 June 2023 (flexible)

Working hours: Approximately 8 hours per week depending on partner availability

Place: VU Amsterdam and remote

Supervision: TBA

Apply for this project