There’s a new way to get a glimpse of green in gloomy December. A plant library – adding greenery to the winter scenery – has opened at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) for students and staff. The ‘library’ is stocked with a small variety of indoor plants which ‘borrowers’ can take to their homes or offices, and was organised by the team behind RSM’s 'Force for positive change' mission.


RSM’s mission, to be a force for positive change in the world, takes as its reference framework the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Quiet study spot

The plant library is in a corner of RSM’s Mandeville building where students can also find a quiet spot to study. Visitors are invited to take a plant without charge, but it is also possible to donate plants for others to enjoy – and to increase the variety of plants on the shelves. Student Theordor Andrei is a plant library volunteer and a student on the MSc Global Business and Sustainability programme. He said: “The plant library is a nice way to get RSM students interested in the things they can do to make the world a little better. If you take one of our plants, you will notice a little story about a hummingbird stopping a forest fire, one water drop at a time, doing the best he can.

“This is a way of saying that everyone can contribute little by little. Students will also discover the UN’s SDGs and perhaps where they can contribute.”

Enhancing productivity

Eva Rood, director of RSM’s Positive Change Initiative, explains: “Random acts of kindness have a lasting trickle-down effect. This is one of the ways that we aim to create such a trickle-down effect, by sharing cuttings of our own plants and encouraging others to do so too. What’s more, it’s proven that plants in the office enhance happiness and productivity – and who would argue with that?”

The plant library is on the first floor mezzanine on the north side of Mandeville building, accessible via the staircase near the bottom of the escalator. It has already been restocked once, proving that the idea is taking hold.

RM’s mission – to be a force for positive change in the world – came out of the RSM community’s sense of purpose and the factors driving its motivations. It includes the role a business school plays in ensuring it maintains a strong societal relevance and meaningful impact.

Donations to the plant library are welcome any time, and loans (permanent or otherwise) are available whenever the Mandeville building is open.

You can watch the story of the hummingbird, as told by 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner, the late Professor Wangari Maathai, here.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

Alumni , Bachelor / Bedrijfskunde , Bachelor / IBA , Master , MBA , Sustainability , Positive change

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