Amsterdam is one of the leading destinations for sustainable meetings. In Arcadis' global Top 100 Sustainable Cities Index 2022, Amsterdam ranks 10th based on, among other things, the quality of infrastructure, transport and digital connectivity, and the City of Amsterdam has ambitious goals for the future, aiming to become a circular, climate adaptive and neutral city by 2050. To achieve this, Amsterdam aims to be emission-free by 2030 and reduce emissions by 55% compared to 1990. In the meantime, there are many initiatives in Amsterdam to make the city future-proof.
Amsterdam's commitment to sustainability
Amsterdam is therefore known for its commitment to sustainability and was the first city in the world to introduce the economic donut model. Through the economic donut model, businesses and citizens consciously consider their impact on the planet so that economic growth stays within planetary limits. In 2021, Amsterdam claimed the top spot in the Schroders European Sustainable Cities Index, highlighting its exemplary environmental policies. Moreover, Amsterdam was named the second best city in the world for its remarkable green certificates.
One of the initiatives bringing Amsterdam closer to becoming a circular, climate adaptive and neutral city is the energy transition. Amsterdam is committed to the transition to clean energy sources, prioritising a shift from fossil fuels to renewable alternatives. By 2030, the municipality aims to supply 80% of Amsterdam households with renewable electricity, promoting a cleaner and more sustainable energy landscape. Also, in the next 10 years, Amsterdam will have only emission-free road and waterborne transport.
Since 2019, all trams, metros and buses in Amsterdam already run on green electricity. NS also runs fossil-free, circular and green transport throughout the Netherlands. Moreover, there are eco-friendly travel options to reach Amsterdam. High-speed trains efficiently connect major European cities, such as London, Paris, Brussels, Antwerp, Frankfurt and Berlin, to Amsterdam Central. Train travel can significantly reduce CO2 emissions, by up to 70-90% compared to air travel. But there is also an opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions by air. Through its CO2ZERO programme, Air France-KLM offers passengers the opportunity to offset their CO2 emissions and make their flights CO2 neutral by contributing to CO2 reduction projects.
Abundant green spaces
Besides green transport, Amsterdam is also a green city. Amsterdam boasts numerous parks, gardens and urban forests, offering an accessible and serene environment. For instance, Amsterdam has around one million trees, equivalent to one tree per inhabitant, in stark contrast to one tree for every 22 inhabitants in Paris. These green spaces not only improve the quality of life, but also help preserve biodiversity and reduce heat islands in the city.
From linear to circular
Amsterdam embraces the concept of a circular economy and waste is eliminated as much as possible to promote reuse and recycling of materials. To this end, initiatives that encourage the reuse of raw materials and sustainable production methods are actively supported. The City of Amsterdam's comprehensive circularity strategy 2020-2025 further focuses on three key value chains: food and organic waste streams, consumer goods and the built environment, and aims to significantly reduce the use of raw materials and thus contribute to a sustainable city.
Hosting a sustainable event
Finally, Amsterdam hosts a range of restaurants, hotels and leisure facilities that align with sustainability goals, allowing meetings and events to successfully implement innovative sustainability initiatives. Amsterdam is therefore the sustainable location to organise an event. By incorporating eco-friendly practices, events in Amsterdam can offer additional value while having a positive impact on the environment.
If you would like to know more about how RAI supports municipal initiatives and how you can make your event more sustainable, contact our CSR department.