Amsterdam initiatives that addressed climate issues in 2021
How has business in the Amsterdam Area contributed to making a better world? We’ve rounded up some of the sustainability moments of the year from startups, corporates and public institutions addressing climate issues.
The City of Amsterdam’s ‘doughnut’ economic model, where needs of the people are met within the boundaries of the planet, makes the Amsterdam Area a unique place for businesses who want to contribute to a better world. 2021 saw the Dutch capital crowned the top European city for environmental policies, named one of the top emerging climate tech hubs and a world leading centre for green finance. But amid severe climate concerns, there’s always more work to be done.
We’ve rounded up some of Amsterdam’s sustainability moments of the year in energy, logistics, technology and fashion.
Building an international hydrogen hub
In an effort to speed up the transition from fossil fuels to green hydrogen power, the Port of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, renewable energy company Vattenfall and the municipalities of Amsterdam and Zaanstad joined forces to create a hydrogen hub. By 2050, the Amsterdam Area and North Sea Canal Area will be at the centre of the hydrogen transition, and conducting large-scale import and export of hydrogen.
Pioneering sustainability in fashion
Amsterdam-based BYBORRE partnered up with The Woolmark company among other innovators in order to launch a new textiles industry showcase named The Window of Textile Opportunities. This showroom the next generation of creators and industry pioneers working with responsible textiles such as Merino wool. Among other initiatives to decarbonise the fashion industry, Amsterdam’s Fashion for Good, the world’s first museum and accelerator dedicated to sustainable fashion, is tackling the scourge of clothing waste ending up in landfill by scaling polyester recycling technologies that will close the loop on the industry’s most wasteful textile.
As a cycling city with relatively low car ownership, ways of getting around Amsterdam are greener than most capitals. But more can be done to meet climate neutral goals. In 2021, the City of Amsterdam more than doubled its electric bus fleet in a bid to reduce all carbon emissions by 95% by 2050.
The movement of goods in and out of the region also took a step closer to sustainability. Major vehicle manufacturing companies Daimler, Volvo and Traton launched a joint initiative to invest in a robust electric charging network for trucks to reduce the freight industry’s reliance on diesel and combat ‘range anxiety’ on the road. The Port of Amsterdam this year also welcomed startup Synkero, which plans to build a sustainable kerosene facility, and Gidara Energy, which will open a biofuel plant.
Planet positive technology
Amsterdam’s tech scene moves fast, and more businesses than ever are addressing the climate crisis. 2021 saw a climate tech boom. The Netherlands ranked 8th globally for climate tech investment since the Paris Agreement five years ago, while Amsterdam’s climate tech ecosystem ranked the fifth largest in Europe.
And, AI is increasingly being applied to model climate positive technology. For instance, this year, researchers at the University of Amsterdam got the green light to develop an AI model for climate-resilient crops without the need for pesticides, which has the potential to make agriculture worldwide sustainable.