Top eco-friendly city
Amsterdam is one of Europe’s leading destinations for sustainable meetings. Topping global sustainability rankings, Amsterdam is where events are able to carry out innovative sustainability goals with success and provide added value that impact both people and planet. Find out about the city's sustainability initiatives with information on transport, venues, hotels and leisure possibilities for greener meetings.
Sustainability has become increasingly important in today’s meetings and events industry. To preserve our planet, but also because companies attach more value to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Events that carry out a convincing value proposition with sufficient consideration of CSR and sustainability goals, provide extra value to customers, prospects and the environment.
Amsterdam is one of Europe's most sustainable cities when it comes to transport. It owes that position partly to the high proportion of cyclists and pedestrians in its transport mix. Approximately 40% of all travelling in the city takes place by bicycle and 30% by walking.
On top of that, since 2019, all trams, subways and many buses run on green electricity. Several taxi companies - including TCA, the largest regular taxi company in the country - use hydrogen or electric taxis. At least 75% of commercial canal boats have gone electric and now qualify as emission-free. And the city is investing in projects and pilots regarding Smart Mobility and Mobility as a Service (including shared electric cars and electric scooters). Altogether, this makes Amsterdam one of the most eco-friendly cities to travel around and get from A to B - from your hotel to the venue, restaurants and historic sights.
Reduce your ecological footprint by train travel or CO2 emissions compensation
Besides sustainable transport within the city, there are numerous eco-friendly options to travel to Amsterdam to attend an event. High-speed trains connect London, Paris, Brussels, Antwerp, Frankfurt and Berlin to Amsterdam Central Station on a frequent basis. Traveling by train can reduce carbon emissions by 70% in comparison to taking a short-haul flight.
Still prefer to take a flight? Airline combination Air France-KLM offers its customers an option to compensate CO2 emissions, called CO2ZERO. With a small contribution you invest in CO2 reduction projects and you can make your flight CO2 neutral.
Sustainable venues and hotels
Venues in Amsterdam apply a range of sustainability practices to drive positive change in the region and for the environment. Many venues in the region drive cutting-edge sustainability innovations from smart energy management, solar and wind generated heat and cold storage systems to waste management solutions to minimise and sort waste during and after events. Catering options also work to include regional, seasonal and organic products to prevent food waste and offer plant-forward dining options.
Amsterdam is also a sustainability pioneer in the hotel sector. Many hotels in the city are actively working to achieve the best possible sustainable business operations with more than 70 hotels holding a Green Key certification. These hotels comprise well over half of all hotel beds in Amsterdam. Green Key is an international sustainability quality mark for businesses in the tourism and recreation industry who practice substantially more in terms of environmental policy than required by law.
Environmentally-conscious leisure activities
Implementing a sustainable angle in the leisure part of your event programme is easy in Amsterdam. The City of Amsterdam is aiming to become a completely emission-free city by 2030 and wants to be circular, carbon-neutral and climate adaptive by 2050 (link in Dutch)
Sustainable projects and activities in leisure and tourism are therefore embraced and encouraged in Amsterdam. One initiative is the Zero Waste Expedition (link in Dutch): a project for museums, theatres, music venues and other cultural institutions with the main goal for 84% of all waste to be reused as raw material by 2022, enabling more recycling and the production of new raw materials. Participants include The National Maritime Museum, NEMO Science Museum, KIT Royal Tropical Institute (all three are also event venues), Hortus Botanicus and Hermitage Museum.
Another green leisure activity is organised by social enterprise Plastic Whale: the first plastic fishing company in the world that gives your event participants the opportunity to jump aboard and battle against the plastic soup while exploring Amsterdam’s famous canals. Looking for more regular leisure activities? Amsterdam is also known for its conscious shopping possibilities and organic restaurants, offering organic, sustainable and local options.