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Sustainable mainports. Common issues across Dutch mainports

At both the European and global level, the Dutch mainports Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Schiphol are major transport hubs handling substantial flows of passengers and goods. While benefitting the Netherlands in terms of lower factor costs, they also bring specific challenges in terms of sustainability and environmental footprint. To address these issues, the mainports are working to become global sustainability leaders and in support of this ambition the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment has initiated a project focused on exchange of innovation experience at mainports. 

This report reviews the measures and innovations that mainports have implemented to address their (shared) sustainability challenges and assesses how they can learn from one another and/or take common action. The study recommends that the ministry organise an annual meeting around an issue of common interest, for example:  
  • Support for start-ups: why, which start-ups, subsidies or participation?
  • Usefulness and necessity of  quantitative sustainability targets.
  • New construction around mainports: green zone or further nuisance reduction?
  • Circular economy: case-based strategies, e.g. recycling of plastic on-flight catering waste  and plastic ships’ waste.


Eelco den Boer
Jasper Faber
Anouk van Grinsven
Maarten t Hoen

Delft, July 2014

Sustainable mainports (only available in Dutch)


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