The Netherlands: An import nation
Land use and emissions from resource flows

This report analyses the environmental impact of the raw materials we import for domestic consumption in the Netherlands as well as the raw materials that are re-exported once they have been converted to products (thereby also contributing to our economic welfare). Using data from Netherlands Statistics (CBS), four kinds of impact are analysed: greenhouse gas emissions, toxic emissions, land use and biodiversity loss. The following raw materials are found to have a major impact on these themes: cacao, chemical feedstocks, coal, cereals, timber, paper, cotton, oilseeds, soy, steel, copper, aluminium, zinc, transport fuels, fish, meat, dairy and potatoes. For many of these commodities ‘cradle-to-grave’ policies are under development in the Netherlands (e.g. soy, aluminium, paper and cacao), but for others this is not yet the case. To an extent, moreover, these are ‘one-track’ policies focusing solely on energy issues, or on biodiversity loss. To ensure policies are not mutually incompatible, the various themes should be integrated. The report also presents a specific ranking of the commodities on the respective environmental themes.

report
erratum

Authors CE

Geert Bergsma
Marijn Bijleveld

Delft, December 2010