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Amsterdam’s cultural sector excels in Sustainability

The Amsterdam cultural sector is rapidly developing into the most sustainable in the world. At the end of 2017, Stedelijk Museum, Jewish Historical Museum, EYE and Scheepvaartmuseum received their BREEAM-NL In-Use certificates. They join the Concertgebouw and the Van Gogh Museum (the first BREEAM-NL concert hall and museum) as leaders in sustainability.

The certificates were awarded by Annemarie van Doorn, director of the Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC), during a presentation at the EYE Filmuseum. Some 70 representatives of cultural institutions where in attendance at the presentation, including the Alderman for Sustainability Abdeluheb Choho of the municipality of Amsterdam. Amsterdam is looking to make the whole city more sustainable and has started ambitiously with it’s iconic museums;

[su_quote cite=”Abdeluheb Choho, Alderman for Sustainability in Amsterdam”]I am pleased that the cultural sector has taken sustainability so quickly.[/su_quote]

A few days after the presentation the Rijksmuseum also joined this unique group of sustainable leaders. The Rijksmuseum is the leader when it comes to the highest score, with the museum receiving an ‘Excellent’ rating. The Rijksmuseum scored particularly high on the management of water, energy and waste, with the maintenance level of the building and the installations also receiving positive scores. This is a result of the Rijksmuseum’s comprehensive environmental policy plan in which the objectives per sustainability category are included.

Stedelijk Museum

As one of the most visited museums in the Netherlands, the Stedelijk wants to be as green a entrepreneur as possible and is always looking for new sustainable ideas to pursue. The use of DGBCs Quick Scan led to several improvements during the assessment and gave insight into the different categories of BREEAM. As part of the improvement process, an energy label has been drawn up and measures included to reduce the energy consumption. The Stedelijk Museum has an energy label A, partly thanks to the heat-cold storage in the ground. CO2-climate control will soon be introduced, which will adapt to the number of  visitors. With this, a substantial energy reduction can be achieved. In the future, the Stedelijk will continue to look for new possibilities to become even more sustainable;

[su_quote cite=”Christian Taal – Manager Facilities & Safety for Stedelijk Museum”]In addition to well-known ideas such as placing solar panels and installing LED lighting in the exhibition halls, we also look at the possibilities for using sustainable and recyclable exhibition materials, reducing and reusing leaflets, offering sustainable and local dishes to the catering industry and reducing water consumption in the toilet groups.[/su_quote]

International Attention

The cultural successes achieved in recent times has attracted attention both nationally and internationally. Cities like Stockholm and New York are paying attention to how Amsterdam’s cultural sector has approached sustainability. The sustainability of the cultural sector not only contributes to climate objectives, but also to Amsterdam’s reputation as an innovative, sustainable city.

In the coming years, more cultural institutions are looking to achieve a BREEAM-NL rating: Carré, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Hermitage, the National Opera and Ballet, and theater De Meervaart. These institutions, together with sixteen others, have had a sustainability scan funded by the municipality.

Dutch Green Building Council is proud of the steps that have been taken in this sector and praises the contribution the city makes in creating a more sustainable existing built environment.

[su_quote cite=”Annemarie van Doorn, director of the Dutch Green Building Council”]The successes achieved here serve as an example for the rest of the Netherlands, I will certainly share these inspiring stories with other sectors that are working on sustainability.[/su_quote]