Second Dutch municipality certified on the CO2 Performance Ladder

The Dutch municipality of Barneveld has recently obtained a certificate on the CO2 Performance Ladder at level 3. With this, Barneveld is the second municipality in the Netherlands after Renkum with a certificate on the Ladder. The certification on the CO2 management system is a concrete step for the Dutch municipality to reduce its CO2 emissions and become carbon neutral.

Energy agreement of Gelderland

The municipality of Barneveld previously joined the Gelders Energieakkoord (GEA), an energy agreement between businesses and government bodies of the Dutch province of Gelderland. The parties that joined this agreement aim to accelerate the transition towards sustainable energy and carbon reduction by means of investments in innovations to generate green power and energy savings, among other things.

Barneveld has set the ambition to reduce its carbon emissions by 78 percent in the coming three years. The municipality strives to no longer emit more than 1.500 metric tons of CO2 in 2021. “We want to stimulate businesses and organisations to become more sustainable and take action to reduce their carbon emissions”, says councilwoman Didi Dorrestijn-Taal of the municipality of Barneveld, in a press release. “The employees of our municipality also work together to realise the transition toward sustainability. We are developing an action plan for a cohesive transition to sustainability in which we can progress in the next coming years. Everybody delivers their contribution towards achieving our ambitions.”

The CO2 Performance Ladder and governments

Next to the municipalities of Renkum and Barneveld, the Dutch municipalities of Harderwijk, Bronckhorst, Arnhem, Winterswijk, Doetinchem, Geldermalsen and Berkelland are working towards obtaining a certificate on the CO2 Performance Ladder. Earlier this year, the Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and Water management obtained a level 4 certificate on the Ladder. During the awarding ceremony, Stientje van Veldhoven, the Dutch State secretary of Infrastructure and Water management, calls upon other government bodies in the Netherlands to work towards CO2 reduction with the help of the CO2 Performance Ladder.

Solar panels and electric cars

The CO2 Performance Ladder requests certified organisations to be transparent about their objectives to reduce carbon emissions and which measures they will take to achieve these objectives. For this reason, Barneveld communicates about its objectives to reduce carbon emissions by generating more green energy through 2.000 solar panels on their office buildings. To make this possible, the municipality will make use of as much rooftops as possible, says the councilwoman.

Moreover, the municipality strives towards a greener fleet of vehicles. For this, the amount of electric cars will be multiplied and biofuel will be used to cut back carbon emissions resulting from transportation. Barneveld also plans to develop financial constructions for its employees to travel by bicycle as much as possible in order to save fuel and reduce carbon emissions.

The next step

According to the municipality, the largest amount of carbon emissions is caused by the activities on the FoodValley region in Barneveld. “The activities of Barneveld result to a total of 50.000 metric tons of CO2”, says Dorrestijn in the local paper Barneveldse Krant. “The largest amount of the total emissions is caused by motorway traffic, which leads to 20.000 metric tons of CO2. Our share of these emissions as a municipality might be smaller than those of other businesses, but by tackling this problem, we want to show the larger enterprises that it is possible to reduce carbon emissions.”

Barneveld sees opportunities to stimulate its supply chain to cut back carbon emissions as a next logical step in the transition towards a sustainable economy. However, the councilwoman thinks that the municipality at this moment is not yet ready to take this step. “We first want to show our stakeholders that we are capable of cutting back our own carbon emissions, before we let others commit to the same goals”, she says to the Barneveldse Krant.

Are you interested in obtaining a certificate on the CO2 Performance Ladder as a government institution? Check out our brochure: The CO2 Performance Ladder for (local) governments or contact us via [email protected] for more information about the Ladder.