Research publication: ‘On the road to climate neutral infrastructure in the Netherlands’

The Foundation for Climate Friendly Procurement and Business (SKAO), in collaboration with Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), is carrying out the project ‘On the road to climate neutral infrastructure in the Netherlands’. The ongoing project started in the spring of 2017. A great part of this project is a research on the possibilities of a climate neutral infrastructure sector. The study is completed and the research report recently published.

Results ‘On the road to climate neutral infrastructure in the Netherlands’

The SKAO and TU Delft have completed a scenario study of the material chains of four essential categories within the infrastructure sector, namely diesel (energy), asphalt, concrete and steel. Next to a literature study of these subjects, several experts and representatives actively operating within the infrastructure sector have been interviewed. This led to scenarios and possibilities for climate neutral businesses for asphalt, concrete, steal and diesel (energy) in 2050. Each scenario contains recent developments and its impact on CO2 levels, the timeframe in which these developments could occur, and how the material chains can be made climate neutral.

Subsequently the researchers have looked at translating the scenarios into practice. The results of the scenario study have been further assessed in a case study. For this, the subject of asphalt was studied in greater detail. Moreover, the process of climate neutral procurement has been analyzed further to gather practical knowledge.

Next to the scenarios of diesel (energy), concrete, asphalt and steel, the most important results of the research are:

  • In order to work towards a climate neutral infrastructure sector, it is of utmost importance to focus on accelerating sustainable and new technologies that are based on the essential materials and energy/fuel. The technologies should be aligned with the entire business chain.
  • Improvement of the quality of data is desirable. A uniform way of capturing data about the environment contributes to insights and comparability of the chain analyses within the infrastructure sector.
  • There is a demand for a relatively simple way to consider effects on the environment in procurement procedures.
  • There is a strong demand to foster collaboration within the business chains, between commissioning parties and contractors as well as during projects from initiation up till realization, management and maintenance, and end-of-life. These collaborations are also important for the framework of the circular economy.

At this moment, the research report is only available in Dutch. Should you require further insights on the study of climate neutral infrastructure in the Netherlands, please do not hesitate to contact us via

Background information ‘On the road to climate neutral infrastructure’

In order to contribute to the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement, the Netherlands must become climate neutral. This also includes the infrastructure sector. More innovations and measures must be taken to accelerate the transition to climate neutral infrastructure. However, it was unclear which innovations and specific measures must be taken. Moreover, collaboration between commissioning parties and contractors to stimulate these innovations proves to be challenging. The goal of the project is therefore to stimulate both innovation and collaboration within the business chain in order to realize climate neutral infrastructure. This can be achieved by analyzing which scenarios and transition paths are most realistic, by creating leverage within the sector and by translating the research results to practical tools for organizations and commissioning parties in the infrastructure sector, via the CO2 Performance Ladder.

Topsector Energy

This project is a MVI-Energie project, which is part of the Topsector Energy initiated by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. It is the ambition of the Topsector Energy to contribute in the acceleration of the transition towards sustainable energy supply, that takes part in the developments of a sustainable economy. Within SKAO, the project is being led by Annemiek Lauwerijssen and Sible Schöne.