Dutch Ministry to be certified for CO2 Performance Ladder

The ministry for Infrastructure and the Environment, including implementation offices Rijkswaterstaat and ILT and the agencies PBL and KNMI, will have itself certified for the CO2 Performance Ladder. Initially, the certification process will be for level 3. The CO2 Performance Ladder helps organisations track their carbon footprint and reduce it.

The ladder has 5 levels. The first 3 levels focus on the CO2 emissions of the organisation. Levels 4 and 5 focus on the emissions in the supplier and customer chains to which the organisation is part.

Aside from mapping and reducing the carbon footprint, participating organisations are expected to communicate in a transparent manner about all aspects of their CO2 policy and take initiative inside their industry or chain.

External audits supervise the accuracy of data and the ambition level and permanent commitment of the organisation. Certification for the CO2 Performance Ladder is a supplement to the ministrys internal climate and energy policy.

Since 2012, the ministry for Infrastructure and the Environment is an active member in the Connekt Lean & Green programme. To that end, it has committed to reduce carbon emissions of its own accommodation and mobility by 2016 as compared to 2011. This target has been achieved. Rijkswaterstaat focuses on the energy-neutral operation of its networks by 2030.

The I&E Ministry, as a policy department, is responsible for the national climate policy and in that capacity it carries involvement with many CO2 reduction initiatives. I&E is a co-initiator of the Dutch Climate Coalition and the Green Deal Grond-Weg-Waterbouw [Civil Engineering]

Its policy for sustainable procurement already has Rijkswaterstaat providing an award advantage to contractors who are certified in accordance with the CO2 Performance Ladder.

It is then a logical step to apply the same methods within the own organisation. It leads to a better understanding of and a clearer dialogue with market parties about the possibilities for carbon reductions.

The ambition is to be step-3 certified in late 2016 and step 5 by 2020 latest. Most of the level 3 requirements have already been implemented in the ministrys operations. The CO2 Management plan 2016 (link) contains the relevant information.

Progress of CO2 reduction and footprint will be published semi-annually.

The reduction plan will be updated once annually.

Key data

I&Es CO2 footprint was 154 Ktonnes CO2 in 2015. The majority (94%) is attributed to Rijkswaterstaat. The foremost items included the Rijksrederij, lighting, traffic control and tunnels of and within the main road network; the sluices, dams and pumping systems of the main water system.

I&E has taken it as its goal to reduce emissions by 20% in 2020 as compared to 2009. In absolute terms, this task becomes more challenging due to an expanding infrastructure.

The 2009-2015 period saw a reduction of 11% as compared to 2009. Emissions in the first half of 2016 were 67 KTonnes. The prognosis for the whole of 2016 is 135 KTonnes, constituting a reduction of 22% as compared to 2009.

Important measures taken in the past year and for the coming period include: procurement of green energy generated in the Netherlands; blending biodiesel in the Rijksrederij fleet; installing LED lighting along the main road system; generating renewable energy on the own acreage.