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Green Deal Approach in the Netherlands

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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The Netherlands has opted for green growth: economic growth that takes into account environment and sustainable development. Through its Green Deal approach, the Dutch Government has created space for innovative initiatives from society aimed at accelerating the transition to a sustainable economy.

In implementing sustainable initiatives, businesses, NGOs and citizens’ groups sometimes face obstacles. The aim of the Green Deal approach is to remove those barriers. The role of government can vary according to the initiative: from removing obstacles in legislation and regulations and providing access to networks, through to supporting access to the capital market. The Green Deal approach is a joint initiative by the Dutch Ministries of Economic Affairs (EZ), Infrastructure and the Environment (I&M), and the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK).

Central government facilitates innovative initiatives from society. The main objective of the Green Deal approach is that stakeholders put as many opportunities leading to a green economy as possible into practice, in the form of activities that both contribute to economic growth and improve the environment. On average, Green Deals run for a period of two to three years. The central themes of the Green Deals are energy, food, water, resources, biodiversity, mobility, bio-based economy, climate and construction. Ideally, these Green Deals will also inspire others and open up opportunities for future sustainable initiatives. In this way, the deals bring about follow-up and more impact.

The Green Deal approach is one element in a standard range of policy instruments. It is used to supplement existing instruments, such as legislation and regulation, market and financial incentives, and measures to stimulate innovation. The Green Deal approach is particularly suitable when innovations are actually put into practice, a phase during which projects often encounter barriers. Green Deals bring Central Government closer to companies, stakeholder organisations and interest groups. They give government a more readily identifiable presence and the other players a clear point of contact.

A Green Deal is an agreement between a (coalition of) enterprises, civil society organisations or public administrations. It defines the innovative initiative and the actions involved as concretely as possible (if possible in quantitative aims or output) and it defines the input by the public administrations as concretely as possible. Green Deals have an average timeframe of three years. In the period between 2011 and 2014, 176 Green Deals were closed in the Netherlands, involving a total of 1,090 participants.

A number of unique selling points (i.e. innovative features) distinguish the Green Deal approach from comparable approaches in the Netherlands. These are for instance: a broad programmatic framework, interdepartmental cooperation by the participating ministries and all players, including the government, carry out activities in the Green Deal. To date, the results achieved with Green Deals include: realisation of 15,000 electric vehicle charging stations; making 8,100 homes energy-efficient; more than 2000 hectares of temporary nature in almost thirty areas; and construction of seven LNG stations and two LNG bunker stations. Furthermore a number of legislative barriers has been removed, thereby improving the conditions for green growth.

The Green Deal approach is applicable to other policy areas. Investigations are currently under way in the Netherlands to see whether the approach could also be transferred to the ‘care and cure’ domain to help health innovations reach the market.

Award info
Award category: the public sector as partner for a better society - european, national and regional level
Award type: diploma
Award year: 2015
Project type
Sector: cross-sectoral
Type of activity:
Keywords: Green growth, innovation, better regulation, networking
Short English description: The Green Deal approach is one element in a standard range of policy instruments. It is used to supplement existing instruments, such as legislation and regulation, market and financial incentives, and measures to stimulate innovation.
Further information
Organisation: Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands
Other applicants:
Homepage: http://www.greendeals.nl/
Level of government: national level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved: >15
Country: Netherlands
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:


Green Deal Approach in the Netherlands (52.0839693, 4.327497200000039)
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