The Netherlands is a relatively small and densely populated country with modern and competitive economy largely based on service sector. The high population density and the significant economic activities have created large environmental pressure in the country. The quality of the environment, however, has improved over last two decades: air emissions control, connection rate to waste water treatment and municipal waste management are in the forefront in the EU.

In the 2015 Eco-Innovation Scoreboard ranking, the Netherlands is on 14th place. Traditionally, the Netherlands scores very well (ranking third) on resource efficiency outcomes, because of its very high material and water productivity. Furthermore, the scores of eco-innovation outputs and socioeconomic outcomes are above EU average. Eco-innovation inputs and activities are fairly low across the board, with very low green early-stage investments. Compared to earlier years the eco-innovation inputs have dropped, but on all other criteria the scores have remained the same or increased. One particularly positive result is the further recovery in the score on eco-innovation activities.

The main trends of recent years in the broader field of eco-innovation in the Netherlands have continued. An important progress was made in CO2 emission reduction, with the Energy Agreement, an agreement to make a serious effort in reduction of Dutch CO2 emissions by 20% compared to a business-as-usual growth scenario for energy use in 2020 – but more serious efforts are needed to meet longer-term goals. Netherlands is already the country in Europe with the lowest percentage of untreated waste and now has the ambition to attain a more circular economy, with a large policy programme, significant attention for the concept and various start-up companies trying to realise the concept in practice. The country is also mainstreaming green thinking in the financial sector.

2015 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for The Netherlands


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Eco Innovation in Practice in Netherlands

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Energy Producing Glas…

Energy Producing Glasshouses

In the Netherlands many products are grown in glasshouses (or greenhouses) so that products can be produced year round with high yields at low prices.... Read more

29 Jun 2011 Hits:7500 Netherlands

Top Institute Water: …

Top Institute Water: New approach to collaboration in the Dutch water technology sector.

Dutch water companies started cooperating by setting up a national knowledge centre on water technology (Top Institute Water, coordinated by the dedicated research institute Wetsus... Read more

29 Jun 2011 Hits:5530 Netherlands

Chain approach in the…

Chain approach in the textile industry

Over the past few years, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment has initiated a new way to apply waste policy in the Netherlands: the... Read more

29 Jun 2011 Hits:4722 Netherlands

Green Banking - The T…

Green Banking - The Triodos Bank

A green (ethical) bank is a bank concerned with the (social and) environmental impacts of its investments and loans. Ethical banks are regulated by the... Read more

29 Jun 2011 Hits:8987 Netherlands

Solar Panel Roof Leas…

Although photovoltaic power is becoming more efficient every year, market prices in the Netherlands are still too high for end-users. To stimulate the development of... Read more

23 Mar 2012 Hits:4194 Netherlands

Biomass Fermenter

The Netherlands has a significant sugar production, of which Suiker Unie is one of the largest industrial players. Suiker Unie is a part of Cosun,... Read more

23 Mar 2012 Hits:4558 Netherlands


Snappcar is a new mobility concept that wants to leverage access to new ways of mobility by introducing a rent and hire platform for private... Read more

23 Mar 2012 Hits:6085 Netherlands


Liquisort BV has introduced the new Magnetic Density Seperation technique, a new method to efficiently separate different types of scrap metals or plastics in a... Read more

23 Mar 2012 Hits:4812 Netherlands

Kyoto Cooling

With the recent surge for demand of electronic storage in 'the cloud', data centers are expanding their capacity very fast. Data storage is an energy... Read more

23 Mar 2012 Hits:5131 Netherlands

Herculight pallet

The Herculight pallet was jointly developed by Driessen-Zodiac Aerospace and Air France-KLM Cargo. Searching for a way to reduce emissions, thereby also saving costs the... Read more

23 Mar 2012 Hits:5561 Netherlands

Development of an int…

In this Green Deal  (B-87) a system is set up to reuse waste guardrail. At present the iron is recycled as material, the remaining zinc... Read more

05 Dec 2012 Hits:3254 Netherlands

City heating 2.0

In this Green Deal  (B-120) an existing communal heating system is upgraded with a bioheat unit in which (sustainable) biomass (from local sources) is used.... Read more

05 Dec 2012 Hits:3104 Netherlands