Those who inspire give energy to others. Leading the way in an area-based approach.

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Amsterdam ArenA is located in the heart of a vibrant area, where the ArenA is certainly not the only organization to foster sustainability ambitions. By taking the lead and pooling forces, for instance in the field of mobility, the ArenA contributes to the sustainability and quality of life of the Southeast District of Amsterdam (Zuidoost).

With several event venues, the ArenAPoort area attracts tens of thousands of visitors every week. Proper coordination is essential to guide all of these people into and out of the area in a safe and sustainable manner. The ArenA takes a vital role in this process, leading coordination and communication. The Mobility Portal, for example, supports visitors by encouraging them to use sustainable transport to and from the area.

Also in the field of energy, the ArenA pursues collaboration with local partners. A survey was conducted into the possibilities of setting up a local energy network in conjunction with the nearby AMC (Academic Medical Centre), and during the Captains’ Dinner, with large companies from the Southeast District, we explicitly placed sustainability on the agenda.

Full of energy:

Front-runner in an ambitious city

The cosmopolitan city of Amsterdam has ambitious plans in the field of sustainability, pursuing such goals as significant reduction of CO2 emissions and improved air quality. Sustainability measures put into operation by such a large player as the Amsterdam ArenA contribute significantly to the city achieving its climate objectives, especially in the Southeast District, as the sphere of influence of the stadium covers far more than the building itself.

Abdeluheb Choho, Alderman responsible for sustainability, illustrates the importance of the ambitions of the ArenA in enhancing the sustainability of the city.

How Amsterdam ArenA contributes to the sustainability ambitions of Amsterdam

What the ArenA does to enhance the sustainability in the Southeast District (Zuidoost)

How the Municipality of Amsterdam plans to strengthen the collaboration with the ArenA 

How the Municipality of Amsterdam contributes to the ArenA’s ambitions

How Amsterdam ArenA contributes to the sustainability ambitions of Amsterdam

What the ArenA does to enhance the sustainability in the Southeast District (Zuidoost)

How the Municipality of Amsterdam plans to strengthen the collaboration with the ArenA

How the Municipality of Amsterdam contributes to the ArenA’s ambitions

Tailored communications from the Mobility Room

Tailored communications from the Mobility Room

On Friday evening, 30 May 2014, Marco Borsato performed at the Ziggo Dome while the Toppers played the ArenA, the Pathé Cinema was sold out and the streets were buzzing with late-night shoppers. Some 90,000 visitors thronged the ArenAPoort area. Facilities like the ArenA’s Mobility Portal and Mobility Room ensured that everyone there could be guided properly and safely to and from the various events.

Situations like this are not unique, when several events taking place at the same time result in complex mobility issues. What is unique is the Mobility Room that was set up on that particular Friday night in the ArenA. ‘It was an innovative experiment, providing visitors to the area with optimal information on the current traffic situation,’ recalls Marco Gerrese of the Amsterdam ArenA.

One clear message

Information on traffic around event venues often confuses visitors because each venue dispatches its own bits of information. This causes unnecessary congestion and delay, says Gerrese. ‘It’s far more efficient to dispatch clear, unambiguous, personal information from one venue. Hence our Mobility Room experiment.’

Personal advice through various channels

That night in the Mobility Room, Gerrese and his peers from Ziggo Dome, Heineken Music Hall, ArenAPoort, Rocket, Mojo, Transelect, ID&T and the Municipal Department of Infrastructure, Traffic and Transport (Dutch acronym: DIVV) monitored various online media. ‘Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp – we used as many channels as we could to give people up-to-the-minute info. For instance, we created an app group to inform visitors about a tailback on the A2 motorway and suggested an alternate route. All this was on a rather small scale, of course, but still, it was an important step towards Mobility Portal 3.0.’

Mobility Portal 3.0

Input from the Mobility Room pilot will be used as a basis for the new Mobility Portal 3.0. ‘Our objective is to create a single platform that provides access to 100% of the available travel information on events in the area, ranging from train times and guided bus tours to reserving parking spaces and current traffic news. The goal is to proactively guide at least 60% of the visitors. If we can manage to reduce peaks in road traffic like this, we can reduce the number of tailbacks by about 10%. We plan to encourage visitors to take alternative modes of transport.’

Joint approach

Partnering all of the other organizations in the area is very important, emphasises Gerrese. ‘At Q-Park on the east side of the ArenA, for instance, visitors can reserve a parking space in advance. So we can encourage them to take low-traffic routes to the stadium, to relieve other roads in the area. We can also avoid peak flows before and after events by extending the opening hours of hotels, restaurants and cafés in the area and by organizing side events. These are small examples of how we’re pooling our resources to manage the influx of visitors.’

Local energy: renewable and flexible

Local energy: renewable and flexible

A Champions League match in a packed ArenA is a very special event. But in winter especially, such an event causes a dramatic peak in power consumption. Locally generated electricity distributed on sub networks can help prevent peak periods of demand on the national grid. Swapping electricity with the nearby AMC seems a sustainable solution. Ecofys Consultancy studied the options.

The AMC (Academic Medical Centre) has its own power plant that operates around the clock and has spare capacity available. ‘That means renewable potential remains unused,’ says Frank de Leeuw of the Amsterdam ArenA. ‘A local energy network, or a so-called smart grid, would enable parties in the Southeast District to use one another’s facilities. This would help relieve the national grid of a lot of stress and at the same time avoid transport loss.’

Energy and heat

Together with the Municipality of Amsterdam and the AMC, Ecofys Consultancy ran a feasibility study on the application of a smart grid. De Leeuw says, ‘The findings showed a small positive effect, provided that the heat released by the AMC’s power generators is used to proper advantage, for example, to benefit the Nuon heating network in the district.’

Predictable peak

Peaks in electricity demand are fairly well predictable in the case of the ArenA. De Leeuw explains, ‘We know what we use on a football night in winter, or during a dance festival like Sensation. So it’s easy to plan the proper distribution of available electricity. Besides, peak energy demands in the AMC occur during the day mostly, whereas peak times for the ArenA occur in the evening. Our power needs don’t coincide, so there is no need for an excessively high peak capacity.’

Local, flexible and tailor-made

The Ecofys study reveals that a smart grid in the ArenA area is an excellent option to protect the national grid from peak loads. Whether the local exchange between the AMC and the ArenA will actually be implemented still depends on a number of practical issues, including the commitment of the parties involved, setoff, monitoring and the electricity rate to be agreed upon. De Leeuw concludes, ‘But as far as the ArenA is concerned, it’s is an ideal solution to absorb peaks in electricity demand sustainably.’

Working together to enhance the sustainability of the Southeast District

Working together to enhance the sustainability of the Southeast District

The current Amsterdam ArenA sustainability programme ends in 2015. However, the ArenA will definitely continue its efforts in the field of sustainability. Henk van Raan of the Amsterdam ArenA says, ‘The period leading up to 2020 is an excellent time to press on, boost our momentum and work together with our main neighbours to achieve climate neutrality in the Southeast District. That’s our new ambition.’

During the Captains’ Dinner of 2014, Van Raan presented a plan that enjoys the support of all of the ArenA’s neighbours, including the AMC, ING, KPN, ROC, Rochdale housing association and the Southeast Urban District. Van Raan adds, ‘The basis for this plan and the target date for completion were established back in 2013. Together with a large number of parties, we have identified and listed the steps we can jointly take to enhance sustainability.’

Collaboration yields best results

One of the first steps concerns the study that the Amsterdam ArenA conducted in conjunction with the AMC into the exchange of electricity in a local energy network. Van Raan explains, ‘With the Southeast Urban District, we are addressing how to tackle sustainable waste management jointly. Collaborating on sustainability yields far better results than when each of us takes an individual approach. In 2014 we reaped the first results of the seeds sown in 2013, in the form of a widely supported plan. Soon, we’ll achieve our new ambition, full of energy. June 2015 sees the kick-off.’

Verantwoord ondernemen buiten het stadion

Corporate responsibility outside the stadium

To the ArenA, sustainability also means being a good neighbour and making a positive contribution to the community. This is why the ArenA supports various activities outside the stadium walls.

Besides Profit and Planet, the third P, of People, is a top priority for the ArenA. During the business year 2013/2014, this vision prompted the ArenA to support organizations including:

  • Stichting Bio Kinderrevalidatie (Bio Foundation for Children’s Rehabilitation);
  • Fonds Gehandicaptensport (Disability Sports Fund);
  • Johan Cruyff Foundation;
  • Emma Kinderziekenhuis (Emma Children’s Hospital);
  • Ronald McDonald Kinderfonds (Ronald McDonald Children’s Fund).

Amsterdam ArenA and AFC Ajax

Amsterdam ArenA is home to AFC Ajax, our main stakeholder and we routinely collaborate in the fields of corporate social responsibility and sustainability. That’s why the Ajax Foundation can count on the ArenA’s loyal support.

Ajax Foundation

The Ajax Foundation realises social projects in the fields of sports and health, social integration, and education.

Ajax StreetWise

One of these projects is Ajax StreetWise: an education kit to introduce primary school children in Amsterdam and surroundings to Ajax and football in a socially responsible manner. The project motto is ‘Learning together, playing football together’. In addition to lessons, Ajax players ran football clinics in the past year in Hilversum, Amersfoort, Leiden and Zaandam. Ajax StreetWise was developed in cooperation with sponsor AEGON.

Visit to VUmc Children’s City

Early in December 2013, the players and the technical staff of Ajax paid their annual visit to VUmc Children’s City. This recurrent event was set up as part of the partnership Ajax established with the Amsterdam-based hospital in 1998. The Ajax players brought gifts, took plenty of time to have their pictures taken with the young patients and joined them in a little game of football – where possible – in the Ajax Players’ Home. Besides that, the children treated in the VUmc are invited along to Ajax matches and training sessions.

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