Natural resources

Partners and visitors join us in our quest for less waste and more recycling.

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Emerging trend: waste is a new natural resource, provided it is properly separated and processed. In 2014, we introduced a focused plan of approach to rally our partners and visitors behind a common quest: less waste, more recycling.

Under the roof of the ArenA, various parties pursue different interests. Together, we are responsible for properly processing our waste products. The ArenA has made better recycling a priority with a well-managed waste chain – competitive purchase requirements, a well-equipped waste station, appropriately colour-coded and labelled waste containers and clear agreements on processing.

The participation of our tenants and our visitors is essential for successful waste-stream separation. We work together to reach agreements with our tenants, and through clear communication we encourage our visitors to contribute to our ambitions. Partly because we imposed stricter requirements on our suppliers and tenants, we’ve managed to reduce the volume of waste by nearly 150,000 kilograms last year.

Full of energy:

From aim to gain: waste separation

Tackle the waste problem and then sort the different types of waste for recycling – that was the aim behind Amsterdam ArenA’s approach last year to address its waste chain. It entailed stringent purchasing requirements, conveying clear messages to visitors and staff alike, and reaching proper agreements on recycling. Chantal Nienhuis of the Amsterdam ArenA explains the enhanced waste disposal plan.

Commendable ambition and a new plan of approach

The whole process, from creating awareness up to final implementation of concrete measures is time-consuming. Creating backing is essential, as the support and willingness of people in the organization to contribute to the goal are the cornerstones for success in the waste sorting project. ‘Last year we developed a plan to meet this objective,’ Nienhuis recounts. ‘Then we set out to model the logistics process, from defining the needed means and facilities – like putting in new litter bins in the main building – to the amount of litter and sorting products.’

Coca-Cola pleased with PET cups test results

Coca-Cola pleased with PET cups test results

This year, Amsterdam ArenA event visitors will drink only from PET bottles and PET cups. ‘This is a great initiative,’ said Ron Stoele, Senior Event Manager at Coca-Cola. ‘We pursue the same ideal of a sustainable world, so the Amsterdam ArenA ambitions tie in perfectly with our own.’

In 2014, visitors to the Sensation dance festival were introduced to the Coca-Cola Cup Recycle Plan. This is a joint initiative of Coca-Cola, ID&T, the catering companies and the Amsterdam ArenA. Visitors received free drinks in exchange for ten empty cups or bottles. Whereas the five caterers each used to work with their own disposable cups, for the Sensation event they switched to disposable cups of the same fully recyclable plastic known as PET.

Boosting the activation

Stoele is pleased with the initiative. ‘The advantage of PET is that it can be ground to granules that can in turn be processed into new products. Using PET exclusively allows us to create a monostream of cups and bottles, instead of having to separate the streams.’ Besides supplying the right cups, Coca-Cola has created an effective communication buzz around the project. ‘We encourage visitors to join in, but changing behaviour takes time, as last year’s results pointed out. Far fewer cups were returned than we expected. This is a learning process for us all. This year, we plan to fine-tune the communication to increase visitors’ commitment to recycling.’

Sustainability first

Coca-Cola likes partnering with the ArenA on this, partly because sustainability is an important priority for Coca-Cola as well. ‘We’ve adopted the goal of reducing absolute CO2 emissions for every drink we put on the market by one third in 2020,’ says Stoele. ‘We intend to achieve this by reducing CO2 emissions in our entire chain, for instance by creating lighter packages, using more recycled materials and by developing new resources for packaging, such as PLANTPET, polyethylene terephthalate resin made from plant-based materials. So, as you’ll see, the PET cups test was in perfect keeping with this goal.’

ArenA is a pioneer

PET cups are just a little more expensive than their PLA predecessors were, so the test did require an investment for both Coca-Cola and the caterers. However, prioritising sustainability does require investment at times. ‘I expect more and more locations will demand PET cups. The ArenA is a true pioneer.’

Natural resources in numbers

Total waste (kg)

Waste per visitor (kg)

Waste separation (%)

Total water consumption (m3)

Revaluation of recent data has caused a shift. The data presented here form the basis for future years.
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