Acceleration Plan keeps ArenA on Sustainable Course
After a flying start in 2009, the ArenA’s sustainable transition risked losing momentum. It was time to renew the focus on the original objectives and to get results. To this end, the ArenA developed an Acceleration Plan.
“A transition process is never a smooth ride,” says Henk van Raan of the ArenA. “We gave ourselves five years to become the first CO2 neutral stadium in the Netherlands. Initially, these objectives drove our progress. But, at a certain point a gap appeared between what we wanted to do and what was actually achievable. Reasons include changes in laws and regulations, the interest of stakeholders and changing business models. This setback also affected the confidence of the organisation and partners. In summary, it was time to accelerate again.”
Limit External Influences
According to Van Raan, the main pitfall for an ambitious organisation is not to allow yourself to be influenced too much by other people’s ideas. “Everybody knows we are working on sustainability. As a result, we have a constant flow of ideas from people who want to help and be involved. Although this is very inspiring, contemplating each idea and testing its feasibility takes a lot of time and energy. As a result, it can get in the way of delivering real results.”
The Amsterdam ArenA is using the Acceleration Plan to focus on a number of tangible results. One aspect of the plan is to purchase Dutch wind energy until 2016. To this end, we have signed a deal with energy company Nuon to ‘adopt’ a windmill. Van Raan: “Eventually, we want to generate our own energy. But in the meantime we get our energy as sustainably as possible, from a source within the Netherlands. We have also, in cooperation with BAM and Nuon, researched the feasibility of a study done previously on installing solar panels on the stadium roof and submitted an application for a subsidy. We are working at full speed to realise a smart grid, in cooperation with the Academic Medical Centre (AMC) that will allow us to use locally generated sustainable energy.”