Consume less energy, and either purchase the energy from sustainable sources or generate it ourselves.

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To consume less energy and meet our energy needs by purchasing from sustainable sources or by generating our own energy. That is the core of a major pillar within our sustainability programme: energy.

On 27 June 2013, the energy efficient, new main building of the ArenA was put into use. Connected to district heating and cooling, the building also has a smart building management system. 80% of the lights are LEDs. In certain areas, such as the toilets, the lights are activated by motion sensors. An application has been submitted to the Amsterdam Climate & Energy Fund for financing the installation of solar panels on the stadium roof. The ArenA will also be supplied with wind energy, generated in the Netherlands. The possibility of using the smart grid to utilise locally generated energy, for instance, from the Academic Medical Centre (AMC) is being explored.

Energy Dashboard

The Amsterdam ArenA is also exploring opportunities to save energy, for example by optimising the ‘winter programme’. We are researching whether we can save electricity by switching off all fridges and freezers on the concourses of the stadium during winter closure. To gain more insight into our energy consumption, we have developed an ‘energy dashboard’. This software application enables us to measure the effect of the winter programme on our energy consumption.

Making Choices

When the ArenA first started formulating an energy policy several years ago, every idea was embraced with equal enthusiasm. Ambitions were high, and are still high. However, not every idea is realistic or achievable. To avoid lingering on good intentions, decisions have to be made. For instance, purchasing sustainable energy or generating it ourselves? In this chapter we would like to share this process with you. As well as numerous concrete results we achieved in the past year.

Sustainability Dilemma

Wind or sun, what would be wise?

The ArenA could have taken the (relatively) easy way by simply purchasing green electricity. “But our status as a sustainable icon requires us to take it one step further. We want to increase the existing capacity of sustainable energy generation,” says Frank de Leeuw of the Amsterdam ArenA.

Wind or Sun?

After establishing this objective, the next question arose: what form of sustainable energy? A preliminary investigation narrowed it down to two options: solar energy and wind energy. Utilising wind energy posed practical problems. “Installing a windmill next to the stadium that could generate enough energy, turned out to be technically unfeasible. The Noord-Holland Province also refused to issue a permit to place a large, freestanding windmill near the ArenA. This is why we decided to ‘adopt’ an existing windmill in Oudendijk, Noord-Holland. As of 1 January 2014, we will truly be ‘powered by the wind’. Via a webcam, we can show footage of the windmill during events. A great way to show visitors how we turn our ambitions into reality.”

Locally Generated

The second option, solar energy, appears promising. “In December 2013 a decision will be made on installing approximately 9,000 square meters of solar panels on the stadium roof. These should generate enough electricity for 240 households, or 10% of our own energy consumption. For the remainder of our energy needs we have reached an agreement with the energy company Nuon. Our ‘energy mix’ will consist of 90% Dutch wind energy and about 10% solar energy. It is our objective to generate an energy surplus locally. In order to reach this goal, we have started various initiatives including the exchange of locally generated energy from the nearby Academic Medical Centre.”

Duurzame en functionele LED-verlichting voor hoofdgebouw

Sustainable and Functional LED Lighting for the Main Building

The ArenA’s new main building has a state-of-the-art LED lighting installation. Lighting expert Dutch Light Pro and producer Traxon Technologies (subsidiary of OSRAM), together with installation specialist Hulskamp, were responsible for the design and technical installation. The result: a user friendly, dynamic lighting system that contributes to the building’s functionality as well as to significant energy savings.

‘Cool or Warm’

The dynamic LED lights are aesthetic as well as functional. In a given area, the same lights provide ‘cool’ light at a business meeting, or ‘warmer’ light for a festive event.

User Friendly

The new lighting can be operated both centrally and per area. This is possible using control panels, as well as by a specially developed application for iPhones and iPads.

Saving Energy

The new lighting consumes approximately one third of the energy the old installation used. The ArenA also benefits from significant savings on replacement costs: a LED light bulb has a lifespan of 50,000 hours (a conventional light bulb 20,000 hours).


At the end of their lifespan, LED lights don’t stop working suddenly but gradually produce less light. Light bulbs do not need to be replaced on demand; this can be incorporated in scheduled maintenance. This is particularly an advantage for inaccessible lighting, such as lights located in the high ceilings.

The Future

Currently, 80% of the lighting in the ArenA’s main building consists of LEDs. In the future, this percentage will be even higher. Thanks to technological advancements, lighting the football pitch with LEDs will be possible in the foreseeable future.

ArenA Business Club: a Sustainable ‘Business Card’

The Amsterdam ArenA has been renovated. The result: 3,000 square meters of additional floor space and a complete overhaul of the main building. In the process, a variety of sustainable technologies were incorporated. On 27 June 2013, Eberhard van der Laan (Mayor of Amsterdam), Edwin van der Sar (Ajax Marketing Director) and Hans Zwarts (chairman of the board of supervisors of the Amsterdam ArenA), opened the new main building, the ArenA Business Club.

Energy in Numbers


When this report was generated, two corrections were made. Firstly, the calculation of total energy consumed was corrected. This correction was needed due to a double-counting error: electricity consumption of the grass lights had already been included in the consumption numbers of the ‘Stadium’. This applies to all the previous years in the report. Secondly, the conversion factor (explanation) for the previous financial year was adjusted. This relates to the CO2 emissions of the previous years.

CO2 Emissions

Compared to 2011/2012, CO2 emissions increased in the last reported year. Emissions were lower than base year 2009/2010, however, even though energy consumption has increased. This decrease in emission in comparison with base year 2009/2010 was achieved by purchasing 6% green power, as well as using sustainable central district heating and cooling from Green Deal partner Nuon. CO2 emissions are expected to drop significantly during the coming years, as a result of purchasing Dutch wind energy and the installation of solar panels on the stadium roof.

Energy Consumption

In the past reporting year, energy consumption increased when compared to 2011/2012, as well as compared to the base year. The main reasons are the extremely cold winter and the renovation of the main building. During which, temporary installations and housing for the contractors were used.

Energy consumption in the ArenA is expected to increase further in the future. Reasons for this increase include the installation of new antennas for a 4G network for mobile telecommunications and Internet.

On the other hand, application of integrated energy management will improve insight in energy consumption. Installation of the automated building management system is almost complete. This will ensure further increases in energy consumption are manageable.

Total Natural Gas Consumption

In 2013, the Amsterdam ArenA switched to continuous supply of Nuon district heating. This means that most of the stadium is heated with district heating, which is considerably more sustainable than natural gas. Logically, natural gas consumption decreased significantly. Only the main stand is still heated by gas emitters, using natural gas.

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