The consortium Industrial Area Energy Positive (Dutch: Bedrijventerreinen Energiepositief, or BE+) has as its mission the conversion of 250 industrial areas into locations that are ‘energy positive and CO2 neutral.’ The idea is to make these areas so sustainable that they have a positive influence on resident companies’ bottom line. BE+ uses its expertise and access to financing to help companies do take the proper steps towards sustainability - everything from building commitment to concrete energy investments. BE+ provides a necessary platform for sharing knowledge and accelerating the processes in making the Netherlands more sustainable.
It is widely accepted that sustainability requires serious and substantial intervention. The climate is changing, meaning a rising sea level and resources that were once thought unlimited - such as fossil-fuel produced energy, which accounts for 98% of the world’s current consumption of energy - are now showing signs of scarcity. The areas of most significant change are in the business world, where barely 5% of small- and medium-sized businesses currently invest in sustainable energy sources.
BE+ is poised to make a big impact on this dire situation through a nationwide approach. According to the independent research organization TNO, the efforts of BE+ can achieve up to 33% of the energy savings as outlined in the ‘Energieakkoord,’ the sustainable energy and climate change policy agreed to with the Dutch government together with some 40 companies. The approach of BE+ was to begin at the end of 2016 with 10 industrial areas, and to add an additional 5 areas every month to the project, culminating in 2021.
Oost NL took the initiative midway through 2016, together with TNO and the sustainability consultancy organizations KortmanDGO and WM3 Energy, to start the 250 BE+ project. The project has gained full support from industrial area management organizations, business community alliances, the Industrial Area Knowledge Alliance Foundation (Dutch abbreviation: SKBN) as well as all levels of government: city, province and national.