Students advise Schiphol on sustainable passenger experience: : “Take a ride on the green side!”

Sustainability is a hot topic in every aspect of our lives, from food to energy, and from transport to the materials we use. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol also wants to handle raw materials and other source materials responsibly, and has the ambition of being an emission-free and waste-free airport by 2030.

Promote sustainable behaviour

In addition to being sustainable, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol aims to promote a sustainable civil aviation sector and environmentally conscious behaviour among passengers. An example is to promote the use of public transport and electric vehicles. When you want to influence passenger behaviour, it is important to know how travellers get from their homes to their seats on board the aircraft. This route is also called the passenger journey.

Maryan Brouwer is head of the Passenger Experience Platform at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and is responsible for investigating this passenger journey: “Once you have mapped the journey, it becomes easier to figure out what travellers do and how they think. How they view issues such as sustainability, for example.”

Thinking outside the box

Improving the passenger journey means breaking existing patterns. Maryan continues: “To fill in the blanks, we have developed our own methodology, the PX Way of Working. Still, a new set of eyes every now and then can’t hurt, which is why we have enlisted the help of Made by 020 in cooperation with Aviation Community Schiphol.” Made by 020 is a talent development programme commissioned by the City of Amsterdam that brings together vocational students from various degree programmes, study years and levels, and with wide-ranging ambitions and talents.

These students conducted research into sustainable solutions for various locations in the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol terminals and visited the airport twice to pitch their ideas to airport experts.

innovatie lab madyby020 zaal

“Take a ride on the green side”

One of the student concepts was “Take a ride on the green side”, in which a green and hip electric vehicle drops passengers off at the gate while promoting the theme of sustainability. The students believed that visits to airport toilets were also good opportunities to promote sustainability, and they came up with the concept of a sustainability quiz. Then there’s the Bottle Eater, a fun little machine that shreds plastic bottles into small recyclable pieces of plastic. According to students this was the perfect solution for promoting sustainable behaviour.

On Wednesday, 18 December 2019, at the Co-Lab in Amsterdam, students presented their advice for a sustainable passenger experience at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The presentation was attended by 150 people, including Alderperson Simone Kukenheim of the City of Amsterdam.

The advice given by the students will be part of a new plan to be drawn up by the Passenger Experience Platform in the coming period. This plan will include testing the suggestions provided by the students on actual passengers, as well as further studies into the feasibility and scalability for the airport as a whole. In the event that the results are positive, the airport will put the plans into action. So keep an eye out next time you visit Schiphol!