Circular economy projects - The most sustainable airports

Our ambition is to be the world's most sustainable airport. This is why we have embraced circular thinking. You can already see great examples of this circular economy at Schiphol in which pioneering, innovating and doing business lead to win-win situations.

Taking a circular thinking approach enables us to integrate our green values with business insights even more effectively. This is a fantastic opportunity for Schiphol, in cooperation with numerous partners, to grow sustainably at and around the airport.

EEN DUURZAME TOEKOMST 5 circulaire economie fosfaat uit afvalwater

Breaking the linear chains

Our goal is to be a zero waste airport in the future. There are two weak areas in today's processes and business models: raw materials are not available in infinite quantities, and we cannot sustain our planet if we continue to constantly discard waste. These chains must be broken.

From linear to circular business model

Will this happen automatically? No! However, we are confident that we can replace the traditional business model with circular business models. The required pioneering spirit has been part of our DNA for 100 years. The necessary smart and economical thinking is right up our alley, too. As far as entering into the obligatory partnerships; well, it is no coincidence that ‘Connecting’ is the essence of our mission.

Thinking outside the box

Entering into new partnerships within and outside of the existing chains is an exciting adventure. It takes time, and it calls for perseverance. Even so, we are moving forward in the right direction together with our partners. Plus, we have already achieved splendid results. This is clear from the examples below.

Circular lighting in Departure Lounge 2

Although it may not even be noticeable when you walk through Departure Lounge 2 at Schiphol, the lighting is a masterly example of circular economy. Philips, Cofely and Schiphol have joined forces, inspired by a shared vision and ambition.

The fittings in this departure lounge were adapted to enable separate components to be replaced, effectively extending the life cycle of the lighting by an impressive 75%.

From flax to sustainably-sourced paint

Today, we use sustainably-sourced paint for a large share of the painting projects. This paint is made from bird-repellent flax growing on a previously fallow plot of land near Schiphol.

The Flax to Sustainably-Sourced Paint initiative is a great example of an innovative application of crops in cooperation with local parties.

Circular, bio-based seating comfort

Whilst you do not deliberately sit on it differently, it was deliberately made differently. Schiphol features outdoor furniture made from bird-repellent flax and elephant grass. These pieces of bio-based designer furniture are not only multi-functional, they are also responsibly manufactured.

We are currently testing bio-concrete as outdoor furniture at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and elsewhere in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer.

Circular-designed blue baggage conveyors

Each year, we transport over 50 million pieces of baggage using a transport system covering more than 30 kilometres. As of 2010, there are 110 metres of circular-designed blue baggage conveyor belts at Schiphol.

Vanderlande designed a cradle-to-cradle baggage conveyor belt that also uses 60% less energy. Schiphol provided the testing environment.

Fertile waste water

One person's trash is another person's treasure – or in this case raw material. In this pilot we are developing fertiliser pellets using a phosphate mineral derived from waste water from aircraft.

We want to use this pilot to reduce the environmental impact of waste water. The pellets help the grass stay healthy, which means weeds are kept under control.