The Dutch government supports sustainable economic growth, or ‘green growth’, by stimulating sustainable innovation. This has a positive economic impact (growth and jobs) and avoids harm being done to the climate, water, soil, raw materials and biodiversity. Companies, community organizations and other government bodies that want to take steps towards sustainability sometimes encounter barriers. Central Government can help them overcome such barriers by closing a Green Deal with other parties. In this way, the Green Deal approach aids the implementation of sustainable initiatives.

The Green Deal approach in the Netherlands is an accessible way for companies, other stakeholder organizations, local and regional government and interest groups to work with Central Government on green growth and social issues. The aim is to remove barriers to help sustainable initiatives get off the ground and to accelerate this process where possible. The Green Deal approach forms part of the green growth policy and is a joint initiative by the Dutch Ministries of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK), Infrastructure and the Watermanagement (I&W) and the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK).

The Green Deal approach is one element in a standard range of policy instruments. It is used to supplement existing instruments, such as legislation and regulation, market and financial incentives, and measures to stimulate innovation. The Green Deal approach is particularly suitable when innovations are actually put into practice, a phase during which projects often encounter barriers. Green Deals bring Central Government closer to companies, stakeholder organizations and interest groups. They give government a more readily identifiable presence and the other players a clear point of contact.

A Green Deal is a mutual agreement or covenant under private law between a coalition of companies, civil society organizations and local and regional government. The deal defines the innovative initiative and the actions involved as clearly as possible (in quantitative aims or output, if possible) and it defines the input by the participants involved as clearly as possible. In the period between 2011 and 2014, 176 Green Deals were closed in the Netherlands, involving a total of 1,090 participants. Green Deals cover nine themes: energy, the bio-based economy, mobility, water, food, biodiversity, resources, construction and the climate.

View the Green Deal animation to learn more about the Dutch Green Deal approach. Push below on the button to start the animation: “The Dutch government wants to create a more country. That’s why the Netherlands has opted for green growth. To preserve wealth for future generations, we have to seize new busines opportunities, and also take into account the growing need for sustainability. …….”