Resource transition programme

In the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, we have been working with a wide range of partners for several years already.


Within the field of circular economy, in 2012 the Amsterdam Economic Board actively took up the theme of Biobased Economy, in part via the programme (2012-2014). In addition, concrete biobased business cases were realised in the Amsterdam Area. In 2014, a Grass & Plant Green Deal was signed, coordinated by the Board, which was extended by two years at the end of 2015 and handed over to SADC as lead organisation.

In May 2015, Board Ambassador Professor Jacqueline Cramer and alderperson for the Municipality of Haarlemmermeer John Nederstigt launched the resource transition programme ‘The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area – a circular resource hub’.

The aim of the programme is to draw attention to the urgent need for change and for a systematic approach to effecting this change. The starting point for this is to launch, connect, accelerate and scale local and regional initiatives in the field of circularity, drawing on the individual dynamics of each region. Here the collaboration between government, industry and academia is crucial. In 2016 the ambassadors held discussions with the mayors, alderpersons and municipal officials of the region with the intention of putting the circular economy high on the agenda and considering concrete opportunities for cooperation. In June 2016, this resulted in a joint implementation agenda.

The Board has been working on this agenda since 2016. The focus within the resource transition programme lies on cooperation between government, industry and universities in the field of:

  • the redesign and re-use of products;
  • optimal value creation for 14 material flows;
  • circular purchasing and procurement.

Circular transition

We are living in a linear economy in which the system is based on consumption, single use, often low-grade recycling and (in the Netherlands) incineration. The transition to a different kind of economy is a slow but gradual process, with important milestones and successes on the way. On the one hand, we are dealing with the restrictions of an existing system which we are optimising, and on the other hand we are working hard on system innovation. In the transition period, these two paths exist side by side.

The approach of the Board and its partners is to concentrate efforts on optimal value creation for 14 high-impact material flows and at the same time on redesigning products and product change, and re-use, chiefly via purchasing and procurement.

The focus lies on high-impact material flows. The choice is made on the basis of the degree to which large quantities of the materials are discarded, the impact on the environment and the potential for high-grade processing in the region.

Aims for 2025

  • security of supply by reducing the import of resources by 30%;
  • redesign of at least 20 product and material chains;
  • optimisation of high-grade recycling for at least 40 high-impact material flows, with an average recycling rate of 90%;
  • creation of at least 3600 new jobs;
  • reduction of environmental impact by an average of 35%.


The approach is directed at a) the supply of material flows through close collaboration with government (interventions, general terms and conditions and scale), b) new industry through the transition of 14 material flows and c) the demand for products and services designed for circularity.

For more information, read all about our approach here. 

Would you like to participate? Contact Marjolein Brasz, Circular Economy Challenge Lead.

Go back to the Circular Economy page