NLR’s goal for 2030

NLR believes it is important to accelerate the transition toward a sustainable future and reduce our CO2 footprint – for our staff, customers and stakeholders, and for society as a whole. One of NLR’s strategic goals is to be climate-neutral in terms of direct emissions by 2030. We will achieve this by further integrating sustainability into our business activities. We are currently working on identifying and developing feasible ways of reducing the emissions from our buildings, facilities, aircraft, drones and transport to zero by 2030. You can find details about all that on this page.

Electricity

Since 1 January 2019, NLR has been using power generated as European wind energy. This electricity is generated sustainably and is CO2-neutral. Electricity consumption in 2021 increased slightly due to an increase in wind tunnel testing and the use of heat pumps for heating.

In July 2019, NLR signed a development agreement with HVC to realise approximately 30 ha of solar panelling at the Marknesse location. NLR employees were given the opportunity to participate financially. The environmental permit and SDE+ subsidy for the solar farm were granted. HVC is currently working on the technical design and selecting contractors. In addition, we will work with the grid operator to see what the best way is to connect the solar farm to the electricity grid.

Accommodation

NLR is investing heavily in bringing its accommodation up to date. Twenty old buildings have been demolished since 2017. A great deal of attention has been paid during the renovation and new construction to insulation and energy consumption. On top of standard measures such as LED lighting, motion detectors and H++ glazing, systems such as thermal storage have also been added, partly to reduce natural gas consumption.

Infographic: Overview of NLR’s sustainability goals. CO2 reductions are largely achieved by making electricity consumption more sustainable using European wind certificates, as well as by the more sustainable buildings and installed systems in new construction, renovations and demolition of old buildings.

Transport

The Royal NLR vehicle fleet (Amsterdam and Marknesse sites) will be replaced as far as possible by electric or hybrid vehicles in the coming years. Four electric cars were added in 2019, making 33% of the fleet electric. The number of recharging points for official cars, visitors and employees has also been increased to 30 in recent years.

For business flights, NLR is taking part in the KLM Corporate Sustainable Aviation Fuel Programme, in which some of the net CO2 emissions of business flights are reduced by using sustainably produced aviation fuel. Since 2019, NLR has had an electric research aircraft, a Pipistrel Velis Electro. Since 2021, NLR has been offsetting the CO2 emissions from research flights using the Cessna Citation.

For shorter distances within and around the sites, NLR provides bicycles (some of them e-bikes). Charging stations were also provided in 2019 for employees who commute by electric bicycle or moped. To minimise travel, the video conferencing facilities have been substantially expanded. Flexible working hours have also been instituted to minimise travelling time and the associated fuel consumption as employees commute. Other measures for CO2 reduction from transport include providing NS business cards and participating in a bicycle scheme. The impact of the coronavirus measures in 2020 and 2021 can clearly be seen in these figures. People are less likely to risk taking public transport. Compared to 2021, the percentage of kilometres travelled by public transport has remained about the same. It is expected to rise again in the coming years.