Amsterdam's pioneering journey to become 100% circular by 2050

September 27, 2018

In 2015, the City of Amsterdam embarked on their journey to become fully circular by 2050. Three years and over 70 circular projects later, the City shares its experiences with the world inviting other cities to share, learn and join Amsterdam on their circular journey. Fully Circular by 2050 - Learnings shared by a global frontrunnerOn September 25 2018, the City of Amsterdam and Circle Economy have launched the Circular Journey of Amsterdam, an interactive storyline that brings together interviews from key stakeholders throughout the city; from the deputy mayor, and local SMEs, to corporates and research institutions. Throughout their journey, Amsterdam has embraced a learning by doing approach. Based on this open and collaborative ethos, insights, projects and partnerships have resulted in experiences and learnings of the past years. This launch marks the first in a three-part series in which Amsterdam and Circle Economy share the key building block to becoming a fully circular city. Recognising the potential of the circular economy to help create a livable, resilient and competitive city of the future, the City of Amsterdam has committed to becoming fully circular by 2050. But ambition and action are two very different things. Thus, the city became the first in the world to develop a vision accompanied by a roadmap and action agenda to realise their ambitions. Now, three years later, Amsterdam has implemented over 70 circular projects throughout the city. These projects are evaluated across 7 policy instruments and 5 sectors.

“The City of Amsterdam is engaging with the circular economy because it is the only way to have an economy in our future. The circular future of Amsterdam is a city without waste. It’s a city with a very small footprint. And it’s a city where we understand that we need fewer resources and more welfare for everyone.- Marieke van Doorninck Deputy Mayor Sustainability of Amsterdam

A fact-based approach towards a circular city in 4 stepsAs a pioneering city, the experiences and insights that Amsterdam has gained throughout their journey to become fully circular can serve as both inspiration and guidance to other cities looking to kick-start their transition towards a circular economy.

Over the past three years, the City of Amsterdam has firmly established itself as a global frontrunner. Sharing the experiences of the City’s circular journey can play a vital role in catalysing the transition towards a human-centred and resilient circular future.” - Annerieke Douma, Director Programmes at Circle Economy

The Circular Journey of Amsterdam showcases four key steps that have helped kickstart Amsterdam's transition:

  1. Setting ambitious goals and targets has put the concept at the forefront of the municipal agenda which has helped to generate commitment from both private and public stakeholders.
  2. To translate these ambitions into tangible results, a fact-based approach has provided a compass to identify starting points with the greatest transformative potential.
  3. Amsterdam’s dedication towards encouraging experimentation and implementation has resulted in the completion of over 70 circular projects.
  4. To continue the momentum into the future, keep on learning by doing. it is critical to measure progress and impact to break down the barriers towards creating a fully circular city.

[cta link=""]Circular Journey of Amsterdam[/cta]

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The Circular Journey of Amsterdam - A trilogy

The launch of the Circular Journey of Amsterdam marks the first release of a three-part series that aims to break down three of the key questions that cities face when transitioning towards a circular economy. Each entry in the ‘Circular Journey of Amsterdam’ series will launch partner Circle Economy’s latest report and insights from the City of Amsterdam and will tackle three key questions;

  1. How to kick-start a city's circular journey? Available now
  2. Which policy instruments can effectively engage businesses? Launched 10th October
  3. What will a circular economy mean for jobs and skills? Stay tuned

Interested in Amsterdam's full circular journey?

[cta link=""]Explore[/cta]

[hr]About Circle Economy’s Cities ProgrammeAt Circle Economy’s Circle Cities Programme, we believe in prosperity for all within our planetary boundaries. Our mission is to future-proof cities by creating a livable environment with economic, ecological and social prosperity for its citizens through practical and scalable implementation of the circular economy. We do this by connecting and empowering a global community of cities with insights, measurement tools and services to catalyse the systemic transformation of our linear economy into a circular economy.For more information please contact

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