Key Areas


In September 2015, the General Assembly of the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Building on the principle of ‘leaving no one behind’, the new Agenda emphasises a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all.

The Netherlands is keen to join with its international partners in forming a consensus space where triple helix actors brainstorm to create smart solutions in solving global changes together.

The Dutch National P4G platform underlines the Dutch commitment to bring together business, government, and civil society organisations in innovative public-private partnerships (PPPs) to advance solutions that help meet humanity’s greatest needs in five key areas: food and agriculture, water, energy, cities and circular economy.


food and agro


The Netherlands has the ambition to become a world leader in successful solutions for global challenges in the fields of agriculture and food, horticulture and green environment. It has formulated ambitious goals for climate neutral and circular agriculture, horticulture and food production. And for healthy and safe food.


Food and agriculture production systems worldwide are facing unprecedented challenges from an increasing demand for food for a growing population, adverse climate change effects, loss of biodiversity, and food loss and waste. Feeding the global population in a sustainable manner is one of the greatest challenges in an urbanising world.

At the same time, these societal challenges offer economic opportunities, for which the Dutch agricultural sector has important assets across the entire food chain:

  • efficient processing and logistics;

  • being the world’s 2nd largest agri-food exporter;

  • being a global leader in sustainable water supply solutions;

  • location of the world’s leading food companies;

  • helping to secure the future of food production and security worldwide;

  • empowering women in developing countries, who play a significant role in improving agriculture.

Food and agriculture

By joining forces, we can face societal challenges while strengthening the economic power of the food and agricultural sector. We do this nationally and internationally.




Netherlands International Water Ambition, stands for the coherent use of Dutch water related international policy making instruments and offers a platform for cooperation among public, private, societal and knowledge partners.

It aims to be the best protected and habitable Delta in the world with sustainable and safe North Sea, oceans and inland waters.


The global population faces significant water security threats related to: water supply, water pollution, wastewater removal, sanitation and associated ill health, and the socio-economic impacts of droughts and floods.

The Netherlands is a world leader in managing water. In the Netherlands, 21% of the population lives and 70% of the country's GDP is generated below sea-level. As well as a threat, water is also essential to life in the delta. The water sector is fundamental to Dutch culture and character. It has three primary focus areas: water technology, maritime technology and delta technology. These areas are concerned with protecting the land, generating energy, smart technologies for water recycling and sanitation, and safe and efficient ships. The following strengths characterise Dutch water expertise:


  • recognised specialists in the treatment of industrial and residential (waste)water;

  • design and construction of storm surge barriers and levees;

  • reclaiming land through high-tech dredging;

  • engineering entire coastal areas and harbours;

  • the world largest flood defence project, the Delta Works;

  • 5th worldwide for global patents in the field of water purification;

  • building with nature.

In the context of the SDG 2030 agenda, the Netherlands International Water Ambition (NIWA) aims ‘to increase water security and water safety in the world of humans, plants and animals, and to optimise the Dutch contribution to this and the Dutch earning capacity’. The NIWA contributes to achieving the SDG agenda and puts climate adaptation at the heart of its work.




Netherlands vision: transition to an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system. In 2050 The Netherlands wishes to have a complete sustainable energy system, and a CO2-emission reduction of 80 – 95% compared to the 1990 levels. It aspires to reach a 49% CO2 emission reduction in 2030 and a zero CO2 economy by 2050.



Today, the world faces an energy challenge unlike any other. The increasing demand on energy as a result of population growth and modern development is one of the factors accelerating climate change. Over the next twenty years we will consume nearly 36% more energy than we do now.

Clean energy is a global challenge that the Dutch are meeting head on, using their long experience of caring for the environment and working with nature. The Netherlands has developed a detailed policy framework to achieve their goals using the Dutch polder model of consultations. The core of this framework is the 2019 Climate Agreement, which was developed through collaborative talks at what became known as the climate tables. Over 100 stakeholders from across Dutch society contributed to developing this agreement. In 2050, the Netherlands wishes to have a complete sustainable energy system, and a CO2-emission reduction of 80 – 95% compared to the 1990 levels.

The Dutch energy sector is firmly focused on the achievement of national, European, and international climate objectives. The Dutch energy sector is known for:

  • being reliable, affordable, and offering sustainable solutions that are publicly accepted and competitive;

  • an advanced energy sector and excellent energy infrastructure;

  • a strong reputation in research (e.g. ECN);

  • great expertise in wind, biomass, solar energy etc.

  • the first “European Hydrogen Valley” in the north of the Netherlands.


Implementation of the 2019 Climate Agreement measures would result in at least 70% of electricity generation coming from renewables (mainly variable wind and solar) by 2030. 




Smart Cities plays an important part on the Dutch sustainable urban development agenda. It is about enhancing liveability, sustainability and inclusivity of cities, including climate proof  rural and urban areas.



More than one half of the world population now lives in urban areas. Experts predict the world’s urban population will double by 2050. As the global population continues to grow, more and more people are moving to cities.

In early 2017, the Netherlands adopted the NL Smart City Strategy. More than 140 representatives of Dutch cities, companies and scientists working in close cooperation contributed to the strategy.

Together, they defined five preconditions which are to be met in order for the Netherlands to improve the quality of life and maximise economic opportunities for the inhabits of the Netherlands to strengthen the international position of the Netherlands as a country:

Circular economy

  • safe, standardised digital infrastructure;

  • PPPs with room to experiment;

  • new models of governance, integral and in collaboration with citizens;

  • education and employability;

  • regional collaboration in which cities operate as a network.

Today, smart cities play an important part on the Dutch sustainable urban development agenda. It is all about enhancing liveability, sustainability and inclusivity of cities.




The Netherlands aims to be a fully functioning circular economy by 2050. The Netherlands is going for 50% re-use of resources or materials in 2030, and 100% in 2050.



As we move towards 2025 we see the potential for the circular economy to take hold. Our resource consumption dependence needs to shift from the current take-make-dispose mentality towards the more sustainable modes of production and consumption.

A truly circular economy demands a comprehensive approach to resource efficiency. It is not only about the use of raw materials, but also about renewable energy sources and a need for industrial production to become more sustainable. With the adoption of a circular economy the end-of-life concept shifts towards the use of renewable energy, like solar and wind energy. Designing products in a smarter way, and the construct of new circular business models are needed for a greater resource-efficient, equitable, sustainable and circular world.

The Netherlands cannot make the circular transition on its own. Dutch companies, knowledge institutes and NGOs work together with international and local partners to develop and adapt innovative technologies to local conditions, create sustainable new business models and identify circular opportunities. By sharing our experience, lessons learned, insights and tools on topics like circular agro-food, water and waste management, chemical recycling and innovative packaging we hope to stimulate a global circular shift.

Circular economy

For all the above challenges, we reach out to partners and seek for projects that embrace the P4G objectives. Together we can turn today’s societal and environmental challenges into tomorrow’s economic opportunities. Let’s seize this opportunity to partner up.


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