After months of preparation, on 9 November it was finally time to present the Zuidas Sustainability Award to six inspiring, sustainable projects. First up was RAI Amsterdam, whose project (‘Hartverwarmend Amsterdam’) garnered the most votes from the general public. Then it was time for the panel of expert judges to announce the winners in each category. Those winners are: Jan van Schaik and Arend Niebuur (‘De Speelwildernis’), the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (‘Vegan Kantine’), Vebego (‘Zuidas een plek voor iedereen’), !Woon (‘Energiecoach’), Vermaat Groep BV (‘In 100 days to zero food waste’) and VU Amsterdam (‘Travel Grant’).

Zuidas: a place for everyone – Society and Economy award Roy Ploum of Vebego: “This is a huge compliment for Vebego but also an unmistakable call to action for Zuidas as a whole to transform into an inclusive working environment. Can we count you in?” 

Energy coach – Real Estate & Energy award Susan Meijerink of !Woon: “It’s lovely to receive this recognition for our hard work. A huge thank-you particularly to our volunteers who are informing Zuidas residents about energy-saving measures.”

Travel Grant – Mobility & Logistics award Insa Duvos of VU Amsterdam: “The VU Green Travel Grant encourages and enables students to opt for the sustainable (and, sadly, often more expensive) alternative, and to travel to partner universities by rail. It’s wonderful to see just how many of our students are taking advantage of this and even going as far as Lisbon and Oslo by train. We are immensely proud that this project received the Zuidas Sustainability Award for Mobility & Logistics, and we hope more universities will start offering grants like this to support their students as well.” 

Vegan canteen – Climate/General award Joseefke Brabander of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie: ‘’The Vegan Canteen team is very honored to win one of the Zuidas sustainability awards. We’re even more enthusiastic to continue our work within this concept and add new recipes to the menu.’’ 

Zero food waste in 100 days – Circularity & Waste award Pauline Rosenberg of Vermaat Groep BV: “Combating food waste is a shared objective and mustn’t be leveraged as a competitive advantage. It’s by working together with the whole chain, and even cooperating towards the same goal of 0% food waste with direct competitors, that you can genuinely make an impact.” 

The play wilderness – Water & Green / Public Space award Jan van Schaik: “I’m delighted with this recognition and acclaim for our project. But, above all, it’s great for the kids at the Children’s Campus, who contributed so much to its creation. They are proud co-recipients of this award. The hares, butterflies and bees living in the garden have no notion of winning, but they are delighted, too!”

Heart-warming Amsterdam – Public Choice Award Rientz Mulder of RAI Amsterdam: “We are incredibly proud to have won the public choice award. We see this as a validation of the ‘heart-warming Amsterdam’ programme to which our catering team have dedicated themselves for quite some years, and in which we’re making great strides towards a local and sustainable food and beverage range. Thanks to everyone for their support!”