With catering attributable for a sizeable share of the average Zuidas office’s CO2 emissions, 2023 has been declared the year of plant-based food. And summer is back in full force, which means puzzling over the ideal workplace climate. But do we really need to crank the air con up so high? From taking stock to rolling out, Green Business Club Zuidas is tackling both of these issues and urging companies in Zuidas to get on board!

Zuidas goes plant-based
In the average office in Zuidas, some 30% of CO2 emissions are attributable to catering. The protein transition – from eating animal to plant-based protein – could achieve a massive reduction. Hence, 2023 has been declared the year of plant-based food.

Young GBC Zuidas calls for accelerated action
After Young GBC Zuidas called on companies to step up the protein transition at last year’s CEO Breakfast, Green Business Club Zuidas went to work taking stock of the current situation with members and catering services. They found that many companies are taking steps already, such as serving vegetarian products as the standard option several times a week. But the range of ambitions is still very diverse and the share of animal products on the menu still large, even relative to the national lunch/banqueting average.


Formulating a shared ambition
In the run-up to the 2023 CEO Breakfast, companies in Zuidas are being asked to formulate a shared ambition to cut CO2 emissions as much and as fast as needed. As well as sharing knowledge, Green Business Club Zuidas has been working with Vermaat, Vitam, ISS and Compass Group to develop a step-by-step plan to support caterers and clients in this process. Though the plan won’t be rolled out until after the CEO Breakfast, members have been taking actions already. Such as VU Amsterdam and MAAS, which are serving solely plant-based products at three campus coffee machines. With this pilot, they aim to set an example for other organizations in Zuidas.

More information
Young GBC Zuidas is calling on companies to accelerate the protein transition and will be issuing a set of practical recommendations about steps CEOs can take before the summer. Interested to learn more about the protein transition in Zuidas? Send an email to Diederik Imfeld:


Ideal workplace climate 
Figuring out what temperature makes for the ideal workplace climate can be quite a puzzle. Indoor climate is affected by a variety of factors including outdoor temperature, radiant heat from people and machines and heat removal.

When the mercury rises, there’s a tendency to cool offices way down to a chilly 19°C. To the extent that people even bring cardigans or jackets to work because it’s so much colder inside than it is outdoors. In summer, the ideal temperature for office work is in the range of 23-26°C(1). Meaning: the air con doesn’t need to be set so low. This summer, GBC Zuidas member VU Amsterdam will be testing out different options for keeping cool when outdoor temperatures go high. They will relate their indoor temperature to the outdoor temperature; they will cool until 25 degrees outside temperature. When it’s warmer than 25 degrees outside, the inside temperature will also rise. Other options for companies are taking longer ‘siestas’ or adjusting work schedules, installing sun blinds and advising people to dress according to temperature. 

More information
In the coming months, Green Business Club Zuidas will be talking with office operators about turning down their air conditioning as well as hosting a knowledge session to share best practices. Interested? Send an email to Lara Jongejans:

Source: (1) Praktijkgids Arbeidsveiligheid 2003-FNV Bondgenoten