People, environment and community: Safety and
are crucial

This section of our results links directly with one of our most important strategic themes: Sustainable and Safe Performance. At Royal Schiphol Group, we realise that the success of our business will increasingly depend on the wellbeing of the world around us. For this reason, safety and sustainability provide us with our licence to operate and to grow. They are also key indicators against which we judge our success and measure performance.

The 2015 Paris Agreement, and the subsequent landmark report issued by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in October 2018 highlight the need for urgent action to prevent global temperatures rising beyond a level that would cause irreparable damage to the planet and its communities. The aviation industry will naturally have a major role to play in meeting this goal. With society's dependence on aviation set to strengthen further in the years ahead, it is vital we respond to this growing demand in a responsible manner.

By working responsibly and collaboratively, key industry players like Schiphol can balance their own performance and goals with the needs of local communities and the wider environment. The 'Smart and Sustainable' action plan recently agreed by the Dutch aviation industry is a clear example of this collaboration in practice (see Supply chain responsibility section for further information). An important milestone is that we have integrated sustainability within Schiphol's future airport charges structure: landing and take-off charges will give preference to aircraft that are quieter and more environmentally friendly. More information can be found in Supply chain responsibility.

In 2018, Schiphol was involved in a wide range of initiatives aimed at ensuring the positive impact of our activities. Together with other airports and ACI Europe, we share information and collaborate in order to speed up sustainable development. In particular, we highlight the role we are playing within the global aviation sector to drive sustainability and bring about a better future for people and planet.

Making airports sustainable

Royal Schiphol Group takes the lead in creating a sustainable and responsible environment in which to connect the Netherlands. Our ambition is to operate the most sustainable airports in the world, while our strategic focus is on four key topics: sustainable aviation, zero emissions, zero waste and wellbeing.

As we work to drive sustainability across our own operations, we are also taking a leadership role in the field of aviation sustainability, setting new standards and best practices for our industry. A good example is the electric platform bus, which Schiphol co-developed in 2015: we are proud to see other airports following our example, with electric buses now operational all around the world. Similarly, we have recently begun integrating electric ground power units (E-GPUs) into our ground-handling operations and expect this innovation to play an important role in driving sustainability in processes in years to come.

Delivering improvements across these different areas through our work with clients and our own business operations, and by engaging our people in this mission will generate social, environmental and financial value. While the path we will take in reaching our objectives is not yet fully clear, we believe that setting ambitious targets will drive us to discover valuable innovations and insights that will help us to meet our goals.

International recognition of sustainability at Schiphol

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has received the 2018 Eco-Innovation Award. This annual prize is awarded by Airports Council International Europe (ACI) to the European airport that best demonstrates excellent and innovative performance with regard to sustainability. According to the jury, Schiphol deserves the award for its comprehensive approach to sustainability, including the airport's CO2-neutral business operations, as well as our application of circular economy principles and use of renewable energy.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals

Introduced in 2015 by the United Nations, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relate to the 17 most important opportunities and challenges facing the world towards 2030. In 2016, Schiphol identified the six goals that we will be actively supporting and contributing to over the next two decades. Behind the 17 goals are also 169 key performance indicators (KPIs). To make our SDG approach clearer and more transparent, we have made the decision to publish the relevant KPIs in this year's Annual Report. Please refer to the material aspects described in the table for details of how we are working to contribute to the goals and to continuously improve as an organisation.

UN Sustainable Development Goals


Contribution Schiphol

Material aspect


Decent work and economic growth

8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.

  • Gender pay gap: 6%
  • New employees with a distance to the labour market: 0

Regional significance

Employment practices

Contracting Practices


Industrial innovation and infrastructure

9.1 Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and trans-border infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all.

  • Passenger and cargo volumes by mode of transport: 71.1 million passengers - 1.7 million tonnes of cargo

9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes.

  • CO2 emission per unit of value added: 0.48 kg CO2/passenger

Network of destinations


CO2 emissions

SDG 11

Sustainable cities and communities

11.6 By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management.

  • Annual mean levels of fine particulate matter (PM10): 26.7µg/m3 around Schiphol (well below the European annual mean limit of 40µg/m3)

Air quality

Regional significance


Community engagement

SDG 12

Responsible consumption and production

12.2 By 2030, achieve sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.

  • Material footprint: 4-11% of used resources was high-value recovered according to circular principles

12.B Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products.

  • Combatting wildlife trafficking, protected illegal trade of flora and fauna species

Raw materials and residual flows

Supply chain responsibility

SDG 13

Climate Action

13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning.

  • Sustainability is integrated within airport charges

Supply chain responsibility

SDG 17

Partnerships for the goals

17.16 Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilise and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries.

  • Development of Smart and Sustainable action plan with aviation partners

Supply chain responsibility

Also refer to: Material aspects for stakeholders


Our key priority and a shared responsibility