Circular material trade in the Port of Amsterdam Sustainability


One of the Port of Amsterdam’s innovation goals is to become a fully circular organisation by 2050. We call this our Zero Waste vision (read more about the circular industries involved here: To realise our vision, we have identified five necessary steps to take within specific time periods. The first step towards our Zero Waste vision is to become a leading example of the successful implementation of circular processes and solutions within Western Europe.


In terms of commercial operations, our goal is to reduce the tonnage of fossil fuels that passes in and out of the port and replace it with tonnage of circular materials. We also seek to host many more companies active in the domains of recycling, upcycling and other circular activities.


Our current methods of action are not scalable. To model the successful implementation of a circular economy in a port, we need a scalable solution. This solution would facilitate processes of identifying, networking, matchmaking, deal-making and logistical planning for companies active in the Port of Amsterdam region. That, in turn, would encourage and help these companies – our customers – become more circular.


Assignment for startups:

Develop a self-service system that enables companies active at the Port of Amsterdam to share their available secondary materials (waste) or their demand for such materials. This system should let companies make successful matches for waste streams so they reach their highest R possible – for an illustration of the 9R framework on circularity, see An example would be reusing a material as input for a process (R3) rather than incinerating it (R9), thereby improving its circularity.



  • The solution should not focus on one specific waste stream.
  • The solution should be scalable for different types of materials.
  • The solution should enable companies to find the highest R use case possible for their waste streams by providing different options and circularity analyses of those options.
  • The startup should be able to start the pilot in Q4 2021.


Issued by:

Port of Amsterdam, Explore & Go