Offices in Netherlands not on track for sustainability goals of 2023

Senior leadership office building green office

Four in ten Dutch offices do not yet have an energy label C or higher, as is required by law next year. At the current pace, a significant proportion of the offices will not meet the requirement next year either.

About 57 percent of the offices already have at least energy label C, according to a report published Friday by real estate advisor Colliers. More than six months ago, that share was still 51 percent.

One in ten offices has an energy label D or lower. The owners of those buildings therefore still have to invest in sustainability. Another one-third of all offices have no energy label at all.

Colliers estimates that about half of those unlabeled buildings do meet the requirements so that the owner only needs to apply for an energy label. But the other half does require investment. In total, 16 million square meters of office space still need to be made more sustainable.

It has been known since 2011 that the sustainability requirement for offices is coming. Yet many office owners don’t seem to be in a rush to make adjustments. According to the report, many of them do not expect municipalities and environmental services to strictly enforce the rule.

On paper, they can impose hefty fines and even close offices. But due to a large number of laggards, it is uncertain whether this will also happen on a large scale.

It is also important to strictly enforce the rule with a view to making other types of buildings more sustainable, says Jeroen Bloemers of Colliers. “If you don’t enforce now, what will happen if you say in two years that all stores or all hotels must have at least label C? You only have one chance to do it right.”


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