Johan Cruijff ArenA net positive goals


Johan Cruijff Arena sets sustainability goals Image: Johan Cruijff Arena

The Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands, is taking the next step on its journey towards making itself sustainable and is fully committed to achieving net positive operations by 2030, which means giving more to the world than it takes from it.

‘Johan Cruijff Arena’ stated that in conjunction with partners such as the Dutch professional football club AFC Ajax and the Municipality of Amsterdam, the ArenA is working towards net positive football matches, concerts and other events at the ArenA. What’s more, the ArenA is keen to make an even more substantial contribution to such things as the sustainability goals of bands, clubs, organizers, and the Municipality of Amsterdam. Therefore, helping to set a standard for other organizations.

The 55,885-capacity Johan Cruijff ArenA is the main stadium of the Dutch capital City of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and the home stadium of the Dutch football club AFC Ajax since its opening. Built from 1993 to 1996 at a cost equivalent to €140 million, it is the largest stadium in the country.

Tanja Dik, CEO, Johan Cruijff ArenA, Netherlands, and Sander van Stiphout, Director International, Johan Cruijff ArenA, Netherlands, are Members of Coliseum – Global Sports Venue Alliance.

AFC Ajax, or simply Ajax, is a Dutch professional football club based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, that plays in the Eredivisie, the top tier of Dutch football.

‘Johan Cruijff Arena’ further stated that thanks to solid cooperation with its shareholders, founders and partners, the Johan Cruijff ArenA has proven since its inception over 25 years ago that it is a socially committed, sustainable stadium spurred on by continuous innovation. For instance, the Johan Cruijff ArenA teamed up with a variety of partners to develop Europe’s largest energy storage system in a commercial building for the purposes of storing sustainably generated electricity.

In addition to this, in excess of 4,200 roof-mounted solar panels and the procurement of wind energy are providing the ArenA with Green electricity and it has joined the ‘1,000 jobs for Amsterdam’s South East District’ initiative, which is helping disadvantaged people into work. This gives the Johan Cruijff ArenA a solid starting point from which to make the next step to net positive.

Remarked Tanja Dik, head honcho, Johan Cruijff ArenA, “With our ambition of becoming net positive we are doing our bit towards creating a sustainable, habitable world for future generations and, of course, for the surrounding area, Amsterdam. It will be a journey involving successes and opportunities to learn. The objective is clear and we have strong partners with whom we can make this ambition achievable.”


There is no standard step plan to make an organization net positive. The process depends entirely on its operations and end-to-end chain. Hence, the Johan Cruijff ArenA teamed up with partner KPMG to perform an in-depth analysis to ascertain what net positive means for the ArenA. Furthermore, the topics that will need to be dealt with in order to become net positive were also identified. These topics pertain to climate impact, people and society, or Environment, Social and Governance (ESG).

Environmental, social and corporate governance, also known as environmental, social, governance (ESG), is a business framework for considering environmental issues and social issues in the context of corporate governance.

In addition, the Johan Cruijff ArenA and partner GSES (Global Sustainable Enterprise System) are launching the Global Sustainable Venue Benchmark (GVSB) to measure the sustainability of organizations, events and locations. This standard provides guidance in advancing sustainability.

The Global Sustainable Enterprise System (GSES) is the world’s most used and trusted sustainability rating platform based on third party verified data. The GSES uses worldwide accepted standards to holistically measure the sustainability performance of organizations, supply chains, projects, and products. The platform can be used as a procurement tool, asset management tool and corporate governance tool.

The ArenA has started the measuring and verification process for its own organization in which the main suppliers will be involved. On the online GSES-platform the ArenA and GSES have equipped a Net Positive dashboard and event module in which the ArenA measures and reports with the entire supply chain. The ArenA will communicate progress and any challenges openly and transparently, thus enabling other organizations such as partners with similar sustainability goals to learn from these and take steps to become net positive too.

Put in Femke Halsema, Mayor of Amsterdam, “I am extremely proud of the way in which the ArenA has for many years now been devoting itself to making the area sustainable through innovation. And now to its new ambition to become net positive. It is an ambition that we are eager to fulfill in conjunction with the ArenA. After all, the ArenA is setting an example for the City of Amsterdam and for the society as a whole.”


It is only possible to become net positive when the entire chain is involved. This is why the ArenA is working with its shareholders Ajax and the Municipality of Amsterdam, founders, partners, suppliers, industry peers, staff, and other stakeholders. The goal is to ascertain with this group which topics we will be in a position to collaborate on so as to not only fulfill the ambitions but also create a wave of positive impact.

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