The city of The Hague in the Netherlands showcased its strong commitment to sustainability with The Hague Awards, which took place in early September.
This year’s edition had a strong societal and environmental focus, with its theme of ‘seaside celebrations’. The show shed a light on local initiatives that inspire with innovative ideas on how to move towards a more sustainable future.
The event took place in the Zuiderstrandtheater, the only theatre in the Netherlands that is located directly on the coast. Here the guests watched inspiring elevator pitches from five local initiatives: Elemental Water Makers, the Noordzeeboerderij, the Sailing Innovation Centre, DeltaSync/BLUE21 and TNO Maritiem & Offshore.
Elemental Water Makers has developed an innovative desalination system that can turn sea water into drinking water using sustainable energy. The Noordzeeboerderij is a seaweed farm, who provided some little-known facts: if we fed our cows 70 gram of dried seaweed every day, for example, they would emit 95% less methane and their milk production would go up.
TNO Maritiem & Offshore are working on a number of projects, one of which is underwater Wi-Fi. The aim of this is to conduct wireless underwater inspections of wind parks on sea.
Nienke van der Malen, director of The Hague Convention Bureau, commented: “In The Hague we have a special relationship with the sea and are really proud of our beautiful beaches. They offer us and our international visitors a true holiday experience, which is very unique since The Hague is the only major Dutch city with a beach.
But this also means that for us, the world’s environmental challenges are very close to home. We are highly aware of the fragility of our environment, and take the need for sustainability very seriously.”