Three quarters of Dutch firms invest in climate action: survey

Demonstrators at at an anti-climate change march. Photo:
Demonstrators at at an anti-climate change march in October. Photo:

Some 75% of Dutch firms invest in climate-related measures, a higher share than the European average (53%) and second only to Finland (77%), according to a survey published this week by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

As the effects of climate change are increasingly visible and economies suffer from the energy crisis, the EIB Climate Investment Report 2022-23 shows that the share of companies investing for the climate has increased by 10 percentage points compared to 2021, a post-pandemic trend that is expected to continue.

While Western and Northern Europe, energy-intensive industries and large firms lead the trend, the biggest increases over the past year were recorded in Central and Eastern Europe, and among small and medium-sized enterprises, the report reveals.

Waste recycling (70%), energy efficiency (64%) and green transportation (59%) are the most popular measures adopted by Dutch firms, all taken up in higher proportion than the EU average. They are followed by investment in new technologies and products (53%) and renewable energy generation (50%).

Only 40% of Dutch companies, however, have set a climate target, against 41% on average in the European Union, according to the survey.

A growing number of firms also feel exposed to the physical risks associated with climate change. Over half Dutch companies said they have experienced losses and disruptions due to extreme weather (57% across the EU). But only 28% (33% in the EU) say they invest in measures to adapt to climate impact: just 11% have an adaptation strategy and 7% take up insurance to cover possible losses.


When it comes to the effects of the green transition on their business, Dutch companies are more optimistic than European ones, although this proportion is declining. Some 37% consider going green as an opportunity and 29% a risk, against an EU average of 29% and 32% respectively.

‘EU firms have realised that climate change is not a distant reality anymore,’ said Debora Revoltella, chief economist at the EIB. Owned by EU member states, the EIB finances and invests in projects that achieve the objective of EU policies, including on climate change.

‘Many companies have and will continue investing in climate action to cope with soaring energy costs and play their part in the green transition. However, despite an increase in climate investment, ongoing uncertainty is weighing heavily on EU firms and dampening their readiness to invest in climate solutions,’ she said.

The survey also shows that energy costs are a concern for 82% of European companies, and 66% of Dutch ones.

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