Circular Vlieland: Sustainability on the Frisian Islands

A roadmap and strategy for circularity and sustainability on the Frisian Islands

Vlieland, the smallest inhabited island of the Dutch Wadden Islands in the North of the Netherlands, imports virtually all of its needs and exports all of its waste via diesel-powered ferries. To meet its sustainability goals and increase its resilience, the island is being transformed into a living lab for holistic circularity.

  • Client: Province of Friesland, Netherlands
  • Partners: Lab Vlieland
  • Date: December 2017
The challenge

Islands have fascinated scientists for centuries as key hotspots of change. Now, economists are taking a keen interest in their role towards accelerating the circular economy. With this comprehensive overview, key stakeholders and local residents will work to further close the loops and achieve their self-sufficiency goals.

The challenge
Our approach

Together with the Dutch Province of Friesland, in collaboration with Lab Vlieland, Metabolic analyzed the material, water, nutrients and energy resource flows of Vlieland and developed a roadmap for holistic circularity for the island. Metabolic proposed a menu of business cases for improving the current situation through on-site recycling, high levels of source separation, and sustainable local energy production.

Our approach
The outcome

The roadmap for a circular Vlieland will steer sustainable development on the island for years to come. The goal and purpose of Lab Vlieland is to share the knowledge and experience developed on and near the island with its surroundings; with the island itself, the shore, and in particular with related festivals, like the yearly Into the Great Wide Open. Lab Vlieland is taking a number of exciting business cases, that came out of the roadmap, forward in the transformation to a circular island.

The outcome

“Whether it's about clever ways to interact with batteries and power, or the re-use of wastewater, Lab Vlieland provides care and counsel. The roadmap will help prioritize our sustainability initiatives for years to come.”

Lead Urban Planning & Development 


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