‘The climate crisis and the current energy crisis – with energy prices doubling – make it more urgent than ever to make the built environment more sustainable and to save more energy. That is why you should come up with a smart policy that is in line with the different types of companies and that helps entrepreneurs to quickly take steps into practice.’ That is what VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland say in a letter to the House of Representatives in the run-up to the debate on making buildings more sustainable on 6 April. In it, the business organizations make proposals to accelerate the implementation of all plans.
According to VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland, making the built environment more sustainable is running into implementation problems. It is aggravated, among other things, that the neighborhood approach for the area-oriented sustainability of homes and business premises is progressing very slowly, and that small companies are not automatically included in this. Also, many of the regional and local plans are not yet concrete enough, for example with regard to heat and the necessary expansion of electricity networks. Furthermore, there is still no approach for commercial buildings and there are major shortages of professionals.
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According to the business organisations, a major step forward is needed to accelerate the transition. They argue, among other things, that business premises that resemble homes in terms of energy consumption and the like can also make use of the existing scheme for making buildings more sustainable for all technologies. According to the business organisations, targeted policy is also needed that is in line with the various target groups in the business community. After all, a medium-sized office building is different from a small bakery. They propose that small businesses with a comparable energy consumption as households should be included in the schemes for homeowners, such as the national insulation program, as standard.
Companies with relatively low energy consumption, such as crafts or the manufacturing industry, can be supported with standardized packages in coordination with sector organizations in the steps they can take to accelerate their sustainability. Companies with higher energy consumption often have difficulty financing mandatory energy-saving measures. They have been helped with guarantees (BMKB-Groen) and initiatives such as Savings Guarantee, with which they can finance balance-neutrally.
VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland point out that the CO2 reduction targets for the built environment (offices, homes, business premises, etc.) in the Coalition Agreement have been raised considerably: from just over 3.4 megatons to 10 megatons of CO2. In addition to the national plans, the European Commission has also made a package of proposals to make buildings more sustainable. For example, there will be an emissions trading system and the 30 percent of the worst-presenting buildings must be renovated by 2030.