‘National coalition for sustainable digitalization’ calls on government for integrated approach

21 Oct 2022 - 3 min

On October 18th, the ‘National Coalition for Sustainable Digitalization’ (NCDD) presented a manifesto to the Dutch minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Micky Adriaansens. The manifesto, also signed by the eScience Center, calls for an integral approach to sustainable digitalization. With over 70 organizations supporting it, the manifesto sends out a powerful signal: The Netherlands must become a leader in the field of sustainable digitalization by developing and applying digital technologies and data, with an eye for fitting digital infrastructure and combating climate change, other negative environmental effects and impact on raw materials.

The new coalition, originating from the Amsterdam Economic Board initiative ‘LEAP’, and is working together with ECP | Platform for the Information Society and the Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance (SDIA) in a public-private cooperation.

The coalition identifies six bottlenecks and recommends solutions. These form the basis for a ‘Roadmap for Sustainable Digitalization’. Exploring existing opportunities, solving bottlenecks and developing a roadmap will accelerate the transition to a sustainable digital infrastructure and minimize the ecological footprint of our digital system. Current bottlenecks include incoherent and fragmented government policy, a lack of figures to steer integrally, inadequate legislation, fragmented knowledge development and innovation, and a lack of a fair European playing field.

To solve these bottlenecks, the coalition offers the following recommendations:

  • Unambiguous ownership in the form of a single coordinating ministry;
  • Being more data-driven to gain insight into the optimal trade-offs at the interface of digitization and sustainability;
  • Adaptating of (existing) (transition) legislation to ensure that sustainable choices are made;
  • Knowledge foundation that provides tools, knowledge and people;
  • Improved access to innovation, with a focus on integrating the energy and digital system, with special attention to software, hardware and data processing;
  • Making The Netherlands even more visible in the European conversation on sustainable digitalization.

The Netherlands currently holds a fourth position in the EU leader group, making digitization more sustainable should secure and expand this position for the future.

“The clock is ticking. Digitalization is an essential part of sustainability and digitalization must also be sustainable. Our coalition knows better than anyone else what opportunities there are, but also what bottlenecks we need to solve. We cannot do that without this government. It is time for collective decisiveness”  

Eske van Egerschot-Montoya Martinez, National Coalition on Sustainable Digitalization.