The municipality of Emmen is not doing so hot when it comes to sustainability. Research by Natuur & Milieu placed Emmen quite low on the list of the most sustainable municipalities in the Netherlands.
Dagblad van het Noorden reports that Emmen is second to last on the list of the 42 largest municipalities in the country. The list uses 12 indicators to compare the municipalities: Utrecht and Amsterdam top the list, and Emmen comes in ahead of only one other municipality, Heerlen in Limburg.
Emmen has big aspirations for going green, including recently opening the largest solar panel array in the province of Drenthe. The municipality scored extremely well in that regard: second only to Zwolle, Emmen generates the most solar power per resident.
But the otherwise low score is due to a lack of purchasing green energy, no environmental zones banning polluting automobiles and too few charging spots for electric cars – Emmen only has 34 per 100,000 residents. By comparison, Amsterdam has 381 and Groningen has 128 per 100,000 residents.
Residents of Emmen also travel more than all other municipalities aside from Oss. Nearly 60 percent of all distances travelled are by car in Emmen – in Groningen and Amsterdam, only 37 percent of journeys are made by automobile. The difference could be at least partially explained by access to public transportation systems.
Emmen also falls behind when it comes to waste collection, although no Dutch municipality met the VANG (Van Afval Naar Grondstof) goal of producing no more than 100 kilograms of waste per person per year. In the north, the municipalities of Groningen and Leeuwarden performed better than Emmen: Groningen came in fifth place, and Leeuwarden landed roughly in the middle of the list.