Environment & Sustainability: batteling challenges to create liveability in major cities

The constantly growing world population has a tremendous impact on the environment. CO2 emissions need to fall drastically and waste production must be reduced too. Our focus is on promoting an economy where products and natural resources are recycled as far as possible. We are also developing smart sensors that can measure such things as air quality in real time.  

Circular economy

Each person living in the Netherlands generates about 550 kg of waste per year. In part, this is a consequence of many products being designed for a single purpose, ending up as waste afterwards. In a circular economy, natural resources and products are recycled as far as possible. As a result, fewer resources are needed and less waste is produced. One of the activities we are working on is reclaiming nutrients and energy from waste water, which contains many elements that can be reused as raw materials.

Smart monitoring

We can use the smart sensors from our Sensorlab to monitor the environment in real time. This will be rolled out on a large scale in the future. The information provided by the data should allow municipalities and businesses to optimise their policies. For example, this could even involve the data being used to manage traffic lights in near real time, leading to improved traffic flow and reduced congestion in urban locations where emissions are threatening to become too high.


TNO is committed to a sustainable future, with innovations and by connecting people and knowledge. We link more and more different disciplines and technologies to create solutions for the challenges of today.

If you would like to know more about our Environment & Sustainability activities, continue reading below or get in touch with us.


New technology monitors air quality in cities

05 July 2019
TNO, Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands and S&T are taking a collaborative initiative to develop innovative technologies that cities around the world can use to monitor air quality. The project aims... Read more

Plastic Pact leads to more circular plastics

21 February 2019
Today, more than 100 parties in the Netherlands, including TNO, signed up to the Plastic Pact during the National Circular Economy Conference. The aim is to get reusable and exclusively recyclable plastic... Read more

New study shows need for methane measurement programme

01 August 2018
After CO2 , methane is the main contributor to climate change. International studies in which TNO was involved suggest that Dutch assumptions about sources of methane emissions are not correct. Methane... Read more


Marinke Wijngaard, MSc


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