Our vision at a sustainable society
At TNO, our goal is to achieve a sustainable society. A society that can adapt to a changing climate and contributes to a circular economy. A society with a sustainable living environment, renewable energy, and sustainable industry.
From progress to new challenges
In the last century, we have made progress in terms of prosperity and well-being. But this has consequences for our living environment and the environment as a whole. The climate is changing, natural resources are running out, land is subsiding, and biodiversity is under threat. This has resulted in complex challenges and diverse interests. We want space for industry, agriculture, and mobility. But we also want to reduce nitrogen emissions. We want sustainable energy generation and housing. But we also want landscape conservation. And the application of circular raw materials is sometimes diametrically opposed to the competitive ‘low-cost’ industry.
3 building blocks of a sustainable society
To make our society sustainable, we must emit fewer harmful substances. This is also laid down in the climate goals. In addition, we must build a circular economy to make balanced choices about the use of raw materials. And we must be prepared for changes in our climate. To achieve this, we at TNO focus on a sustainable living environment, sustainable energy, and a sustainable industry. We’re looking for integrated solutions at the system level. These are solutions that balance the changing needs of society, the environment, and the economy.
1. Sustainable living environment
We’re committed to creating a living environment with good liveability, in which we can live, work, and move around without harming the environment. At TNO, we develop smart and sustainable technology aimed at safe and efficient mobility and logistics without CO2 emissions. We also develop concepts for energy-neutral, healthy, and safe buildings with a sustainable heat supply. In addition, we study the possible effects of climate change on buildings, infrastructure, and existing and new facilities. We also focus on circularity. We research how we can close the raw material supply chains in our living environment and how we can avoid the use of primary raw materials.
2. Sustainable energy
The energy system of the future is stable, accessible to all, and sustainable. To achieve this and counteract increasing climate change, it’s crucial to accelerate the transition to a zero-emission energy supply. We focus on the innovative mix of technological solutions that make this possible. For example, energy generated by sun, wind, and biomass, and geothermal energy. But also the development of clean energy carriers, such as green hydrogen, energy storage technologies, and a reliable energy infrastructure. In addition, we develop designs for a reliable, accessible, and sustainable energy system.
3. Sustainable industry
sustainable industry is climate-neutral, emits no greenhouse gases, and is largely circular. Factories get their energy from sustainably produced electricity, green gas, and hydrogen. We develop technology for the production of this energy. For the chemical industry, we focus on the use of renewable energy to produce heat, hydrogen, and chemicals. We’re also working on the use of renewable raw materials such as recycled products, biomass, and CO2. We also design products and materials that are easy to recycle and better for the environment.
André FaaijFunctie:Director of science energy transition
Annelies HuygenFunctie:Professor Regulation of Energy Markets
Annemieke van de RunstraatFunctie:Project Manager
Relying on her background in chemical engineering, Annemieke has over 20 years’ experience in coordinating and setting up experimental verification programmes and conducting research in a wide range of complex environments. Her broad professional knowledge, combined with her inner drive and natural organisational and people skills, make Annemieke the supporting lifeline for many technological developments.
Anton LeemhuisFunctie:Senior Business Developer, Space & Scientific Instrumentation
Ardi DortmansFunctie:Director of Science
“Wouldn't it be nice if we had to explain to our grandchildren what garbage is?”. Ardi Dortmans is director of science at Circular Economy & Environment. Both inside and outside TNO he links research to what society needs. In this way, the research field is always moving.
Looking for another expert?View all experts
This is how we work on a sustainable society
Sustainable streaming: how can we save energy while watching?
Energy use by ICT services such as streaming consumes quite a bit of energy. TNO is looking for ways to bring down the energy required for streamed content.
In2Innovation: Recycling of waste wood
At TNO, we are In2Innovation. In this series, you will meet the TNO employee behind the innovation. What do they do and what impact does their work have on society? Armed with a blue pop filter, Camilla van Wirdum takes us to all corners of the organisation. In this episode, we talk to Jan de Jong, Wood in Construction project leader, about how a CT scanner contributes to reuse of wood.
Favourable business case for solar heat in homes
Solar heat can make an important contribution to increasing the sustainability of our heat supply. Photovoltaic-thermic (PVT) systems on the roof can, in combination with a heat pump, supply homes with heat and hot water. This would make natural gas redundant, thereby decreasing carbon emissions. There are plenty of options, but what about the cost-benefit analysis?
TNO’s view of 2030: Getting a grip on climate change from space
Greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere are one of the main contributors to climate change and must therefore be rapidly reduced if we are to meet the 2030 climate targets. TNO is working on new satellite technology that makes it possible to do so. Because the better we identify emissions, the more targeted the action we can take.
TNO innovation offers discarded wind turbine blades a circular future
Wind energy is gaining momentum. TNO is advanced with a promising solution for recycling discarded wind turbine blades.
Image: Brightlands Materials Center