Rotterdam: the resilient and sustainable MICE destination

In Rotterdam, resilience is a way of life. From communities to critical infrastructure, from climate initiatives to energy efficiency and including the efforts of venues and hotels, the city is driven by a commitment to building a resilient future. This dedication positions Rotterdam as an unmatched destination for hosting impactful and sustainable events.

Rotterdam (through collaboration with partners like the Port of Rotterdam, the City of Rotterdam and international initiatives such as the Clinton Climate Initiative, C40, 100 Resilient Cities and Connecting Delta Cities is committed to its position at the forefront of global resilience and sustainability efforts. It established the UN Global Center on Adaptation in 2018, with its HQ in the Floating Office at Rijnhaven.

Header image: UN Global Centre on Adaptation headquarters, located in the Floating Office at Rotterdam’s Rijnhaven. © Iris van den Broek

Becoming green, healthy and future-proof

The city’s primary goals centre on becoming green, healthy and future-proof, achieving cleaner, cost-effective energy solutions and nurturing a robust and innovative economy. Rotterdam’s commitment to sustainability is evident in many things, such as progressive urban planning and climate adaptive architecture, sustainable transport options and certainly in its venues and hotels, which are committed to a green future.

Embracing the Rotterdam way of collaborating, innovating, and experimenting, the city is an example of how sustainability can be seamlessly integrated into every aspect of event planning. Rotterdam’s venues and hotels for instance, are actively pursuing sustainable best practices, offering an innovative, eco-conscious experience for event delegates. From solar panel rooftops to urban water buffers, from gas-less and fossil-free venues to providing insight into the CO2 emissions of meetings, events or conferences, Rotterdam’s commitment to a greener future is evident in every detail. Dining is sustainable too, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients and efforts to minimise food waste.

Sustainable venues

Purpose-built and state-of-the-art venues such as Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre, De Doelen ICC and Postillion Hotel & Convention Centre WTC Rotterdam are passionate about making environmentally  conscious decisions and leaving a positive social impact. Congress and event delegates can experience this commitment for themselves, with everything from solar panel rooftop spaces to thoughtful dining menus that avoid waste and showcase locally grown produce.

Hotel Neutraal: collaborative effort toward sustainable practices

Rotterdam’s hotels also actively contribute to the city’s sustainability efforts. The Hotel Neutraal initiative, which was initiated in 2022, encourages hotels to adopt and share sustainable practices, from waste reduction to energy conservation. A growing number of hotels are embracing this ethos and collectively taking steps towards a CO2-neutral and circular future. Steps that ensure energy reduction, less waste, more circular products, water savings, lower CO2 emissions, cost savings and all-in-all a greener Rotterdam.

Making impact and leaving a legacy

Being a resilient and future focussed city also means thinking about the impact and footprint of everything we do. The Rotterdam Collaboration for Change framework is designed to align Rotterdam’s resilient and sustainable mission with the ambitions of congress and event organisers, who are increasingly looking for ways of leaving a legacy in their host cities.

The Rotterdam Collaboration for Change framework is about bringing the right people together to work on common goals. The framework consists of four legacy themes: Collaboration for Green (making Rotterdam’s green environment and waterways the backdrop of a conference); Collaboration for Learning (sharing expertise and inspire young minds and those who teach them in our schools); Collaboration for Skills (providing underprivileged or marginalised citizens with coding skills for a chance at a better future); Collaboration for a Dream (realise a bespoke vision for the future with a unique approach).

Resilient and circular event and congress hub

In Rotterdam, sustainability is a way of life. By embracing collaboration, innovation, and experimentation, the city has transformed itself into a resilient and circular event and congress hub. From world-class venues to eco-conscious hotels, Rotterdam demonstrates that sustainability and success go hand in hand. As the world strives towards a greener future, Rotterdam learns by doing and leads by example.

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