IPG: Sea, Sand and Sustainability
By Ankita Singhvi.
After months of studying in classrooms, the Interdisciplinary Project Group (IPG) gives IE students the opportunity to put our knowledge to use in the ‘real world’.
We were commissioned to support the beach pavilions at Scheveningen in aligning themselves with the climate goals of the Haags Klimaatpact. The Haags Klimaatpact (Hague’s Climate Agreement) was formulated as a statement of intent in 2018. It is a document that states that various political parties, local businesses and the municipality aim to operationalise and localise the international climate goals to the context of The Hague. Our aim was to propose collaborative measures that the beach pavilions could take to align themselves with these climate goals, suggest how they could be implemented, and then evaluate their environmental, social and financial impacts. In short, the three resulting measures that we came up with were:
- Organising a Transport Hub: A significant part of a beach pavilion’s environmental impact stems from trucks transporting goods to and garbage from the pavilion. Therefore, we propose a three-step strategy for decreasing truck movement and increase sustainable procurement. Step 1: Getting insight into transportation and procurement. Step 2: Collaborative procurement to decrease costs of sustainable products and number of suppliers. Step 3: A central location realised for the temporary storage of products; a Transport Hub. All the suppliers bring their products here, and then beach pavilions organise the ‘last mile’ from the Hub to their pavilion using electric bikes or vehicles.
- A collective biodigester: Around 90% of waste created by the beach pavilions is residual waste, and roughly half of this is organic waste. We propose small-scale, onsite biodigesters operated per cluster of beach pavilions to convert this organic waste into valuable electricity.
- Switching to alternative forms of terrace heating: Most of the pavilions in Scheveningen use gas and electrical heaters such as fireplaces running on gas and electrical heaters in parasols. The consumption of energy by terrace heaters is inefficient, but it is not possible for a single pavilion to discontinue their use for the fear of losing customers. Therefore, we propose five alternatives to the traditional terrace heaters that can be implemented per cluster of pavilions: heated tables, heated cushions for chairs, heated cushions for benches, heated benches and blankets.
These results, along with a list of individual solutions and funding opportunities for the beach pavilions was presented to the beach pavilions owners.
The main lesson to be taken from our research is that there is no single measure that can be the ‘silver bullet’ for reaching The Hague’s climate goal of net-zero carbon emissions. As with all complex tasks, this transition needs many steps to be taken in parallel. We recommend that the first step is gathering insight: the beach pavilions currently know very little about their own resource use and waste, so they should collect data to understand it better. This data can then be used to understand which collaborative measures would have the most environmental impact, which in turn would have to be supported by municipal and national government in order to spread the risk and initial investments needed. Armed with this knowledge, the next step can be formulated, bringing the beach pavilions closer to the climate goals of the Haags Klimaatpact.
IPG project by: Eva Aarts, Marin Visscher, Tessa Baart, Quirien Reijtenbagh and Ankita Singhvi
Full report can be seen on request 🙂