Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, the United Nations adopted a new global agenda to end poverty, inequality and climate change. This agenda sets out the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030.

The Netherlands has endorsed these global goals. Government, politicians and companies are currently working out their contribution in more concrete detail. Statistics Netherlands reports from time to time on the progress made on the global goals. Energy network operators play an essential role in assuring safe, affordable and continuous availability of energy as set out in SDG 7.

Alliander and global goals: influence is key

For our own organisation, we have analysed how Alliander can best contribute towards the achievement of the SDGs. Where is our greatest impact and where can we achieve the greatest gains? To this end, we reviewed our operations, core activities and entire value creation process to ascertain which SDGs best match both our own initiatives, objectives and strategy and our stakeholders’ expectations. We identified four development goals that Alliander is focusing on and actively pursuing.

Our contribution to SDGs: impact-driven strategy

Affordable and sustainable energy (SDG 7)

Affordable and clean energy is the most important SDG for our company. This SDG largely coincides with our mission and strategy: an energy system that gives everyone equal access to reliable, affordable and renewable energy. In this report, you can read how we work every day to keep pace with the energy transition by encouraging smart customer choices, making maximum use of digital opportunities, creating open networks (i.e. efficient markets) and operating efficiently, while simultaneously ensuring that we invest smartly and keep costs as low as possible.
This has a direct correlation with the economic value of our infrastructure for our customers (manufactured capital) and our chain emissions (natural capital). In the future, we want to gain a more accurate picture of this impact.

Decent work and economic growth (SDG 8)

We work permanently to ensure a safe and fair working environment for all our employees as well as an inclusive corporate culture (see Employees). We need all talents to do our daily work well and bring the energy transition to a successful completion. We want Alliander to reflect a representative cross-section of society. We make arrangements about employees at a distance from the labour market and employ many women in leadership positions.
This has a direct correlation with the wellbeing effects for our employees, which we calculate each year (human capital).

Sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11)

Ultimately, all municipalities in the Netherlands will switch over to renewable energy. Central government is urging municipalities to develop concrete strategies and district plans. Our task is to assist municipalities in this process and to programme and implement changes as well as possible (see Customers). By enabling energy feed-in on a day-to-day basis and connecting a growing number of charging posts for electric mobility, we are also contributing towards the sustainability of our cities.
These activities have a direct correlation with our chain emissions (natural capital) and the social cohesion in districts and neighbourhoods (social capital). We intend to gain a more exact picture of our impact on our chain emissions in the future.

Responsible consumption and production (SDG 12)

We are acutely aware of the impact of our operations on the planet. That is why we are committed to climate-neutral and circular operations. We invest in low grid losses, highly sustainable buildings and a clean vehicle fleet. Transparency and circularity are key requirements in the procurement of all our materials (see Shareholders and investors).
This has a direct relationship with our ecological and climate change costs (natural capital). This year, we monetised both impacts for the first time.

For a more detailed overview of our contribution to the SDGs, see the explanation of the SDGs.

Affordable and sustainable energy


“Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable energy for all”

Alliander’s contribution to SDG 7 in the long term*

  • Being able to connect all the new decentralised generation capacity (distributed generation) in our areas.

  • Make heating transition arrangements with all municipal authorities and housing associations in our service areas by 2020

  • A maximum outage duration of 22 minutes

  • Investing in flexible solutions to avoid capital expenditure on the network.

Actions and policy

  • Alliander aims to keep costs as low as possible for the customer and to share costs as fairly as possible

  • Alliander facilitates the energy transition, for instance by offering open and sustainable district heating networks

  • Innovations avoiding the need for capital expenditure on the network

  • Actively improve the energy efficiency of our own operations

  • Offer insight into energy usage with smart meter and options for meter applications

  • Participation in international initiatives aimed at knowledge sharing and technology development and application

Our results in 2018

  • Outage duration is 30.6 minutes

  • Smart meters offered to 644,000 addresses


  • Economic added value

  • Climate change and resource depletion

*We, at Alliander, contribute mainly to the following SDG sub-targets: 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4 and 7.5

GRI Standards - Climate change, energy consumption and CO2 (GRI 302), Regulation and tariffs (own indicator) / Reliability of supply (own indicator)

Sustainable cities and communities


“Make cities and communities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”

Alliander’s contribution to SDG 11 in the long term*

  • Provide adequate feed-in capacity

  • Provide underlying infrastructure and capacity for EV charge points

Actions and policy

  • Help all municipal authorities to set up Regional Energy Strategies

  • Improve air quality by facilitating clean electric transport

  • Introduce and apply flexible pricing (e.g.: pay per use)

  • Make Alliander a zero-energy company

  • Research into replacing gas

Our results in 2018

  • Offering technical support to all municipal authorities for the preparation of energy strategies


  • Economic added value

  • Climate change and resource depletion

  • Cooperation in districts and neighbourhoods

*We, at Alliander, contribute mainly to the following SDG sub-targets: 11.3, 11.6 and 11.a

GRI Standards - Safe infrastructure, GRI 201: Economic performance, Transparency (GRI 415) / Investment policy (EU6) / Role of energy generation (Own indicator)

Responsible production and consumption


“Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”

Alliander’s contribution to SDG 12 in the long term*

  • Goal of achieving 100% climate-neutral and circular operations

Actions and policy

  • Make use of existing assets for longer and possible replacement of assets using recycled materials

  • Circular network operator: draw up a definite roadmap for circular operations

  • Expansion and further operational integration of raw materials passport

  • Transparency on sustainability information

  • Climate-neutral in 2023

  • Cooperation and participation in Green networks and Dutch infrastructure companies

  • Sustainable procurement

Our results in 2018

  • At least 16.5% of our procurement is based on circular principles

  • Our carbon footprint fell from 416 to 288 kt


  • Climate change and resource depletion

*We, at Alliander, contribute mainly to the following SDG sub-targets: 12.2, 12.5 and 12.6

GRI Standards - Climate change, energy consumption and CO2 (GRI 305), Supply chain responsibility (GRI 301/414, own indicator),

Decent work and economic growth


“Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for everyone”

Alliander’s contribution to SDG 8 in the long term*

  • Offer 100 apprenticeships a year for people covered by the Dutch Participation Act or otherwise at a distance from the labour market.

  • By 2024, 33% of our managers are female

  • Zero accidents resulting in time off work and sickness absence under 3.9%

Actions and policy

  • Lifelong training and education for all our employees

  • High-level safety ladder

  • Finding work via step2work

  • Raising health awareness among employees (e.g. Alliander Fit)

  • Diversity and inclusion: encourage the recruitment of women in leadership positions, members of non-western ethnic groups and people at a distance from the labour market

Our results in 2018

  • Offer 95 apprenticeships to people at a distance from the labour market

  • 28.8% of all leadership positions are filled by women

  • Sickness absence rate of 4.7%


  • Well-being of our employees

*We, at Alliander, mainly contribute to the following SDG sub-targets: 8.2, 8.5 and 8.8

GRI Standards - Safe infrastructure & Occupational health and safety (GRI 403), Training and Education (GRI 404), Economic performance (GRI 201)

Promoting SDGs

Internally, Alliander is working to promote awareness of the SDGs and explore more connections between our strategy and the global goals. Particularly noteworthy is the Manifesto that Alliander’s LHBTi network PRIDE initiated during the Workplace Pride Congress in May 2018 to attract more attention to inclusion and diversity within the SDGs. At the National Sustainability Congress 2018, 15 companies signed the Manifesto, which calls upon organisations to define the position of LHBTi persons inside and outside their organisation in their SDG policy. This is how Alliander advances the recognition of this group in its diversity policy while also promoting decent work(SDG 8).

Ambitions for the coming years

Serving society is at the heart of our mission and strategy. The energy transition forms a key part of this: we are working on the ‘sustainable tomorrow’. Our operations are in line with this sustainable course. The global goals are an important point of reference. The further operational integration and implementation of SDGs is fundamental to our mission, as is rigorous monitoring, measurement and reporting to ensure adequate compliance.

Affordable and clean energy and sustainable cities

We actively contribute to the national Climate Agreement based on our role in the energy transition. Our role in the built-up environment and beyond is changing. But our crucial mission remains to ensure reliable, affordable, accessible and, increasingly, renewable energy. We see opportunities and threats for the proper regulation of the heating and energy storage market, flexible markets, the technical and regulatory feasibility of smart connections, further system integration and the prevention of network problems. Via our chain partners, we want to continue making a contribution to a sustainable energy system at low costs. We intend to provide a more quantitative analysis of our overall contribution in 2019.

Responsible production and consumption

Our economy is entirely modelled along linear lines: take, make, waste. Despite certain shifts, global production still revolves largely around new commodities, mainly from Asia and South America. Owing to reverse logistics and the composition of products, ‘new’ is even cheaper than ‘used’. We also see that scarcity is beginning to arise in materials that are critical to our operations (copper). Another challenge in many production chains is transparency. Within the Green Networks Project, we are working to make the materials passport obligatory in the infrastructure sector by 2020. The accessibility and improvement of materials information in the sector contribute to the circular economy. Regarding energy usage, we see a movement towards the voluntary adoption of carbon pricing among companies and sectors. This applies to many network operators. But the chosen carbon price is still arbitrary. Our ambition is to gradually work towards a harmonised policy for fair carbon pricing among network operators.

Decent work 

Our efforts for SDG 8 (Decent work) are aimed at reinforcing and retaining access to work for all groups. Inclusive employment – aimed at diversity, appreciation, division of and access to work, safe conditions and full use of talent – is an important theme for us. We support the efforts of the ‘Diversiteit in Bedrijf’ and ‘Talent naar de Top’ platforms to put diversity on the agenda in the Netherlands. We are working on sector-wide arrangements within the infrastructure sector to ensure equal access to the labour market.