Dutch farmers have lowest environmental impact in the world: ABN Amro
The Netherlands' agriculture sector has relatively the lowest impact on the environment of all the countries in the world, according to a study by ABN Amro. Per kilo of agricultural product, the Netherlands 'footprint' of, among others, CO2, energy, pesticides and antibiotics is the lowest, the bank concludes, NOS reports.
The Netherlands scored particularly high in its fight against food waste - many leftovers in the food industry are used to feed livestock. Furthermore, biomass is used in agriculture to reduce CO2 emissions. Plant remnants are used as raw materials for building, textiles, cardboard, chemicals and plastics. And the CO2 released by the Shell refinery in Pernis, Rotterdam are redirected through pipes to greenhouses in Westland, where it is used for plant growth.
"Per hectare of land we produce more here than other countries", Jan de Ruyter, Agricultural branch banker at ABN Amro, said to NOS. "At Wageningen University there are students from all countries who want to learn how we do this."
Government policy also plays a role in the Netherlands small environmental footprint. Dutch laws and regulations are stricter than in many other countries. For example, the use of antibiotics in livestock fell by 64 percent between 2009 and 2016, partly thanks to government policy. And in 2015 the use of pesticides decreased to less than half the level of the 1980's.