A special ‘new baby’ forest for the City of Amsterdam

20 December 2021

The City of Amsterdam welcomes all new residents of Amsterdam with a sustainable gift. Parents can choose to plant a tree for their newborn child. It’s a wonderful symbol for a healthy future.

In 2019, the City of Amsterdam entered into partnership with Trees for All. The first activity focused on reducing the use of paper. The less material that was printed by the City of Amsterdam, the greater the number of trees that were planted. This partnership did not go unnoticed by the colleagues at the Services Department. They looked for a sustainable alternative to their existing new baby gift and wanted to plant a tree for each child born in Amsterdam. Philomena van der Ploeg, communication advisor at the Services Department is very enthusiastic about the decision. “As a municipality, we give top priority to sustainability and we’re receiving many enthusiastic reactions from parents.”

Cuddle cloth or new baby tree

Philomena says, “When parents register a birth, they can choose a new baby gift: a sustainable cuddle cloth or a ‘new baby’ tree. If they choose to plant a tree, they receive a unique certificate with a QR code, which shows the parents in which project their tree will be planted. The ‘new baby’ tree is very popular. The number of parents choosing to plant a tree to mark the birth of their child has exceeded all expectations. Over 12,000 trees have now been planted and the various ‘new baby’ forests continue to grow”.

Green leader

Planting trees is in keeping with Amsterdam’s ambitions to be the green leader of the Netherlands and of Europe. The municipality says, “We’re facing one of the biggest transitions in our history. In true Amsterdam tradition, we’re drawing on innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship to achieve this. By 2030, the City of Amsterdam aims to be climate-neutral, gas-free and circular. Municipal premises with a suitable roof will be fitted with solar panels, city traffic must be emission-free and in nine years’ time, procurement will be 100% circular. Alongside climate mitigation, attention will also be paid to climate adaptation. For example, roofs and inner courtyards will be greened, and possible improvements to water storage will be investigated”.

Making a difference together

The City of Amsterdam wants to do this together with its citizens. “We’re working on a sustainable future that’s attainable for everyone. Residents of Amsterdam who want to get started can count on support from the municipality. For example, we give advice and provide subsidies and loans. Change can take place in all sorts of ways: by separating waste, saving on energy, cooking with electricity and installing solar panels on your own roof, or another roof if your own isn’t suitable. We’re doing a lot already, but we can make the biggest difference together, as Amsterdammers”.