Amsterdam’s Action Network Mobilizes Community to Reduce Gas by 15%

Amsterdam’s 15% ‘GasTerug’ Campaign
By Michael Shank

The What

Recently, an “Action Network” was created in Amsterdam in response to the energy crisis resulting from Russia’s war with Ukraine.

Early in the war, Amsterdam’s former alderman Marieke van Doorninck called for action to get off Russian gas, which created a community-wide effort—called 15% GasTerug, or GasBack.

Check out the video – titled “Only together will we get through the winter warmly” – that Amsterdam used to promote this campaign:

The Why

The Action Network’s aim was to reduce gas use across the metropolitan area by 15% by the end of last year and then to keep it reduced long term. The resulting network, which has already cut gas use by 11%, is packed with partners from the private and public sector. And it’s an all-hands-on-deck approach with tasks assigned across the network.

The How

The GasTerug effort has one team devoted to offices, another team for neighborhoods, and teams for companies and healthcare institutions, data monitoring, campaigning, and sharing knowledge.

In their words, it now “stands or falls with the partners in our network.” They’re in it together, and their success depends on everyone’s active participation.

The Who

In building this network, Amsterdam first brought together over 600 individuals representing businesses, churches, and Schiphol airport management to brainstorm ideas that could significantly cut gas usage.

This video below talks about how the 15% Gas Back Action Network was created:

The When

They did this in 28 days and created a tangible and targeted road map for community action, with regular reporting out on progress.  The model is so successful in Amsterdam that they’re now thinking about how to recreate similar networks and tackle challenges after this 15% reduction goal is met.

The Takeaway

The team effort across the whole of society, around a shared short-term goal that was responsive to the moment, captures many of the successful ingredients. Most people want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and this network model creates that with a winnable goal that isn’t 2040 or 2050 oriented. It’s happening this year and there’s momentum behind it.

Check out their 15 tips to save on gas and electricity.

Read all about Amsterdam’s GasTerug Campaign here.