This case looks at the challenges facing the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands in its transition towards becoming a sustainable and smart port. More specifically, it examines how smart energy grids and business applications (apps) could facilitate this shift. As the Port’s operations were mainly in CO2- and energy-intensive sectors, it had to find ways to reduce its greenhouse emissions and comply with the Paris Climate Agreement. Although the Port of Rotterdam and its industrial cluster had already taken steps in this direction, for example via a residual heat network and a hydrogen project, it still needed to investigate new ways to establish an efficient system of using energy and raw materials so that its existing activities would have a future and the industrial complex would remain a vibrant economic hub. Digitisation was known to be one of the main pillars of future energy systems that could greatly help decarbonisation. Apps could be developed to facilitate the integration of decarbonisation and digitisation by better engaging end-users and other stakeholders. In order to develop the apps, business cases for them had to be identified, taking into account the needs and limitations of different stakeholders.This case is part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) case series, developed by Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University.

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RSM Case Development Centre
Department of Technology and Operations Management

Nikolopoulou, K., Van Koert, M., Ghiassi-Farrokhfal, Y., & Ansarin, M. (2021). Going Greener and Smarter: The Energy Transition at the Port of Rotterdam's Industrial Complex. RSM Case Development Centre. Retrieved from

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