One example is the green roofs on the first floor between the office wings; they are covered with seven different types of sedum plants. Covering roofs with this plant has several advantages. The roof can collect around 60 to 80% more rainwater, so that the sewers are spared during heavy rain showers. And by replacing hard and dark surfaces with green roofs, the heat in Amsterdam is lowered. It also attracts all kinds of insects, which increases biodiversity in and around the building.

Flora and fauna around STCA
ETCA's new public park opened in 2020

Birds have a good thing going at ETCA. There are nesting boxes for house martins and swifts under some eaves and there is a nesting box for kestrels and falcons on the roof. The great diversity of flowers, insects and birds can create a small ecosystem. As a result, there may also be less nuisance from pigeons. A 5-metre-long concrete wall with holes has been erected beside the water for the kingfisher and the sand martin, they can dig their own nesting hole in it. The breeding wall on the banks of the campus was an idea of the residents of in the neighbourhood. The breeding season is from March to August and the first kingfishers were already spotted in 2020.

There are also several insect hotels in ETCA's back garden. This increases biodiversity by luring a variety of insects that can be useful for the pollination of flowers. And an insect hotel helps insects hibernate. Particularly ladybirds and butterflies use this, but solitary bees and wasps do as well.

Finally, the park on the side of the building has been made completely public and is refurbished with lots of greenery. The basis of the tree groups are tree species in the surrounding area that connect the site with the environment. Like the elms along the IJ and the treeline along the Grasweg. Classic park trees such as the oak and hedgeberry have also been added to the range. In the spring, unique bulb fields appear thanks to the 185,000 flower bulbs that have been planted.

More Shell


Energy has been key at ETCA for more than a hundred years. ETCA is one of the three largest Shell research centres worldwide. This is where new ideas, technology and decades of experience come together to meet the energy needs of today and tomorrow.

Energy and Innovation

Modern forms of energy, such as wind energy and solar energy, are increasingly within reach. At Shell, we use human ingenuity, innovation and technology to offer our customers this energy, while at the same time striving to limit our impact on the environment. (Dutch)

The new energy map

A new energy system is emerging. Interested in Shell initiatives in your neighborhood? Take a look at our examples in the Dutch energy transition. (Dutch)