VNO-NCW West (the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers, western region) established the Green Leaders network in the summer of 2016. This is a network for entrepreneurs who want to not only ease their burden on the environment, but actually improve it. It is a network of upscalers, family companies, the manufacturing industry and multinational companies from all industries. Together with the other four regional associations (VNO-NCW North, VNO-NCW Middle, BZW en LWV), they organize in-person meetings for these Green Leaders. During the meetings, participants are invited to participate in Green Circles. They can also contribute their own sustainability issues to the discussion.
Of course, a lot of matchmaking now happens in digital communities. Therefore, VNO-NCW West has set up a virtual network for Green Leaders: www.groenegroeiers.nl. In this virtual community, members can find information about green projects and about other organizations involved, such as CSR Netherlands. In the closed area (only for businesses), they can communicate with each other, discuss problems, suggest ideas or look for collaboration for projects.
Jolanda van Schaick (CREM) has supported the Green Leaders network as a matchmaker since 1 May 2018, which was made possible by the Province of South Holland. She is currently available for one and a half days per week to the groenegroeiers.nl community to help them solve their challenges. She is primarily making connections – between businesses themselves and between businesses and knowledge institutions – in order to bring parties together on circular business cases, the energy transition and the protection of biodiversity. She also provides businesses with a plan of action for challenges that they face.
Jolanda: “Companies play an unmistakable role in the solution of sustainability issues. That makes it enjoyable and inspiring to work with leaders from the business community to explore the possibilities of the Green Leaders network. I like getting new initiatives and projects off the ground, taking advantage of business opportunities for cooperation. The energy, commitment and ambitions of the participating companies are infectious and ensure that words will be translated into deeds.”
Jolanda is working closely together with entrepreneur Yousef Yousef, the chairman of the Green Leaders network, and Annemarie van Oorschot of VNO-NCW, the interim program manager for Green Leaders. The three-person team is supported by employees of the national and regional VNO-NCW organizations.
For more information: Jolanda van Schaick