100 circular action plans with entrepreneurs in 2017

Rabobank, KPMG and CSR Netherlands are combining forces to stimulate circular action plans in the business sector. This partnership is helping entrepreneurs to convert from a linear to a circular business model. The partnership has been launched in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region and its next step will be in the Arnhem-Nijmegen and the South-Holland-South regions. The aim is to realise 100 circular action plans with entrepreneurs this year.

Since 2014, Rabobank has been organising Circular Economy Challenges for companies with circular aspirations. Many entrepreneurs want to do business in a circular way but often don’t know how. In 2014, ten participating companies realised their circularity ambitions thanks to the Circular Economy Challenges. After developing more than 20 concrete, implemented action plans a year in 2015 and 2016, Rabobank and its partners now want to speed up the process. Leaders in sustainability will receive extra support so that the development of the circular entrepreneurship can be speeded up.

Helping entrepreneurs to adapt

‘Circular entrepreneurship will be one of the mainstays of the Dutch economy in the near future. Besides helping us to respond more effectively to risks such as shortages of raw materials, it’s also an engine for innovation and cooperation,’ says Bas Rüter, Managing Director Sustainability Rabobank. ‘This cooperation with partners is the ideal way for Rabobank to help entrepreneurs in their day-to-day activities. We’re combining forces so that we can achieve more together.’

Taking advantage of regional opportunities with circular solutions

In the Rabobank Circular Economy Challenges, the circular opportunities for regions are mapped out and entrepreneurs are facilitated with a company scan and practical workshops, for example. Bernd Hendriksen, KPMG-partner Sustainability: ‘The Circular Economy Challenges are a great way of helping entrepreneurs in the Netherlands to develop their circular business cases. With our knowledge and commitment, we’re helping entrepreneurs to develop valuable ideas, new business models or activities that can help them achieve their ambitions on their way to a circular economy.’

Wim Visser, Rabo Lease: ‘Many circular business models involve investments in equipment. Leasing as a form of financing will play an important role in this. With this partnership, we’re delighted to be able to use our knowledge and experience in the sector together with the specialists from Rabo Lease.’

After taking part in this Challenge, entrepreneurs know exactly which actions they need to take in their companies and their chains. They then become examples for others. Maria van der Heijden, director CSR Netherlands: ‘This partnership is making the new economy stronger. The network, knowledge and active matchmaking skills of CSR Netherlands are helping entrepreneurs achieve their circular solutions.’

Circular performance indicator

Besides these regional challenges with companies, Rabobank is also supplying entrepreneurs in the Netherlands with the Performance Indicator for Circular Business. Based on targeted questions, entrepreneurs are immediately given a scan of their companies, including concrete options for closing cycles and access to new circular revenue models. This business scan was developed by Radboud University in Nijmegen in cooperation with Rabobank.