Large opportunities for sustainable business in the Netherlands, despite political insecurity

May 6, 2024

Minister of Climate and Energy, Rob Jetten, endorses the role that Dutch business plays in sustainability

Amstelveen, May 6th 2024 – Today, Omnicom PR Group (OPRG) publishes a whitepaper that provides Dutch businesses with tools for doing sustainable business in this time of political insecurity. Rob Jetten, minister of Climate and Energy, received the whitepaper and endorsed the important role of businesses’ own contribution to the sustainability policy of the Netherlands.

Sustainable transition continues in new ways

The whitepaper’s most important conclusion is that the transformation to a sustainable economy continues despite the new relations in the House of Representatives and the uncertainty this brings. Doing things the old way but better, is no longer sufficient. Organizations need to do sustainable business in new ways.

We notice that organizations have questions about the new political reality in our country and what that means for their sustainability strategy. Research shows that sustainability is slowing down in the Netherlands. In the past year, the smallest increase in sustainability was measured in five years. It would be a shame if business would bide their time, because huge opportunities are presenting themselves, as our report shows,’ says Marjolein Rigter, Director Reputation Management at OPRG.

Space for own initiative with a new cabinet

With the new cabinet that will be taking office, there’s a lot of ambition but not everything is crystallized yet regarding sustainability. There are gaps in the vision and expertise that organizations can help fill. Therefore, don’t wait for regulation but exert influence yourself and share your plans and wishes with the Hague,’ says Eli Schim van der Loeff, Public Affairs Lead at OPRG.

Focus on local initiatives

Perhaps – after the recent election results – the government takes a step back in the coming period regarding sustainability. But the whitepaper shows that there are still clear opportunities for sustainable initiatives that offer economic benefits to companies, consumers, and especially the ones that support local and regional initiatives. ‘Netherlands first’ could also become a new mindset with sustainability investments from business.

Bridge to new collaboration partners

There is need for fresh, pragmatic ideas that bridge between sustainable business growth and the interests of ordinary Dutch citizens. Furthermore, it’s important that business opens up for new partners. Collaboration generates the most impact. Looking for likeminded partners and with that looking further than the usual suspects. Think of the financial sector, NGOs, own value chain, competition, and science.

Research methodology

In November 2023, spokespeople sustainability of the biggest national parties at that time were interviewed. The conversation focused on the question ‘What will happen with sustainability after the House of Representative elections?’ In January and February, sustainability experts from science, business, and the financial sector shared their views with the researchers. The playing field before and after the elections was visualized through these conversations, where the researchers looked at bridges to solutions and changes that fit with the new Netherlands.

Communication consultancy agency OPRG helps clients navigate through the changing world with the goal to realize business growth: ‘Guiding change for growth’.


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