Sunday, June 16, 2024

Sustainable Innovation: A Stimulating Look at Sustainable Business Strategy in the Netherlands

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Diplomat Magazine
Diplomat Magazine
DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE “For diplomats, by diplomats” Reaching out the world from the European Union First diplomatic publication based in The Netherlands. Founded by members of the diplomatic corps on June 19th, 2013. "Diplomat Magazine is inspiring diplomats, civil servants and academics to contribute to a free flow of ideas through an extremely rich diplomatic life, full of exclusive events and cultural exchanges, as well as by exposing profound ideas and political debates in our printed and online editions." Dr. Mayelinne De Lara, Publisher

A unique collaboration between the Dutch-Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce-Holland House Costa Rica and Costa Rican governmental authorities based in the Netherlands, has led to an exciting exploration of the advanced business, production and social world of the Netherlands. This mission, coordinated with the assistance of the Costa Rican Embassy and the Procomer office in the Netherlands, has marked a milestone in the exchange of knowledge and the promotion of sustainable innovation in Central America.

For eight days, a delegation comprising of several Costa Rican companies and business initiatives, had the opportunity to dive into the heart of Dutch sustainable business strategies, exploring innovative practices ranging from agribusiness to health, retail, construction, urban design and recycling. The overriding objective: to learn from leading Dutch sustainability and regeneration companies to drive sustainable development in the Central American region. Dos Pinos, Philips, CRDC Global, Penseed, Sol Naciente, Dutch Power Group y A-01 were among the participating companies from the Costa Rican side.

H.E. Mr. Arnoldo Brenes Castro, Ambassador of Costa Rica to the Netherlands.

This mission not only sought to acquire knowledge, but also to foster strategic alliances between companies from both countries. It is a joint effort to promote human rights, circular economy, and social inclusion, all with the purpose of inspiring the adoption of similar approaches in Costa Rican companies.

During the trip, that took place May 11-19, 2024 and was the first of its kind, the delegation met with more than 20 leading global companies, key institutions, municipalities, universities and visited sustainable cities. This diverse and enriching agenda took place over more than 6 cities, including high-level meetings with more than 25 representatives.

Sustainable business practices that were explored during this tour cover a wide range of areas, from innovative design to renewable energy and waste management.

Notable examples include visits to Wageningen University, Floating Farm and NZO (Dutch Dairy Organisation) in the field of research, bioplastics, livestock and agriculture, as well as exchanges with Blue City, RotterZwam, Green Cycl at van Straten Medical,  Heineken Green Circle, de Steck, Maium, Lubo Recycling and Dutch Power Group in waste management, upcycling, food gardens, and circular economy.

In addition, the delegation had the opportunity to immerse itself in the field of innovative regenerative design and construction with visits to renowned architecture offices MVRDV and OMA, as well as to some of their built projects such as Depot Booijmans van Beuningen, Markthallen and Rotterdam’s town hall Timmerhuis. Other flagship entities that were part of this exchange include FMO, Rabobank, Marina Terrain Amsterdam, Municipality Utrecht, Rotterdam Partners, and IKEA, among others.  

The start-up meeting with a focus on expectations and wrap-up meeting with lessons learned and how to apply, was beautifully reflected in drawings by Sketchy Business.

Participating Costa Rican companies bring a wide range of sustainable initiatives, from the production of medical devices to nature based solutions in cities, recycling and construction from plastic waste. This diversity of approaches reflects Costa Rica’s commitment to sustainability and innovation in all sectors of the economy.

In short, the learning and exchange mission to the Netherlands represents a crucial step towards a more sustainable future for Central America. By fostering collaboration between companies, promoting responsible business practices and exploring new forms of innovation, this initiative has the potential to transform not only participating companies, but also communities and the environment at large.

With a shared vision of a more sustainable world, this partnership between Costa Rica and the Netherlands is poised to inspire and catalyze positive change throughout the region.

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