The Sustainability University Foundation has started a project to develop specific knowledge and skills among sustainability professionals, to successfully realize the circular economy within their companies. This project accelerates the circular economy within Dutch business and is supported by The Goldschmeding Foundation.
Companies play an important role in the transition towards a circular economy. Companies who operate in a circular manner ensure their products, materials or resources maintain their value throughout their lifecycle.
Companies such as Philips, Unilever, NS and Ikea have made commitments in their annual report regarding more recycling of materials and reduction of waste. In most larger companies, it is the sustainability professional who, with various roles such as networker, stimulator, monitor and coordinator, must guarantee and realize these commitments within their own organization.
Embedding circular economy activities and processes as part of the sustainability profession is relatively new for most companies and professionals. Moreover, little scientific research has been done into the skills, roles and content to effectively fulfill this function. The aim of the project is to further develop this knowledge and to share it with the sustainability professionals. This is done by the so-called “peer to peer learning” or learning from each other in practice.
Carola Wijdoogen (Director University Sustainability Foundation): “When I became the first sustainability director at NS about nine years ago, I noticed that the exchange of insights and practical knowledge between CSR managers and professionals is key. Sharing experiences with each other is an important source of knowledge for CSR managers. We are therefore very happy to be able to count on the support of the Goldschmeding Foundation for this project. ”
If the sustainability professional becomes more effective, specifically with regard to accelerating the circular economy, then the circular economy will accelerate as well. The project will be completed in 2020. The results of the study will be communicated to professionals in the Netherlands via relevant networks and training courses for students and professionals such as the yearly State of the Sustainability Profession.
Are you a sustainability professional in a company that engages in circular economy projects and you want to share your insights or learn from your peers? Please contact us via our contact page.