MAGAZINE #5 - SUMMER 2017 WWW.WTCNL.COM
MAGAZINE OF COOPERATING WTCA MEMBERS IN THE NETHERLANDS
WTC GOES GREEN HOSPITALITY AND SUSTAINABILITY THE TWO PILLARS OF WTC TESLA COUNTRY DIRECTOR KIM LIEBREGTS: ‘IT’S BEEN QUITE A RIDE’ SUSTAINABILITY CHANGING YOUR WAYS AT WORK
SPECIAL GREEN BUSINESS
SCOTT FERGUSON, CEO WTC ASSOCIATION
‘COLLABORATION IS IN OUR DNA’
I’m going on a trip and I’ll take… a visa!
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INDEX 08 Cover Story Interview Scott Ferguson CEO WTC Association 12 News Flash Dutch Report
14 Dutch Adventurers Living and working in Bonaire
17 Post Event Reports Events in The Hague & Eindhoven 19 WTC-E New Business 32 Destination Eindhoven Hotspots in a Dutch WTC’s hometown
SPECIAL 20 Sustainability made simple: changing your ways at work
34 On the Move Expat life in Almere
23 Go green! Cool gadgets for a green environment!
39 WTC Goes Global The General Assembly 2017 & 2018
24 Interview Christiaan Huijg & Eveline Steenbergen
41 Contact us
27 Column Marcel Crok on the future of green business
42 WTC Abroad Facts & figures about WTC Doha, Qatar
27 Interview Kim Liebregts, Country Director of Tesla Benelux 36 Business Talk How to deal with the environment at work 42
MAGAZINE #5 WTC-NL magazine is issued by ASEGA Media on behalf of WTC Netherlands (WTCs Almere, Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Leeuwarden, Rotterdam, Schiphol Airport, The Hague and Twente). www.wtcnl.com ASEGA Media & Communication Gustav Mahlerplein 2, 1082 MA, Amsterdam (Viñoly building, first floor) T: +31 (0) 20 - 799 74 14 Goirkestraat 90, 5046 GN, Tilburg, T +31 (0)13 545 32 98 firstname.lastname@example.org - www.asega.nl Editor-in-chief: Frank van Bergen Management: Bob Oostelbos Sales Executives: Bob Oostelbos, Roy Coomans Art Director: Daniëlle Kool Final Editor: Robyn Grafton
Editors/contributors: Frank van Bergen, Florian Aalders, Iris van Iersel, Evert Schouwstra, Maartje Oome, Marcel Crok Photography: Thomas Boden, Lotte de Graaf, Wouter van Ierssel, Shutterstock Editorial Advisory Board: Patricia van Drongelen, Robert Anemaet Thanks to: Scott Ferguson, Kim Liebregts, Iban Spijkers & Juul Heijne Printed by: Q-Promotions Print run each edition: 3.000 copies Frequency: Biannual Advertisement/enquiries: Please contact ASEGA Media & Communication at T +31 (0)20 799 74 14 or email@example.com Copyright: © 2017 ASEGA Media. All rights reserved. Nothing appearing in this magazine may be copied or reproduced, in any manner whatsoever, unless explicit permission has been given in writing.
SCOTT FERGUSON, CEO WORLD TRADE CENTERS ASSOCIATION
‘COLLABORATION IS PART OF WHO WE ARE AND PART OF OUR MISSION’ 6
EXACTLY A YEAR AGO, MAY 2016, THE WORLD TRADE CENTERS ASSOCIATION NAMED SCOTT FERGUSON AS THEIR NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO). AND HE SEEMS THE PERFECT MAN FOR THE JOB GIVEN HIS CAREER HISTORY, WHICH INCLUDES OVER THIRTY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS. WE WANTED TO HEAR MORE ABOUT HIS TRANSITION AND FUTURE GOALS FOR THE WTCA, SO WE CAUGHT UP WITH HIM AT WORLD TRADE CENTER SCHIPHOL DURING HIS TOUR DE HOLLANDE.
Before being named CEO at WTCA, Canadian-born Ferguson was President and CEO of Trade Center Limited, an Atlantic Canadian organisation that operates World Trade Center Halifax. At the start of 2017, Ferguson visited The Netherlands to meet up with the Dutch WTCs. A terrific transition Describing his transition of going from Halifax to New York, where his new role is based, Ferguson says, “I initially heard about the opening of the spot for CEO in New York almost a year ago. I talked to my wife and we decided that it was time for a new adventure, time for a change. After I contacted the Association, gave my name and did a number of interviews, I was selected.” And what about the move to New York? “I live there with my wife right now. It all came at a fortunate time for us, because our four children are all university age and we felt it was the perfect time to leave them with the house and the dogs in Halifax, so that my wife and I could take on this adventure in New York City. I’ve found the transition terrific, I’ve enjoyed it a lot. But you never really understand the challenge fully until you’re in the middle of it. So, of course, we had six months of really intense learning and change. But we worked closely with the staff and were focused on the future.” Text: Frank van bergen & Florian Aalders | Photography: Wouter van Ierssel
According to Ferguson, it’s a very exciting time right now to be part of the Association; the world is changing at the moment. “One can argue there is more fragmentation happening. But on the other side there’s collaboration. And that’s the essence of our association: how we work together, recognise opportunities and overcome challenges.”
According to Ferguson there were a lot of similarities compared to his old job. “Over the period of the last seven years of my time at Halifax, we went through a pretty extensive program to get a new convention centre developed. It was the largest development in the Halifax Coast history. I had to work very closely with the media, the government, stakeholders, members of the community, and I did a lot of public speaking. And we were going through a time of change as well. It was interesting for me that a lot of my learning over that seven-year period transferred very easily into my new role in New York.”
Proactive World Trade Centers Netherlands This visit to The Netherlands was of course not his first ever, but it was his first as CEO of WTCA. “What excites me about this trip and about the group of World Trade Centers here in The Netherlands, is how they work together. That’s important for the association, because of course the more connected you are with a group of members, the more supportive they are to each other. I think this collaboration is a good model for members around the globe. It’s not a competition, but here there’s something that excites me: the way the Dutch World Trade Centers work together as one. That’s really what we’re striving towards for the whole association.”
The essence of WTCA Today, more than 315 World Trade Centers are spread across nearly 90 countries worldwide. Calling the World Trade Centers Association a global organisation might even be an understatement. Ferguson has been CEO of WTCA for a year, so it seemed a good time to ask him, ‘what is the essence of WTCA according to you?’ to which he answered “We are an organisation that brings businesspeople together around the globe in almost 90 countries and we’re over 300 members strong now. One thing that all our members have in common are drive and change, both in business and in investment opportunities for the community. Doing that as part of an association is very unique because the nature of our business is to collaborate and connect. Collaboration is in our DNA, it’s part of our mission and part of who we are. It allows us to understand cultures differently, and look at both challenges and opportunities differently.”
Ferguson knows it’s a challenge to achieve a completely proactive collaboration throughout all the WTC’s worldwide, after all, there are a lot of differences in how business is done around the world. But those differences are at the same time a big advantage as well, although he knows there’s always work to be done. “Members around the globe have different cultures, different business models, they use a different approach to business and have different orientations. Some come from real estate and others, for example, come from services. We’re all very different and diverse. That’s at the same time our greatest strength. As we discover more commonality and more ways to do businesses, we excel.”
‘Seeing the Dutch WTC’s working together excites me’
Monthly networking at the Zeepkistborrel The Zeepkistborrel is a networking drinks event where participants are urged to get on their soapbox to pitch their business activity. It’s also a great opportunity to make new contacts and set up appointments. WTC Almere hosts the Zeepkistborrel every second Tuesday of the month. The event focuses on informal networking, pitching and making contacts, with the aim of generating additional turnover. WTC Almere as a location and partner plays a big role in this networking event, which is usually attended by 50-70 participants.
WTC The Hague
New Ambassadors Trade Meetings Every few months, WTC The Hague and partners invite newly appointed trade ambassadors for a lunch and information session, giving them the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the most important trade and investment promotion organizations. During this meeting, these new trade ambassadors are offered more information about the role of these organizations and how to find the right information and partners when companies and organizations in their home countries approach their embassy with questions about the Netherlands. The next meetings for 2017 are scheduled in July and in October.
Opening Insurance Floor at World Trade Center Rotterdam Bouwinvest Dutch Institutional Office Fund N.V. has reached an agreement with several reputable insurance companies to cluster these parties on a brand new Insurance Floor in World Trade Center Rotterdam. The opening of the new Insurance Floor on the 20th floor of the building was celebrated this spring. 10
“The future with robots” We are on the brink of the 4th industrial revolution, with major technological changes transforming our economy. In ten years’ time, you will able to buy a device with the intelligence of a human brain for only $1000; in 20 years’ time, you will be able to purchase a device with the combined intelligence of every person on the planet. We live in a smart society and you should be asking yourself what you need to change to adapt to this dynamic world. At the kick-off meeting earlier this year, leading scientist Maarten Steinbuch inspired WTC•E residents and spoke passionately about the Eindhoven area. ‘The future does not lie in Silicon Valley, but in Eindhoven/Veldhoven at ASML!’
WTC Amsterdam completes lobby renovation
WTC Amsterdam has just completed renovations on its I and H towers. The aim, explains Managing Director Christiaan Huijg, was to create a more welcoming and useful space offering work and meeting facilities, a coffee bar and places to sit and chat. Tenants and visitors are already benefitting from the upgrade. The lobby renovations were the second in a string of state-of-the-art makeovers for WTC Amsterdam, which has just given its in-house catering facilities a complete overhaul.
Stuttgart economic mission organized by WTC Twente
Early March saw a delegation from the east of the Netherlands take part in an economic mission organized by WTC Twente to the Medical Devices Meetings in Stuttgart. The delegation consisted of a group of companies and scientists who had over 100 talks in total with potential partners in Germany. Participating companies were Bimba, Bronkhorst, CHC, Demcon, Gullimex, JPT, Micronit, Mofixx, Udenco and the Experimental Center for Technical Medicine at the University of Twente. In addition, company visits were made to Curetis and Philips Medizin-Systeme.
WTC Leeuwarden - trade missions home and abroad We will travel abroad to visit the Polish cities of Warsaw and Gdansk in October 2017. This is a country well on its way to becoming one of the more prosperous countries in the world, offering an interesting market for investment and innovation. The province of Friesland organized a competition aimed at the incoming trade missions in 2018, and our project Norallia won! We expect to welcome roughly 200 entrepreneurs to Leeuwarden in November 2018. Norallia is set to be a fantastic B2B matchmaking event, in collaboration with WTC Twente, the EEN network and WTCs from the Baltic states. 11
Proud host of
the 49th WTCA General Assembly
TRUST: THE CORE OF INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS LEEUWARDEN - AMSTERDAM
We expect over 400 WTC representatives and companies from all over the world. Your chance to increase your network in 90 countries.
For more information: www.wtcaga2018.nl
Post Event Report
VVD Election Night WTC The Hague Wednesday 15 March was an important day in the Netherlands; it was the day of the Dutch Parliamentary Election. VVD celebrated it’s election night in the lobby of World Trade Center The Hague. The political party was happy to celebrate it’s victory with around 1,000 guests.
LEFT TO RIGHT: ROLAND VAN MARLEN, WTC TRADE ASSOCIATE FRANS SCHMETZ, MANAGING DIRECTOR, HIGH TECH CAMPUS EINDHOVEN LIANNE VAN DEN BOOGAARD, DIRECTEUR, WTC-E WILLEM POST, DUTCH U.S. EXPERT CEES ADMIRAAL, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, HIGH TECH CAMPUS EINDHOVEN
Meet & Connect Lunch The subject of the Meet & Connect lunch, held last Thursday 16 February at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, was the consequences of Trump for the U.S. and the global economy. Well-known U.S. expert Willem Post and Roland van Marlen from MCSM Services (linked to WTC Eindhoven as Trade Associate) provided a clear analysis which covered both the economic and political situation, and future implications. www.wtce.nl
Does you r office ha ve an airpo rt?
More information about renting an oﬃce: 020 – 316 3024 or www.wtcschiphol.nl
WTC-E ‘SERVING THE SOUTH OF THE NETHERLANDS’ √ The largest international network of all Dutch banks. √ International desks in 17 countries especially for Dutch clients. √ Support for businesses of all sizes and in all sectors. √ A single point of contact within your own local Rabobank branch.
World Trade Center Eindhoven welcomes Rabobank Eindhoven-Veldhoven as new founding partner! This partnership provides further opportunities for organizations and governmental bodies. This lays the foundations for the further growth of the SME, which supports these organizations in business development and in the continued expansion of their (inter)national network. BUSINESS WITHOUT BORDERS “Wherever in the world you wish to do business, Rabobank can provide the support you need”, says Mark van den Broek, Business Director, Rabobank Eindhoven-Veldhoven.
“Like WTCE, for many years we have been facilitating international business operations for our clients in this region. For us, a partnership with WTCE is therefore a logical choice. Together we strengthen the ambitions and earning capacity of the fantastic Brain Port region of the Netherlands.
Whether you want to import or export, or you plan to open a new branch abroad. We will assist you with the information, services and products required to research your international ambitions, to cover the risks, to organize the complete payment operations and to invest. In more than 120 countries you can make use of our people, our knowledge and our expertise, and our fitting solutions and connections. Rabobank has more than 600 branches outside the Netherlands.
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PRESIDENT TRUMP’S FIRST 100 DAYS: FOG, REALITIES, AND LEARNING A direction yet to be determined in the transatlantic relationship IN THE UNITED STATES, WHEN THERE IS A NEW PRESIDENT, MUCH ATTENTION IS GIVEN TO THE “FIRST 100 DAYS.” THE FOLLOWING IS A GENERAL SUMMARY AND BY NO MEANS COMPREHENSIVE. IT IS ALSO NOT POLITICAL AND DOES NOT COVER ANY OF THE CONTROVERSIES SURROUNDING PRESIDENT TRUMP.
Text: Christian Bartley | Photography: Shutterstock
In the United States, when there is a new president, much attention is given to the “first 100 days.” The following is a general summary and by no means comprehensive. It is also not political and does not cover any of the controversies surrounding President Trump.
ident Trump signed an executive order (not a law, but a directive instructing the executive branch on how to interpret/carry out laws) stating that the United States would not be a party to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement that had been negotiated but not ratified by Congress. While on the campaign trail, Trump talked about either eliminating or renegotiating NAFTA, and although there have been some conversations at various levels of the Canadian, US, and Mexican governments, as of the 100-day mark
Practically speaking, President Donald Trump came into office riding a wave of populism, fueled by blustery talk about building border walls and cancelling trade agreements. In the first week, Pres16
WTC General Assembly
In addition, there have been visits of US officials to Europe nearly every month since the inauguration. Vice President Pence spoke at the Munich Security Conference in mid-February, as did Secretary Mattis, who had flown in after meeting with his NATO counterparts in Brussels; Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin met with G20 finance ministers and central bankers in Baden-Baden in mid-March; Secretary Tillerson met with fellow foreign ministers at the G7 meeting in Lucca, Italy in early April. nothing formal had begun. However, Trump did impose tariffs on Canadian lumber and criticized Canada’s high tariffs on dairy products, while once again threatening to withdraw from NAFTA if the agreement could not be sufficiently renegotiated. As to regulatory reform, Trump signed 13 bills and issued several executive orders to chisel away or wipe out Obama-era regulations. He further ordered agency reviews of regulations across the government and mandated that for every new proposed regulation by federal agencies, two old regulations be submitted for elimination. Tax reform has been the area of greatest interest to business. In February and March the conversation focused around the border adjustment tax, a concept proposed by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. The question was whether President Trump would incorporate this measure into his tax plan. In the end, the White House released a proposal for deep tax cuts, including slashing the rate for large and small companies to 15 percent. There was no mention of a border adjustment tax. Trade policy, foreign policy, and national security often overlap, and while clarity is traditionally the norm when balancing these interests, there have been many mixed signals with friend and foe alike. Early on when it came to greater Asia-Pacific, Trump spoke of rebalancing forces away from the region, essentially reversing the previous administration’s “Asia Pivot.” The first 100 days saw significant attention on Asia, including top-level meetings between Trump and the leaders of Japan and China, visits to the region by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a military push focusing on North Korea, and a trade agreement with China. There is a difference between the rhetoric and the reality. While clarity could normally be found by looking at official policy, a full strategic policy framework has yet to be released on Asia. Moving to Europe, the transatlantic relationship has been less than smooth under President Trump. This originally stems from the Trump campaign where comments alluding to a possible withdrawal of support for NATO and negative tweets about German Chancellor Angela Merkel raised eyebrows in Europe. Early action by White House staff did not help either, with the head of the National Trade Council, Peter Navarro, making accusations in the press about Germany’s unwillingness to deal directly with the United States on matters of trade policy, thereby demonstrating a possible lack of understanding of the fundamentals of the EU structure and not engendering much good will. The news has not been all negative, however. The administration did express its commitment to NATO on multiple occasions. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Vice President Pence, in two separate forums in Europe in February, both expressed the United States’ commitment to the alliance, and President Trump reiterated this commitment in his address to Congress in March. 17
In March, Chancellor Merkel visited President Trump in Washington. While both sides described the meetings on trade, NATO, and immigration as productive, it appeared to most observers that the relationship between the two leaders was somewhat cool. One month later, Ivanka Trump, eldest daughter of, and adviser to President Trump was in Berlin at the invitation of Chancellor Merkel to participate in the G20 women’s summit – a move apparently intended to help build bridges with the Trump administration. Others on the same panel as Ms Trump were Chancellor Merkel, IMF President Christine Lagarde, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. Overall, taking a step back and looking at the first 100 days, there seemed to be a significant amount of fog. While on the one hand, President Trump worked to keep some of the promises he made during the campaign, in many instances there has been a softening, or in some cases a complete mismatch from previous comments made. While not the smoothest of first 100 days, there are a few signs that some of the rough policy patches may be smoothing out, perhaps due to the president and White House staff learning on the job, as well as the president’s cabinet secretaries finally assuming their roles and fulfilling their responsibilities. One hundred days is not a long time when considering governing a country. The 200-day mark will provide deeper insight and (theoretically) more clarity.
NOTE: In May, President Trump visited Italy and Belgium, and there were discussions relating to trade. A transatlantic working group is being established to further explore areas relating to trade policy.
SUSTAINABILITY MADE SIMPLE: CHANGING YOUR WAYS AT WORK Is sustainable business the responsibility of the employer, the building owner or the employees? All these groups have an influence at different levels, but ultimately, we are all of course responsible. What’s more, our impact becomes greater when we work together towards a greener business. By fostering ‘greener’ behaviour on the work floor, companies can save a huge amount of energy and waste. In addition, the increased environmental awareness that this creates, will also have a positive impact on the employee’s actions outside the work place. One of the things that Green Business Club (GBC) focuses on, is fostering environmentally aware behaviour. The following four projects are relatively easy to implement and have proved their value for various participants of Green Business Clubs throughout the country.
Drink tap water Many organizations provide plastic or glass bottles of mineral water in meeting rooms. But increasing numbers of companies are switching to tap water. And why not? Mineral water has a carbon footprint 500 times bigger than tap water, due to the environmental impact of the associated production, packaging and transport of the product. Bottles of mineral water produce a large amount of plastic and glass waste. The transport of mineral water to companies leads to (polluting) transport flows and what’s more, mineral water is 500 times more expensive than tap water. And far from insignificant is the fact that: Dutch tap water is healthy, top quality and extremely pleasant to drink! Create attractive carafes carrying the company logo and place these on the meeting table, or give employees their own refillable water bottle with company logo. Since 2015, GBC Zuidas has been running the tap water campaign among its participants. GBC Beatrixkwartier and GBC Twente have followed in its footsteps. Since the campaign started, 93% of the GBC Zuidas participants have switched to tap water instead of mineral water. Reuse office items Coffee cups, cartridges, pens, writing pads; in the office, a huge amount of material is thrown away after being used just a couple of times. It doesn’t have to be that way! Did you know, for instance, that you can buy pens made from
Text: Maartje Oome
recycled plastic? And that the number of paper coffee cups used can be reduced dramatically if employees write their names on them and reuse them? There are endless examples of simple adjustments that can save a great deal of waste. GBC commissioned a team of young professionals to develop a method for increasing the sustainability of these every day articles on the work floor. With the help of a specially developed flow chart, employers can inventarize which products on the work floor can be replaced by more sustainable/ recyclable products and which products can already be recycled. Using this method, up to now two large companies have switched to more recyclable coffee cups, and another company has observed a 28% reduction in coffee cup use. In two other large companies, all throw-away pens have been replaced by pens made from recycled plastic. Start the week without meat For many people, eating less meat remains a challenge. Nevertheless, reducing the amount of meat we eat has a hugely beneficial impact on the environment. The production of a single beef cow involves the emission of the same amount of greenhouse gases as producing 4.5 cars, or of driving 70,000 km. And the production of a single kilo of beef requires 15,000
litres of water! In collaboration with GBC, several companies have introduced the Meatless Monday. This means that on Mondays, no meat or fish is served in the company restaurants. Although it took a bit of getting used to for some people, the impact of this small change soon became evident. Arno Krikke, candidate notary at Van Doorne, for example, quickly took a positive stance towards Meatless Monday: “It’s good to focus attention on this as a company. At first, it took a while for some colleagues to get used to it, but one meat-free day in the week should be doable. After all, there are still four more days in the working week, and the alternatives to meat are good.” E-bike instead of car For most employees living between 20 and 30 km from their work, it feels just a bit too far to go by bike. Public transport is a sustainable solution, but with delays and transfers between trains/buses, it can be time-consuming. For this group of commuters, an e-bike presents a great alternative to the car. To familiarize employers with the benefits of the e-bike, GBC regularly makes e-bikes and speed bikes available for employees to try out for a few weeks. This on the condition that the bicycle is genuinely used as an alternative to the car. Employees from eight companies have since participated in the e-bike pilot and almost all participants are highly enthusiastic. Mark Hofstee Holtrop from United I Trust (based in WTC Amsterdam) commutes every day to Zuidas: “It takes about the same amount of time by e-bike as it does by car, but if there’s heavy traffic, the e-bike is quicker. The e-bike is ideal for travelling to work, because you don’t have to pedal so hard, so it’s really relaxed. I noticed that I arrived at work less stressed, and also arrived home more relaxed at the end of the day, especially by avoiding the traffic jams.”
Green Business Club Green Business Club Nederland is an impact organization that encourages local collaboration in the area of sustainability. In the Netherlands there are eight Green Business Clubs active in various business centers and business parks. Large and medium-sized companies and governmental organizations have joined the Green Business Clubs, as a way of implementing local sustainability projects together. In choosing the sustainability projects, the central focus lies on the needs of the companies, and from that point, projects are initiated. The participating businesses are, after all, the ones who will actually be able to deliver results. Green Business Club was founded six years ago and since then has been involved in a large number of projects of varying scopes, in the area of mobility, water & green, energy, waste & reuse and people. From car sharing to installing charging stations for electric cars, and from green site fencing to a pop-up park. Business organizations WTC Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht are participants in the local Green Business Club. Would you like to know more about Green Business Club or one of the projects mentioned above? Then please contact GBC Nederland director, Eline Kik Eline@greenbusinessclub.nl
Het WTC Almere Conference Center
Het WTC Almere Conference Center is een modern en hoogwaardig congrescentrum met 12 comfortabele vergaderzalen en een maximale zaalcapaciteit van 225 personen. U kunt bij ons terecht voor al uw congressen, vergaderingen, bijeenkomsten, evenementen, diners en borrels. Het WTC Almere Conference Center is direct gelegen naast het Centraal Station van Almere en dus voor iedereen goed bereikbaar. • • • • • •
12 comfortabele vergaderzalen tot 225 personen catering op maat geavanceerde audiovisuele middelen gratis Wifi inpandige parkeergarage restaurant binnen het gebouw
Onze receptie ontvangt uw gasten graag en ondersteunt u waar nodig. Eerst even zelf rondkijken? Dat kan ook natuurlijk. Bel of mail ons en we laten u graag de mogelijkheden zien.
ALMERE Tel. 036-548 2500 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wtcalmere.nl
MAKE YOUR WORK DAY A LITTLE MORE GREEN
FORGET THAT PACK OF BATTERIES
MORE THAN PIECE OF WOOD
End those familiar battery struggles and choose wireless and solar power! Solar energy ensures the wireless keyboard by Logitech is always ready for use, even for those working indoors. Even in the dark, the keyboard remains charged for three months The Logitech solar keyboard feels more comfortable that the average laptop keyboard. K750 Solar Keyboard - $59,99 via Logitech.com
The Loudbasstard speaker looks like a simple piece of wood, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The speaker’s special design, made from bamboo and rattan, enables music to be amplified in a passive and sustainable way. The speaker is available in various colours, which enables it to seamlessly blend with any interior. Keep it clean with a dry cloth, and the speaker will last a lifetime. Loudbasstard speaker: $39 via loudbasstard.com
ERASE AND CARRY ON WRITING
AND NOW FOR SOME SUN BEAMS
SMART AND CONFLICT-FREE
Put an end to all those wasted note pads and wasted paper. The Bamboo basic is an erasable note book that combines two products: the whiteboard and the writing book. The pages have been adapted in such a way that they are fully erasable. To make sure your notes are never lost, Bamboo has created a special app. Thanks to this app, with one swipe you have all your notes at your fingertips. Bambook basic A4: €19.95 via bambook.nl
The Finnish Suntrica SolarStrap looks different to earlier solar chargers. It actually looks a lot like a baggage label for a bag or suitcase. The charger is compact and suitable for Apple iPhone and iPod. The device is flexible and splash resistant. Fix it to a handbag or bicycle to capture that solar energy. After one hour of charging, enough energy will have been captured for 19 minutes talk time or 8 hours standby time. Price available on request via www.suntrica.com
The Fairphone 2 is a smartphone that is entirely focussed on a better and more sustainable world. Fairphone uses conflict-free minerals and fair trade gold, improves working conditions in the factory and recycles electronic waste. What’s more, the Fairphone 2 is nothing less that a first class smartphone with specifications such as a 5 inch LCD screen, an 8 megapixel camera and 4G connection. Fairphone 2: €528 via KPN.com
HOSPITALITY AND SUSTAINABILITY: THE TWO PILLARS OF WTC 36% OF ALL CO2 EMISSIONS IN THE NETHERLANDS ORIGINATE FROM BUILDINGS*. BY INCREASING THE SUSTAINABILITY OF OFFICE BUILDINGS, A MAJOR STEP FORWARD IN CO2 REDUCTION CAN THEREFORE BE MADE. A NUMBER OF WTCS ARE TAKING THE LEAD IN THIS BY FACILITATING THE CREATION OF GREENER BUILDINGS AND BY INSPIRING TENANTS. CHRISTIAAN HUIJG, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF WTC AMSTERDAM AND EVELINE STEENBERGEN, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF WTC THE HAGUE, SHARE THEIR VISION ON SUSTAINABILITY IN THEIR WORLD TRADE CENTERS. Text: Nina van den Berg & Maartje Oome | Photography: Lotte de Graaf
Christiaan: “A few years ago, sustainability seemed like a bit of a hype. But now it’s embedded in our genes. In all the decisions we take, about all aspects of our operations, we take environmental impact into account. That doesn’t mean we always make decisions that are environmentally aware and sustainable. We continually weigh up our sustainability goals against the financial-economic aspects. These two elements often complement each other very well, but not always.
We also try to take some of the work off our tenants hands by providing services in the area of sustainability. For instance, through technical equipment, which more or less obliges tenants to use energy in a sustainable way. In the H towers, for example, we have climate and lighting systems that work via movement detection, but some tenants don’t feel comfortable with this, because it forces people to become more aware of how they deal with meeting rooms, for example. The same ap22
Cover Interview Story
ments red-faced and sweaty! We anticipate that a lot of people will make use of this facility. Several years ago we launched the Audi shared fleet. That is for longer distances, the electric bikes for shorter ones.
plies to lighting; tenants sometimes don’t like looking out into a black hole, and therefore choose to modify the standard control system so the lighting can be switched on centrally. So we try to motivate tenants and to inspire them to approach their rented building in an energy efficient way. However, these are internationally operating companies, which often want everything to be organized from the top, and don’t want the lights only to go on when someone walks in. So, we provide the option, but we don’t force our tenants to make use of it.” WTC The Hague is also member of the local Green Business Club, and in the last few years has invested heavily in sustainability measures. When it comes to sustainability, they are not afraid of confrontation. Eveline: “We have big ambitions in the area of sustainability. This translates into all kinds of investments in the building, including, for example, a heat/ cold storage system. We have installed individual meters, via which tenants can see the savings they are making. The meters can also be read remotely, which increases awareness even further. It has been proven that when tenants are confronted with their own energy consumption, they start to address it more quickly. Both in the hotel and in the building, we’re making fantastic progress using this approach. We recently became the first multi-tenant building in the Netherlands to obtain the BREEAM-NL In-Use Excellent sustainability certification. Naturally, we’re extremely proud of this! Beyond this, everything in the Beatrixkwartier emanates sustainability. From eight different forms of waste separation to a join-the-pipe tap water station, which we are also investing in. This fits perfectly with the Green Business Club Beatrixkwartier project “Beatrixkwartier drinks tap water”. Next to this, we also have numerous charging points for electric cars and we encourage the use of free bikes and free mopeds, so that people don’t take the car when they have to quickly go into town.” Christiaan: “As part of this strategy, we are making available 20 free electric bicycles. With the electric bike, you can also accommodate people who need to travel a little further, and ensure that people don’t arrive at their appoint23
Because of its size, WTC Amsterdam has the opportunity to experiment, meaning that ideas can first be tested out on a small scale. We conducted a trial with solar panels and we also have a wind turbine at a height of 100 meters. In themselves, these are quite substantial investments, but within the total budget it’s not colossal. In the end we decided against purchasing more wind turbines, but the solar panels turned out to be a good investment. We’re now looking into the options for replacing parts of the building’s facade with solar panels. In fact, transparent solar panels are already available. The owner of WTC Amsterdam, the CBRE Dutch Office Fund, also holds sustainability in high regard. In 2015, the CBRE Dutch Office Fund was named by GRESB as the second most environmentally sustainable fund in the world. The experiences of WTC Amsterdam and the latest technology is also being applied in the construction of the new WTC in Utrecht. Nowadays, the sustainable management and operation of real estate is a requirement of the owners and investors.” Eveline: “Also for Bouwinvest, the owner of WTC The Hague, sustainability is a real priority and a lot of resources from the office fund are invested in this. For instance, they have achieved Green Star status. Despite the excellent achievements in the area of environmental sustainability, in the Beatrixkwartier, social sustainability still had a long way to go. Bouwinvest has done a lot to change this. If you compare them with the surrounding buildings, they really have been a pioneer in this area. That’s why they also joined the GBC. They are really leading the way: the volleyball field, the many events, mobility projects, bringing all the users together. But also now with the recent building work in the WTC, we have really focussed on social sustainability. And we don’t just
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TALK OF THE TOWN
do that for ourselves, but also for the immediate environment. Terraces with seating areas have been created outside, and additional facilities provided. WTC The Hague has become a gathering place for the whole area, where people come to meet, to have lunch, to enjoy a drink. Now, all the different companies really do meet one another, literally. Creating a lively, dynamic environment was really important, and a great deal of attention, money and love has been channelled into this, by both Bouwinvest and the Green Business Club.”
concept to be aware that is exists. That’s why sharing best practices is so interesting and important.” WTC Amsterdam and WTC The Hague are therefore working really hard themselves on increasing sustainability. So what do you need GBC for? Christiaan: The sense of solidarity, that you’re trying to create a future together, sharing knowledge and taking sustainability initiatives forward together. These are the pillars of the GBC. We are, however, only the landlord; the user, the tenant, has to make use of the opportunities and the facilities we offer. In this context, it would be great if the tenants from WTC Amsterdam and The Hague were also to become members of the GBC.”
Christiaan: “That’s how things also took off here. A few of the larger companies had to take the lead and put their weight behind it. But now, Green Business Club Zuidas has more than 30 participating companies. WTC Amsterdam is now waiting for the next big step. We’re ready for something new from the market; most initiatives that are available, have already been implemented. Take waste separation, for example: in WTC Amsterdam, you pay (extra) for not separating your waste. Waste that has been separated, such as paper, glass, plastic and compostable waste, is collected free of charge, and the cost of collecting the remaining waste is calculated by the kilo. So, the less you separate your waste, the more expensive it becomes”.
What is your favourite GBC project? Christiaan: “The Audi Shared Car Fleet. That’s a really nice example. A lot of time was spent working on this with a great many parties, but it has been implemented and it is successful. I think it’s good to keep on paying attention to this, also from GBC. For example, we would prefer to use electric cars. Due to the operating radius that wasn’t possible at the time the project was set up, but we would still really like to make that switch.”
´Green Business Club Zuidas has more than 30 participating companies´
That next big step, what might that be? Eveline: “You could think of urban farming. Perhaps it’s something that’s more trendy than that it genuinely has an impact, but it certainly promotes awareness. Christiaan: “We’re currently doing a pilot with PCM. That’s a kind of gel above the suspended ceiling which absorbs heat during the day and releases it back into the building at night. This reduces the amount of electricity required for cooling the building, because it occurs passively. The initial results are positive. These kinds of innovations are really interesting, but you have to come across the
Eveline: “For us, the pop up park has been the flag ship of the GBC. You really see how much of a positive impact it has had in bringing the companies together. We have a beach volleyball tournament, and there was an organic market which even the neighbours went to. This year, too, there are lot of things being organized. So far, it’s going really well and we can still add to it with new initiatives.” * Source: Energieonderzoek Centrum Nederland (Energy Research Center Netherlands) and the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment), 2015
NO GUTS, NO GLORY WITH A STABLE OF OVER 350 DIFFERENT FOOD FIRMS – FROM OYSTER EXPERTS TO COCKTAIL SHAKERS AND TAPAS KINGS TO PITA QUEENS – WE CANTEEN IS BRINGING SOME OF THE BEST CAFÉ, BISTRO, SINGLE DISH AND FOOD TRUCK ENTREPRENEURS FROM THE CITY CENTRE TO THE WTC AMSTERDAM. Nearly five months ago We Canteen food court opened at the World Trade Center Amsterdam. You’re able to lunch on homemade soups, filled rolls, seasonal salads and fresh juices, and every day different local food entrepreneurs take the stage offering a constantly changing selection of hot meals from around the globe – think Asian, Arabic, South American and Mediterranean specialities like burritos, paella or curry. We Canteen is bringing a fresh new approach to in-company catering all throughout the Netherlands and the workforce seems to be loving it. A growing number of guests find their way to lunch every day and guest satisfaction shows a considerable increase. What seemed to be a gutsy choice, worked out great. Even the corporate environment seems to be ready for some urban excitement. More information: www.wecanteen.nl 26
ECOMODERNISM: THE NEW THINKING ABOUT GREEN AND GROWTH You might not know it yet, but the chances are, you’re an ecomodernist. A what? And do I know that you’re one of them? Well, as an entrepreneur you’re pragmatic, creative and you want to grow. A problem is a challenge. Ecomodernists want exactly the same thing in the area of the environment, they want a clean environment and as much nature as possible. And they believe that people are inventive enough to be able to achieve this. Provided certain conditions are met, that is. The most important of these are perhaps prosperity and ample affordable energy for all.
No one is denying the impact that seven billion people have on the planet. But in affluent countries, things are going in the right direction in terms of nature and the environment. So if we want to save the environment, we need to strive towards increased prosperity, and to achieve this, we need economic growth and readily available, cheap energy. There are no limits to growth, say the ecomodernists. Businesses are being strongly pressured by the environmental movement to become more ‘sustainable’. The earning model of the environmental movement is to draw your attention to how bad things are and to ask you for a donation. In times of scarcity, the earning model of business is to develop better and cheaper alternatives. So don’t let yourselves be lectured to by doom-mongers and trust that your inventiveness will not only make the world more prosperous, but also cleaner and greener.
Ecomodernism is a fairly new stream in the environmental movement and is a reaction against the doom-mongering of the existing environmental organizations. The traditional way of thinking was expressed very well in a report from the Club of Rome: The Limits of Growth. Since then, this message keeps on coming back in countless different versions; we’re reaching the planet’s limits; our ecological footprint is so big that we need more than one Earth; we emit too much CO2, and so forth. How-
Marcel Crok Science journalist and co-author of Ecomodernism, The new thinking about green and growth. (Nieuw Amsterdam, 304 pages)
ever it is worded, the message always comes down to the same thing: we are destroying the environment in which we live, and exhausting the Earth. In the recently published book ‘Ecomodernism, The new thinking about green and growth’, we, a group of journalists, challenge this negative view of humankind. Time and again, disaster scenarios around scarcity turn out not to materialize. In 1865, the economist William Jevons was already arguing that the ‘current wasteful use of coal’ could not continue for long. Back to 2017, however, and we still have hundreds of years of coal reserves left. If we really are threatened with scarcity, sooner or later we find a better and cheaper alternative. Copper became scarce due to the advent of telecommunications, but we discovered that glass fibre worked far better.
‘IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DRIVING EXPERIENCE’ Text: Marlon Maas | Photography: Thomas Boden
KIM LIEBREGTS: A DRIVING FORCE AT TESLA NEDERLAND. COUNTRY DIRECTOR FOR THE NETHERLANDS SINCE 2013, RESPONSIBLE FOR A GRAND TOTAL OF SEVEN - SOON TO BE EIGHT - NATIONAL TESLA STORES. A SPONTANEOUS, ENTHUSIASTIC AND STRAIGHTFORWARD LADY. ONE WHO LOVES HER WORK AND TESLA, BUT WHO’S NOT AFRAID OF A CHALLENGE. AND WHAT DO YOU KNOW, TESLA IS THE PERFECT EMPLOYER FOR SOMEONE LIKE THAT.
The new driving green Tesla is a pioneer - an energy innovation company that produces electric cars. In a world where sustainability and being green are becoming increasingly important, but not everyone is ready to make the change to purely electric driving, Tesla is and does. Ms Liebregts: ‘We’re the only company in the world that’s integrated vertically. In the past few years, Tesla has distinctly broadened its activities to include sustainable energy. It’s not for nothing that our mission is “to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible”’. Marketing electric cars as soon as possible - that is a goal that cannot be achieved without tackling some obstacles. But the world needs it and Tesla is ready.
‘Take the bull by the horns when opportunities present themselves’
Tesla culture Ms Liebregts is ready too. Her passion for cars and challenges makes her the right person for Tesla. Ms Liebregts: “Everyone at Tesla wants to complete the mission, from the person who polishes the cars right up to the managing director.” As there are many international colleagues, English is the working language at Tesla Netherlands. But while there may be many different cultures, one joint culture prevails - the Tesla culture. Inspirer Elon Musk Tesla’s master plan was developed by Elon Musk in 2006. His vision is embraced and promoted by everyone at Tesla. He is seen as a great inspiration. Ms Liebregts’ team hold monthly conference calls with Musk. An interesting detail: Musk never asks to see figures, he only wants to hear about customer experiences. By listening to our customers, new developments can be created. Every penny that’s earned is invested in those developments. Take the production of the Tesla Model 3, which is currently being rolled out in America. The Tesla Model 3 is an affordable model intended to bring about a global transition to electric driving. Tax-wise it’s a very appealing car for lease drivers. The model has a price range comparable to a Volkswagen Passat or an Audi A3. Investments are also being made in expanding the Supercharger locations. These are electric charging points that can be found across the country, serving as pit stops for long journeys. Their number will be doubled this year.
But the Destination Chargers are also being expanded further. Destination Chargers can be found at shopping centres and hotels so that Tesla drivers needn’t wait during charging. What type of person is a Tesla driver? Ms Liebregts: “Today’s Tesla driver is not the same Tesla driver as four years ago. Back then, Tesla cars were mainly driven by ‘early adopters’. Now, sustainability is a major factor, as is the look of the car and of course the 4% addition. That wins over a lot of people. Tesla and the Netherlands Tesla views the Netherlands as the gateway to the rest of Europe; the Port of Rotterdam is readily accessible from the rest of the world and its central position makes it easy to reach locations across the country. In addition, the country has a positive view of new technology and electric driving. Technology is an important sector in the Netherlands, particularly in the province of Noord-Brabant. Ms Liebregts: “Eindhoven was once named the smartest region in the world. It’s the accelerator for the technological developments in the country.” She laughs and says, “My colleagues accuse me of making that up because I’m from Eindhoven myself. But I swear it’s true!” Tesla Netherlands’ main locations are found in Amsterdam and Tilburg. Amsterdam is seen as the European head office, with most departments being represented. In Tilburg the models arrive for the rest of the European Union, where they will be made ready for use. In addition, all deliveries run through this location; Tilburg is an important link in the process.
welcome to your new office World Trade Center Rotterdam is the beating heart of the international corporate world in the Rotterdam area. The specific qualities of the building, the many amenities and the globally successful WTC concept make WTC Rotterdam an exciting place. A vibrant business center in the center of Rotterdam, where companies want to be located and with a constant stream of events.
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• Base your business in the heart of Rotterdam and enjoy a full-service package for carefree entrepreneurship. • Rent a flexible workspace at a friendly hourly rate or a fixed monthly rate. • As a WTC tenant or a WTC Business Club member, you are part of a global network. • The full-service Convention Centre with rooms for 10 to 1,000 people is at your disposal.
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a woman, she disagrees, saying, “I have never experienced any problems due to the fact that I’m a woman. Tesla has a positive and liberal company culture and it’s certainly not an issue. My experiences at Renault were similar. There I was perhaps seen as overly assertive, especially during my job interview, but it’s taken me to where I am now.” Life after Tesla Of course Kim Liebregts drives a Tesla herself. When asked about her favourite model, she says: The S P100D Ludicrous, the fastest production car in existence. From 0 to 60 in 2.7 seconds. That’s is in keeping with Ms Liebregts’ career at Tesla, scorching her way to the top to become the most important woman at Tesla Netherlands in no time. “I’m always involved with Tesla, but it doesn’t feel like work. I feel that you should grab the bull by the horns when opportunities present themselves. Tesla offers me so much you wouldn’t normally experience. Those are the moments that I’ll remember.”
Woman in a man’s world Liebregts previously worked for Renault where she was responsible for eight branches with a focus on the Z.E. Range model, Renault’s electric car. At an event in 2012 she struck up a conversation with an acquaintance working for Tesla. That was where Liebregts’ love for Tesla was sparked. She became interested in the vision, culture and developments at Tesla. She had no intention of applying for a job, and she didn’t need to. Six months later, Liebregts was approached by Tesla when they were looking for the right people to launch the new S model.
Is there life after Tesla? If there is, it’s one she cannot imagine. When asked about her personal goals for the near future, she answers, “In the short term I hope that Model 3 becomes the best-selling in car in its class. We’ve been working for years towards the roll-out and now the time has actually come. But we’re also actively developing electric lorries and buses. One of the main focus points is of course the drive-assist system Autopilot, which will make it possible in the future for a car to drive completely autonomously.” This feature ensures that the driver is equipped with a second pair of eyes, as it were. The car responds even if the driver hasn’t yet detected a possibly dangerous situation. “Developments will continue in the coming years until the self-driving car is a reality. There is still so much going on, and I don’t want to miss any of it.”
Ms Liebregts initially became Store Manager, and would be in charge of the Eindhoven branch in a matter of months. It was just four months, to be exact, before she was offered the position of Country Director for the Netherlands. A unique opportunity and one she seized with both hands. She had some doubts, despite management having full confidence, and she could hardly believe she was asked for such a responsible job so quickly. Smiling, “It’s been quite a ride.” As Country Director for the Netherlands, Ms Liebregts is involved in all departments to supervise national sales. The job of Country Director is varied and ranges from supervising large events, discussing new locations for the Super Chargers and new stores, marketing activities, to education about Tesla and coaching staff. Asked whether this top job is difficult for her as
EXPERIENCE THE HOME OF WTC-E
PHILIPS MUSEUM The Philips Museum offers a fascinating insight into the way in which the company developed from a small light bulb manufacturer to a major, leading global business. Right from the company’s origins in 1891 up to the innovations of tomorrow.
VAN GOGH-ROOSEGAARDE CYCLE PATH A unique combination of design and cultural heritage in the innovative, illuminated cycle path inspired by the world famous work De Sterrennacht by Vincent van Gogh, designed by designer artist Daan Roosegaarde and with special technology developed by Heijmans.
WORLD TRADE CENTER EINDHOVEN World Trade Center Eindhoven is a member of the World Trade Centers Association and promotes international business among its members and affiliated organizations under the motto “We grow trade”. For business in the south east of the Netherlands, WTC-E provides access to a worldwide network of 750,000 organizations and companies. Entrepreneurs can participate in the executive network WTC-E Zakensociëteit (WTC-E Business Society), in WTC-E Young Professionals or in the SME business platform WTC-E Internationals. 32
Travel STRIJP S Strijp S is the place for shoppers who love small-scale initiatives, innovative concepts and challenging combinations in the area of fashion, (eco) design, re-used, vintage, interior and (urban)art!
DESIGN Eindhoven is design city number one. Thanks to the Design Academy, of course, but also the prestigious Dutch Design Week. Designers like Piet Hein Eek and Yksi are based there.
DE BERGEN Thereâ€™s nowhere else like it. Cool, vibrant Pure and authentic with all its different styles. Service-oriented to its core. In a lively atmosphere youâ€™ll find a wide range of things to do, in the day, evening and later on into the night, from cafes, pubs and bars to a Michelin star restaurant, from self-roasted coffee to fresh juice and from book and antique shops to the latest, international fashion. All within the nicest streets in Eindhoven.
VAN ABBEMUSEUM The Van Abbemuseum, founded in 1936, is an renowned art gallery housed in a unique building. In 2003 the existing building, designed by architect A.J. Kropholler (the old building), which has national heritage status, was completely renovated, and integrated into the new building by architect Abel Cahen. The museum for contemporary visual art has an imposing collection, which includes works by Picasso, Chagall, Kadinsky, El Lissitzky, Theo van Doesburg, Mondriaan and Appel. Information about opening times, prices and tours can be found on the Van Abbemuseum website. 33 33
‘WE CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THE LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE HERE.’ IBAN SPIJKERS AND JUUL HEIJNE TOOK THE LEAP AND FOUNDED MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION AGENCY MARKETING MATCH ON BONAIRE. THEY TALK ABOUT THE PITFALLS, THE CHALLENGES, THE HARD WORK, AND THE REWARD OF RELAXING AT THE END OF THE DAY WITH THE CARIBBEAN SEA IN THE BACKGROUND. Text: : Frank van Bergen | Photography: Casper Douma Fotografie
What is Marketing Match exactly? “We are a marketing and communication advisory agency which provides advice and support for companies and organizations, and help them to devise an appropriate marketing and communications strategy. We do this for organizations in the Netherlands, Bonaire and North America. Both private companies and governmental organizations can make use of our services. We also provide online marketing training for (new) entrepreneurs, and we coach small business in their marketing activities. In the marketing field, there is still a lot of progress to be made in Bonaire, and we’re pleased to be able to help the island and its entrepreneurs by sharing our knowledge. We also enjoy bringing different companies and organizations together, helping to forge connections. This is reflected in one of our other initiatives: the Business Borrel Bonaire, a network gathering which takes place on a monthly basis, with the aim of fostering collaboration and strengthening links on the island. Why move to Bonaire? “The world is bigger than just the Netherlands. We wanted to go abroad and had a rough idea of what we wanted from our new home. We contacted acquaintances who were living on Bonaire to ask them how they experienced life there. The conversations were so much fun, that we decided to throw away our list and to focus our attention on Bonaire. After all, Bonaire has so much to offer: perfect temperatures complemented by cooling trade winds. The island lends itself particularly well to water sports and is the ideal location for snorkeling and scuba diving. In fact, Bonaire is known as ‘the shore dive capital of the world’. And there is so much marketing and communication potential here. This gave us the feeling that we could really contribute to the level of knowledge here. That we could do something for young entrepreneurs, small firms and traders. That makes the work exciting and liberating.” 34
JUUL HEIJNE & IBAN SPIJKERS
Was it hard to set up a new life? “Not really. We already knew some people on the island. The community is really mixed, with increasingly larger numbers of European Dutch people. Within the community you are one of the many that have come to try their luck on the island. So in that respect, everyone has a similar story. That connects people. So, on the other side of the ocean, fantastic, close friendships develop really quickly.” In what ways does Bonaire differ most from the Netherlands? “There are quite some things. For starters, we live where other people come for their holidays, and that’s a massive difference. What also surprised us, is that everyone says hello to one another in the street here. Waving is common courtesy, and you honk your car when you see someone you know. The population is also extremely diverse. In this village of less than 20,000 inhabitants, there are 68 nationalities! A great cultural difference is that here, you can make an agreement with someone, or someone might promise to do something, but then they don’t actually stick to it. This is because people really want to help and therefore don’t want to say no. So there‘s absolutely no malice behind this. That forces you to probe further to try to ensure that a particular agreement can really be kept. What was the most challenging thing at first? “Getting things arranged. In the Netherlands we’re used to smooth processes and the speed and ease with which you are assisted, but it’s quite different here. Everyone really does their best, but often you still end up being sent from pillar to post. Because of this, it feels like some things take an unnecessarily lengthy amount of time to get arranged. But still: everything always works out in the end. In any case, it definitely teaches you to be a bit more patient.”
Despite the fabulous climate, it is, I assume, still a lot of hard work? “Well, we don’t start the day with a pina colada, if that’s what you mean, haha! Starting up a business requires a great deal of attention, energy and time. And we’re both giving it everything we can in that respect. But then, once we’re free, that holiday feeling is immediately there. For example, after work, we’ll drive straight to the beach, grab a tuna burger and a beer and watch the sun set over the Caribbean Sea. That hour of relaxation completely recharges us, so we’re ready to tackle the next day!” Has this always been your dream? “No, but we’re both certain that we don’t necessarily want to follow the well-trodden path. So emigrating to the Caribbean and building a life 8000 km away from family and friends fits really well with what we’re about. In many aspects, this experience is an enrichment. For yourself, your relationship, your mindset, your work ethic, your thoughts about culture, your assumptions. What’s more, you get to know yourself really, really well.” Do you miss the Netherlands sometimes? “Without a doubt! For both of us, our bonds with family and friends have always been extremely strong, and when you’re living so far apart, that is difficult. We can’t just drop by for a coffee. Especially when happy or sad events occur, 8000 km is too far. Fortunately we’re based in a beautiful location so it’s no punishment for friends and family to come and visit! But also in terms of professional development, we miss the Netherlands. Following a training course has become a luxury product. Fortunately, with Skype, Whatsapp and FaceTime, the world has become a lot smaller. Our 10 month old niece babbles cheerfully away at us through the iPad, and webinars give us access to knowledge and skills. But that cup of coffee...... we’ll be coming over soon to do that for real! www.marketingmatch.nu www.facebook.com/marketingmatch
BUSINESS TALK WTC-NL asked 8 entrepreneurs the following questions
1. How green is your company when it comes to energy consumption? 2. What other possibilities are there in your company to invest in green? 3. How important is green business for you?
WTC ALMERE Urban Greeners, Initiator and Leader Boj van den Berg
1. “We look at the energy consumption of each project, but we also try to see it in the context of the entire company. By way of example, for a company called Drijfveer (www.drijfveer.net) we used plant-based materials where possible, sourced from the surrounding area. Wood from Almere, hemp for insulation and sheep’s wool for the felt partition wall. When other potential partners enter the market, we will engage with them.” 2. “Our collective of entrepreneurs offers plenty of opportunities to invest in green. On 24 June we will officially kick off the development of our Utopia island in the run up to the 2022 Floriade Exhibition. The island is almost 10 acres (4 hectares), exudes wild nature and is part of our exposition. It is also our testing ground for developing initiatives that make cities greener. We will open Utopia Island to the public with our very own GROW festival (www.growfestival.nl).” 3. “Very important, particularly in conducting open and constructive talks on the subject. There are so many options nowadays and it is becoming much easier to make ‘green’ choices.”
1. “OPRA’s main business is developing and manufacturing clean energy systems based on our innovative gas turbine technology – so we consider ourselves green to the core!” 2. “We are continuously investing in R&D to reduce emissions as well as running our turbines on bio-fuel. Another major opportunity these days is generating energy based on fuels derived from waste products.” 3. “Very important, as providing green energy solutions is our key business proposition.”
WTC AMSTERDAM Opra Turbines, Managing Director Fredrik Mowill
WTC THE HAGUE WestHolland Foreign Investment Agency, Executive Director Ilja van Haaren
WTC ROTTERDAM Kikkerland, Operations Manager Marigela Rattinger
1. “Just like the WTC, we believe strongly in contributing to sustainability. We have made a conscious decision to house our offices in a building that uses power derived from 100% renewable energy. Our area is heated by the WTC’s heat storage. I would like to see even more awareness in our organization and since I became Executive Director in November 2016, my ambition has been to implement a sustainability policy.” 2. “Our organization attracts foreign companies that are a perfect match for The Hague’s top sectors. Besides employment, this brings new knowledge and innovation. We see that these companies increasingly create an impact and contribute to a better world. In that sense, these companies invest in making the region, and ultimately the world, a greener place.” 3. “The world is in motion. I can see that the climate is changing. I think it is incredibly important to be aware of that and to contribute to sustainability and the environment in any way we can. I am always focused on sustainability, both at work and at home, and I try to do my bit wherever I can.”
1. “All the computers and radios are turned off at the end of the day. Our office equipment has an A+++ energy label.” 2. “Having better AC in the office. This one’s is old and doesn’t work properly. And checking our supplier on green sustainability.” 3. “Very! We have products where part of the proft goes to green projects. We have planted 300.000 trees in 20 years. We also have now a self-sufficient forest in Brazil which provides oxygen to 181 people per year. We also produce eco friendly pencils and we have erasers in the shape of animals. 2% of sales of the erasers will be donated to helping endangered species through the Center for Biological Diversity. You could check www.biologicaldiversity.org.”
Arjan de Jong
´Green business can also be profitable´
WTC LEEUWARDEN Domus Aegis B.V., Director Onno van der Kuip
WTC TWENTE Crolox, Arjan de Jong
WTC SCHIPHOL Unibail-Rodamco, Head of Projects, Maintenance, Purchasing & Sustainability Rob Flantua
1. “When talking about energy consumption, it is important to first become aware of the consumption and then to gain insight into how this consumption occurs. This requires information to allow us to come to grips with energy management. On balance, we’re going for zero on the meter. That’s what we want to achieve by 2020. 2. “Domus Aegis supervises various projects in the area of sustainable energy. Examples include solar parks, windmill farms and geothermic power stations worldwide. Our business is involved in various subsidy and investment projects in this field. We subsequently have an above average understanding of the technological possibilities of today.” 3. “My motto in life is ‘be green’. Green is more than just green energy. Green also means using renewable resources and sources, for energy, industry, chemistry and transport. Green is not just important for us, but more specifically for our children, grandchildren and all the coming generations.”
1. “For some years now, we at the Crolox Group have been making efforts to become an increasingly green organization. We make deliberate choices for sustainable datacentres, company cars and we are now in the final stages of digitizing our accounting system.” 2. “We have a new product (PI-Farma) with which we can help our pharmacy clients to become practically paperless organizations. To give you an idea, each pharmacy prints between 300,000 and 400,000 prescriptions and other attachments a year. PI-Farma is also able to support the pharmacist’s work by conducting computerized prescription checks. Depending on the number of risk-free prescriptions, approximately 70% of them are checked automatically. PI-Farma is an important timesaver for both pharmacists and their assistants, freeing up more time for them to spend on care-specific tasks that they usually don’t have time for now.” 3. “Our challenge, both in our own organization and with our products, is to demonstrate that green business is not only beneficial to the environment but that it can also be profitable.”
1. “Our company is definitely green in that respect. We have carefully monitored our energy consumption for years and each year our target is to reduce that consumption. This is done for example by using more sustainable solutions such as LED lights and by optimizing our systems. In addition, we switched to 100% green energy a number of years ago. In collaboration with energy supplier Eneco we now purchase wind power that is 100% European. 2. “In addition to my work as Head of PMPS, I’m also a project leader for the Netherlands in the CSR programme ‘Better Places 2030’. One of the goals of this programme is that Unibail-Rodamco wants to reduce its carbon emissions to just 50% by 2030. That makes us the first retail real estate owner to have such an ambitious and global strategy in mind.” 3. “I’m personally very active in green business. It’s not just part of my job, it’s also my conviction. Sustainable or green business is the only way to conduct business these days.”
WTC-NL Goes global COLUMN GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2018
LET THE LION ROAR IN 2018 On April 4, the time had finally come. In the Paris hotel in Las Vegas, Caesar and Cleopatra officially handed us the baton for the next General Assembly. Just 12 months to go and the Netherlands will take centre-stage. Visiting Las Vegas was a real experience. What they’ve created around gambling, entertainment and conference venues is truly incredible. A city with 150,000 hotel beds that are booked full almost every weekend, a city where more than 21,000 meetings and conferences are organized each year, and with some 42 million visitors in 2016. In 2016, the Las Vegas Conference Centre part of WTC Las Vegas organized 53 conferences, each of which received more than 20,000 visitors. For Las Vegas, the WTC conference with its 250 attendees was small and easy.
sterdam. It will be fantastic to welcome participants from across the globe, representing more than 750,000 companies. We are strongly committed to trade facilitation; we want to give our Dutch companies the chance to come into contact with this network in a focussed way. And likewise of course, to bring international companies into contact with Dutch enterprises.
WTC colleagues from almost 40 countries attended the conference in Las Vegas. For the conference in the Netherlands we expect to welcome representatives from more than 60 countries. For a company wishing to build its international network, this is a terrific opportunity to profile itself.
The important thing now is to interest as many WTCs as possible in coming to the Netherlands. We plan to do this by sharing with them all the economic opportunities the Netherlands has to offer, via a monthly newsletter. We’ve also made a short film, which we showed for the first time in Las Vegas. It’s a great promotion for the Netherlands, both as a tourist destination and in terms of business opportunities. So far, we’ve received a great many positive responses to the video; there’s widespread interest in coming to the Netherlands. Perhaps the biggest compliment I’ve received until now was from a Dutch woman married to the director of WTC Panama. After the film, she came up to me and said that seeing the video had made her feel incredibly homesick.
Next year, the worldwide WTC network will be coming to Leeuwaarden and Am-
The focus of the next few months will primarily fall on encouraging as many Dutch
WTC GOES GLOBAL
T he host of the 48th General Assembly was World Trade Center Las Vegas! The event, “Connections for Global Opportunities” took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA from April 2-5, 2017. The event focussed on strengthening the WTCA network through shared information on leadership, positioning, operations and revenue generation, and identifying the best trade and investment opportunities in the region. Building and enhancing relationships among WTC representatives, as well as local business leaders, through dynamic networking forums and events, was an important focus of the event. w ww.wtca.org
companies as possible to participate in the conference, and also on filling the program with good speakers. Alongside the central theme “TRUST, the core of international business”, we’re committed to tackling the societal challenges faced worldwide, with water-related problems receiving a prominent position. We want to offer solutions: Global challenges, Dutch solutions! Showcasing the Netherlands as a great place to base a business will of course also be high on the agenda. This is a unique event and a unique opportunity for us to promote ourselves, also as a tourist and cultural centre. Having Leeuwaarden as Cultural Capital of Europe in 2018 is a fantastic testimony to the Netherlands’ cultural credentials. We’re going to make sure the Dutch lion really roars in 2018! Evert-Jan Schouwstra Managing Director WTC Northen Netherlands
E VERT-JAN SCHOUWSTRA (RIGHT) E NJOYS THE ACHIEVEMENT
On the move
‘THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD JUST IS SO UNIQUE’ VICE PRESIDENT OF INTERNATIONAL SALES AT UMBRA, MARK BENSON AND HIS FAMILY MOVED TO THE NETHERLANDS FROM CHICAGO EIGHT YEARS AGO. INITIALLY THEY WOULD JUST STAY FOR TWO TO THREE YEARS, BUT BECAUSE OF THE INTERNATIONAL FOCUS OF HIS COMPANY, THE INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE MARK HAD AND HIS PREFERENCE TO STAY IN AMSTERDAM. AS VICE PRESIDENT OF INTERNATIONAL SALES AT THE GLOBAL HOUSEWARE PRODUCT DESIGN COMPANY UMBRA, MARK SEES A LOT OF BENEFITS FOR HAVING THEIR HOME BASED OFFICE IN WORLD TRADE CENTER ALMERE. WHAT KIND OF COMPANY IS UMBRA? “Umbra has been in business for 37 years now. At Umbra, we design and produce modern but casual accessories for the home, like: clocks, mirrors, bath accessories or kitchen accessories. We’re a design company with 28 designers in our staff and always designing original products for homes. Our brand is extremely popular in North America. Our focus now is to build a global brand and Europe is our primary focus. We decided to pick the Netherlands as our home base and it has been wonderful so far.” WHAT’S YOUR JOB AT UMBRA? “Before I came to the Netherlands, I worked for Umbra in the United States. Because of our global focus, I was asked to become head of our then still relatively small staff in the Netherlands and to build our brand. Since I’ve arrived I have been responsible for the international sales department. I manage all sales worldwide, excluding the United States and Canada. At first I was supposed to live here for two to three years, but from both work and personal perspective we decided to stay.” WHY DID YOU MAKE THE DECISION TO STAY IN THE NETHERLANDS FOR A LONGER PERIOD OF TIME? “Each year when we had the opportunity to stay, we decided to stay. From a work perspective: the business was growing. That was extremely enjoyable. And from a family perspective: living in the Netherlands, the quality of life here, is something we appreciate very much. It just has been an incredible experience for both our work and personal life. We just felt like: ‘Every year we can live abroad is beneficial for us as well for our three children.’ Our children are now in the age of eight, eleven and thirteen years old. Our daughter, when she was twelve years old, was getting on the tram by herself to go shopping. That’s very unique and wonderful. Because those kind of activities aren’t possible at that age in major US cities as Chicago, where there’s less safety and a high crime rate compared to the city where we live right now, Amsterdam.” WHY DO YOU LIKE LIVING IN THE NETHERLANDS SO MUCH? “My family and I have been to a lot of places, but this corner of the world just is so unique. Again from a personal and work perspective. Personally because of, amongst other things, the quality of life in terms of transportation, the language and the people who are extremely nice and extravert. Also, Amsterdam is one of the
view cities in the world that can offer so much, but not overly intense, such as London, New York or Chicago. It offers the arts, the great restaurants, the green spaces and so much safety.” IN WHICH WAY DOES UMBRA OPERATE WHEN IT COMES TO WORKING WITH AN INTERNATIONAL STAFF? “We have colleagues from all over the world. The diversity and seeing how people work together is amazing. That’s the most enjoyable part of my stay so far: seeing so many different perspectives. The number one thing I’ve learned since I’ve been here is to be more able to adept. There are more ways to get results, not just one. I’ve really learned to hear different thoughts in ways to do things. I’ve really gained from that.” WHY DID YOUR COMPANY CHOOSE ALMERE CITY FOR THEIR HOME BASED OFFICE? “One of the benefits of our location here is that we’re across from Almere centrum. Because of the speed trains, cities as Amsterdam are just around the corner. In Amsterdam there’s a lot of international talent. In recruiting perspective, that’s very beneficial for us, because we need to have an international staff. We sell consumer products all over the world to retail businesses. That’s why we have country managers. When we want to sell our products in Germany, we hire a German country manager. Also, we found that a lot of these expats want to settle down in Almere. The cost of living here is fantastic and it’s a great place to raise a family. Even people from Italy decide to stay for the long term in Almere. That’s what we want: a divers team for the long term. We’re an Dutch based and focused company, but on the other hand, the international aspect is also our strength.” Text: Florian Aalders MARK BENSON
World Trade Center Almere P.J. Oudweg 4 1314 CH Almere +31 (0)36 548 25 00 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wtcalmere.nl
World Trade Center Rotterdam Beursplein 37 3011 AA Rotterdam +31 (0)10 405 44 44 email@example.com www.wtcrotterdam.com
World Trade Center Amsterdam Strawinskylaan 1 (B2 Central Hall) 1077 XW Amsterdam +31 (0)20 575 91 11 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wtcamsterdam.com
World Trade Center Schiphol Airport Schiphol Boulevard 105 1118 BG Schiphol +31 (0)20 316 30 24 email@example.com www.wtcschiphol.nl
World Trade Center Eindhoven Veldmaarschalk Montgomerylaan 1 5612 BA Eindhoven +31 (0)40 237 49 72 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wtce.nl
World Trade Center The Hague Prinses Beatrixlaan 582 2595 BM The Hague T +31 (0)70-304 53 00 email@example.com www.wtcthehague.com
World Trade Center Leeuwarden Heliconweg 52 8914 AT Leeuwarden +31 (0)58 294 16 10 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wtcl.nl
World Trade Center Twente Prins Bernhardplantsoen 308 7551 HT Hengelo +31 (0)74 291 56 04 email@example.com www.wtctwente.eu
FACTS & FIGURES ABOUT QATAR WORLD TRADE CENTER 42
The building is 241 metres high and has 51 stories. Itâ€™ one of the tallest buildings in Qatar, ranking # 414 in the list of tallest buildings in the world. Construction began in 2010 and was completed in 2013. The building is located in West Bay in Doha, the capital of Qatar. It has 27 elevators, with a top speed of 7m/s. With a population of 2.1 million and a GDP per capita of USD 93,000, Qatar is one of the fastest growing nations in the Middle East.
For the past 20 years, WTC Qatar has been assisting local and
In 2013, governmental spending was at record levels, amounting to USD 44,850 MM. This has created trading opportunities for multinationals eager to get a foothold in the GCC.
In May 2015, Doha was officially recognized as one of the New7Wonders Cities, together with Vigan, La Paz, Durban, Havana, Beirut, and Kuala Lumpur.
WTC Doha offers trade services in trade counselling, group trade mission, event management, business management & professional services, trade information / market research, education & knowledge creation. 43
LOCATION Asmakh Street, Qatar General Insurance & Reinsurance building, 2nd floor, P.O. Box 22357. Doha, Qatar www.wtcdoha.com