Discover Benelux, Issue 67, July 2019

Page 50

Sustainable lifestyle and circular cuisine in Amsterdam’s business hotspot TEXT: EVA MENGER  |  PHOTOS: CIRCL

Located in the front garden of the ABN AMRO headquarters, circular platform CIRCL brings people together and encourages others to take steps towards a more sustainable environment. “Everybody is talking about sustainability, but there’s a big difference between saying it and showing that you care,” CIRCL director Merijn van den Bergh tells us. “We wanted to make a positive impact on our surroundings, and that’s how CIRCL was born.” Van den Bergh was involved with the CIRCL project from the very beginning. As director, he is responsible for the way in which people operate and col50  |  Issue 67  |  July 2019

laborate across the organisation, and it is his main goal to ensure that circularity is at the heart of everything they do.

ly had to get used to. No one really knew what circularity was, so there was a huge amount to learn and to discover.”

A learning curve

Now, almost two years later, the team has started to understand how the building works and what it has to offer. “It’s much more serious now,” chef Rudolf Brand adds in agreement. “The first phase was all about testing the waters, exploring what we could and couldn’t do. We needed to find out first-hand how the concept of circularity was going to impact on a professional kitchen and, in return, how cooking fresh food every day could align with our wider philosophy.”

Key pillars of circularity are collaboration and utilising your environment, both of which are clearly visible within CIRCL. The building is made from materials found in old offices, and natural sources such as groundwater and outside temperatures are utilised fully through smart technologies. “For every problem, we aim to find a natural solution,” Van den Bergh explains. “When starting out in September 2017, this was something everybody real-