Sustainable & inclusive entrepreneurship

Circular economy

The world is facing complex social and environmental challenges. The Netherlands strongly believes that a transition to a circular economy is key to achieving the SDGs. Current ways of production and consumption are not sustainable and with the current take-make-waste approach the planet is facing its boundaries. A change is needed.

A circular economy, in which raw materials are used and reused more effectively, offers not just a more balanced global economic growth, but also ample opportunities for innovation and business worldwide. Going circular benefits us all, including countries on their way to economic growth, where this transition for example comes with extra jobs. Ultimately, we believe a circular economy will result in a more robust and cross-functional economy and an improved quality of life for all.

The Netherlands aims to be a fully functioning circular economy by 2050. To reach this ambitious target, we need to turn circular innovations into daily practice. This means not only encouraging circularity-minded initiatives, but also inspiring people to adopt them. Going circular requires the reshaping of an entire system, and for that everyone needs to be on board.

Making a circular shift

The Dutch are entrepreneurial people, and collaboration is in our DNA. In the Netherlands, government, knowledge institutions, businesses and civil society work together to make the circular shift. They set aside their own short-term interests to focus on the shared long-term objective: to become a fully circular economy. The government facilitates this ambition by helping entrepreneurs to develop, launch and scale-up their circular products and services. Initiatives like the Netherlands Circular Accelerator facilitate this.

But to create an economy that is truly 100% circular, we need to go beyond national borders. Pioneers of the Dutch circular movement are looking forward to partnering with others dedicated to reshaping the global economy. The Dutch government, companies, knowledge institutes and NGOs already work together with partners all over the world to exchange ideas and learn from each other’s mistakes and successes. We collaborate by sharing insights and tools on topics like circular agri & food, water and waste management, chemical recycling and innovative packaging. Through international initiatives like Holland Circular Hotspot and the PACE (Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy) Action Hub we facilitate this collaboration.

So let’s make this shift together, because the future is circular!


All sub-themes

Smart cities

Across the world, cities are growing rapidly; around 70% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by 2050 compared. At present that figure is 55%. The increase in urban population presents several urgent challenges, putting substantial strain on resources with life-threatening implications.