In my previous column, I wrote that technology by itself can never make our world sustainable, but that there has to be a social change as well. Within current companies, there is often the idea that it is very difficult or expensive to become more sustainable. Similar to small communities it is crucial to start bottom-up, instead of top-down to become successful.
I heard about an interesting initiative on which I would like to elaborate.
Sluisjesdijkpier in Rotterdam houses a large amount of businesses. Some of them are already becoming more sustainable by E.G. using waste to produce energy. Harbour company (Havenbedrijf) Rotterdam, Cofely, BGP ITS, IHS (Erasmus Rotterdam) and the Veldacademie have joined forces to organize an Energy and Knowledge market for the different businesses of the Sluisjesdijkpier. The goal is to join efforts, reduce energy use and the carbon footprint, and create a self-sufficient and eventually the most sustainable business park of the Netherlands.
What I found interesting, is that the market will not be filled with sustainability experts, or salesmen of PV panels and such. Only companies from within this business park are invited. In this fashion, they can get to know each other and also exchange information. This includes information about sustainable solutions for their companies, which they can share with the other companies. One of the ideas is a Biomass system. Since many companies offer residual wood from their production processes, these could be used in a Biomass system to provide heating to the offices.
The market is about sustainability, but even more so about joining together to come up with great sustainable solutions that aid all businesses on the Sluisjesdijkpier in Rotterdam. In the end, this will create widespread support for sustainable solutions within this businesspark.