Dutch businesses endorse sustainability in COVID-19 recovery

Over 250 companies have signed the statement 'Dutch companies endorse sustainability in COVID-19 recovery’, in which they pledge support for taking sustainability as the cornerstone in the COVID-19 recovery plans. Led by Jan Peter Balkenende, chairman of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC), the statement is presented to Minister Kaag on June the 19th; the day on which the European Council will discuss the COVID-19 recovery plan.

The statement is made at the initiative of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition in collaboration with Global Compact Netherlands, MVO Nederland and the “Nederlandse Vereniging van Banken” (Dutch Banking Association) and VNO-NCW.


List of signatories
"Despite the unprecedented crisis that affects us all, we must not forget the major social challenges in the areas of climate change, poverty and inequality," says Jan Peter Balkenende. “When using the funds from the major recovery funds that are now being set up, the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can provide guidance. I am pleasantly surprised that within a few days, so many Dutch companies have supported the statement. The number of registrations is still increasing. This indicates an enormous commitment to sustainable recovery and a better society.”

Find the complete list of signatories here

Sign the statement (Dutch businesses only)

Endorsing the statement is possible for Dutch businesses until the 5th of September 2020. If you want to support the Green Recovery Statement, we ask you to send the information below to GreenRecovery@dsgc.nl.


1. Full name of the company signing this statement. Please provide the full name of your company as it should be reflected on the signatory list. If applicable, please be explicit if, for example, only the Dutch branch of your company is signing the statement.

2. The company’s logo. Preferably in .EPS or .AI file format. When using other file formats, provide the logo in a minimum file size of 400kb (JPEG).

3. Point of contact. Please indicate to whom the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition office could reach out to in case of any questions. 


In case of any questions, please email to GreenRecovery@dsgc.nl.

Selection of quotes from participants:


  • Thierry Vanlancker, CEO AkzoNobel: 

“Together with fellow members of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition, we’re fully behind the urgent need to continue focusing on sustainability while using the UN SDGs as a guiding compass to define and measure our efforts. This will not only help us to mitigate climate risks, but will also enable us to create a more resilient economy and a more inclusive society. We look forward to continuing our collaborative work with the Dutch and EU governments to further embed sustainability so we can maximize our contribution to the SDG agenda. Together, we can make this possible.” 

  • Dimitri de Vreeze Co-CEO Royal DSM: 

“To make the world a brighter place, we need to pull together and build back better from the covid-19 pandemic. Through new collaborations, solutions and initiatives we have a major opportunity to create a more sustainable world tomorrow.” Let’s not go back to normal... but a new better normal”. 

  • Pieter Elbers, President & CEO KLM: 

“De impact van de COVID-19 crisis is ongeëvenaard en het is nog onduidelijk hoe de wereld en samenleving er na de COVID-19 pandemie exact uit zullen zien. De crisis treft de wereld tijdens de overgang naar een duurzamere economie. KLM staat al 15 jaar in de top 3 van de Dow Jones Sustainability Index en ook in deze moeilijke tijd zal KLM de uitdagingen die klimaatverandering met zich meebrengt niet uit het oog verliezen. Het terugbrengen van CO2 uitstoot door inzet van nieuwe, efficiëntere vliegtuigen en gebruik van sustainable aviation fuel is en blijft een van de belangrijkste pijlers van onze duurzaamheidsstrategie. Duurzaam opereren, samenwerken – zoals in DSGC-verband - en innoveren zullen een cruciale rol spelen in een duurzaam herstel binnen Europa. Voor de Europese Green Deal is hierbij een rol weggelegd. Tegelijkertijd moeten we borgen dat je als Europees bedrijf onder eerlijke voorwaarden ook op wereldniveau succesvol kunt zijn.”

  • Annemarieke de Haan, General Manager Unilever Benelux: 

“The EU Green Recovery Plan can give a boost to creating more sustainable economies. Aligned business action is crucial to maximise impact. In that context, I am glad to share that Unilever recently announced that our brands will collectively invest €1 billion over the next ten years in a new dedicated Climate & Nature Fund.”

  • Michiel de Haan, CEO Royal Lemkes: 

“The Corona crisis has taught us a lot, among others about our vulnerability as human beings. But also, about the power we have to change things. Let us use this window of opportunity to change our economy to the advance of our children and grandchildren. More sustainable and more equal. Business and government hand in hand. “

  • Jos Baeten, CEO a.s.r.: 

‘COVID-19 heeft de wereld ontwricht en de kwetsbaarheden van onze huidige economie en samenleving blootgelegd. Met de Green Recovery Statement kijken we naar de toekomst, naar herstel. Als bedrijfsleven nemen we hierin verantwoordelijkheid en maken keuzes om te bouwen aan een duurzaam én inclusief Nederland, een Nederland met een houdbare economie en een samenleving waar iedereen meetelt en de vrijheid voelt, om mee te mogen doen’ 

  • Erik Henstra, Managing Director LeasePlan Nederland: 

“Nederland creëert duurzame economische kansen wanneer overheden en het bedrijfsleven slim samenwerken om grote maatschappelijke uitdagingen op te lossen. We komen uit onze silo’s en nemen de verantwoordelijkheid om onze klimaatdoelstellingen en daarmee ook economische groei te realiseren. Je wilt dat de generaties na ons trots zijn. “

  • Marc den Hertog, creative director & managing partner BBK/Door Vriendschap Sterker: 

“Our thoughts are with everyone who has lost loved ones to COVID-19. This crisis has shown that, if necessary, we can rapidly change our behaviour. Let’s not waste it by getting back to business as usual. Let’s use its momentum to evolve towards a better, more sustainable world.” 

Find all the quotes here.