EUR students help large companies with sustainability ambitions

On November 11th the team of students from Erasmus University, tasked with creating an action plan for Shell’s sustainability ambitions, presented their winning idea, competing against teams taking on the challenges of the other 7 members of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC).

As part of the event “Generational Leadership in Action” on the 11th of November, students worked together with young professionals from the DSGC member companies in workshop to create action plans to realise each of AkzoNobel, DSM, Heineken, KLM, FrieslandCampina, Philips, Shell and Unilever’s sustainability goals for 2030. “The different generations need each other to realise a sustainable future”, said Jan Peter Balkenende, Chairman of the DSGC, during the event. “Doing nothing is not an option. We need to begin acting, and for that we also need the new, brilliant ideas of the younger generation.”

The Sustainability Ambitions

  1. AkzoNobel: Convince stakeholders in the value chain to use more sustainable solutions in the built environment;
  2. DSM: Build societal confidence in modern technologies for sustainable food production;
  3. FrieslandCampina: How to make farming carbon neutral while maintain a fair income for famers;
  4. Heineken: Encourage responsible alcohol consumption among new generations of adults;
  5. KLM: How to scale up the use of sustainable jet fuel to 10 percent worldwide by 2030;
  6. Philips: Identify and maintain local partnerships for generative systems for exchange of materials, energy and biodiversity & ecosystem services;
  7. Unilever: Motivate all players in the value chain to action with the full portfolio of brands


The team tasked with the action plan for Shell’s sustainability ambition, came up with the winning idea. Shell aims to make its road transport 100 percent carbon in the Dutch market neutral by 2040. The award winners emphasized the importance of cooperation between different stakeholders. The action plan included the proposal to give consumers a free charging point for electric vehicles when buying a new house.

Expert Jury

The jury was formed by Annemarieke de Haan (CEO Unilever Benelux), Robert Metzke (Philips Global Head of Sustainability), Hein Schumacher (CEO Friesland Campina), Edith Schippers (President DSM Netherlands), Nicole van Det (CEO Accenture Netherlands), Fleur Osté (Key Account Manager Unilever and representative of the Dutchtainables), Michiel Boots (Chief Economist Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate) and Judith Maas (Director SDG Netherlands).


Generational Leadership in Action is a follow-up to the Transform Your World congress in 2016. This event was a collaboration between the Economic Faculty Association Rotterdam (EFR) and the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC) and is supported by Accenture, VNO-NCW, SDG Netherlands and Dutchtainables.