(San Francisco) — Fifteen Dutch companies will embark on a digital fact-finding mission to the US West Coast to explore future collaborations with American companies to develop the circular city of the future.

On April 13, Dutch Minister for the Environment Stientje van Veldhoven, will launch the three-day mission with California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis and Mayor of Phoenix, Kate Gallego. The mission on circular urban development runs parallel with the WCEF+Climate digital conference on Circular Economy, hosted by the Netherlands and Finland, April 15-17. 

The Netherlands and the United States have high ambitions when it comes to the Paris Climate Agreement. Developing a circular economy is key in reaching these goals. As construction and urban planning contribute heavily to CO2 emissions, creating a circular city will have a major impact. The participating Dutch companies all have smart and creative solutions for living a circular life: from recycling construction materials to waste water treatment. The mission connects these companies to potential partners on the West Coast.

“If we want to tackle climate change, it’s time to change the game. We must look beyond energy and move towards a circular economy. For a healthy future we have to stop wasting our finite resources, reuse our valuable materials and turn them into new products. We can only do that if we work together with our partners in the United States and beyond,” said Minister Stientje van Veldhoven. “Innovation and collaboration are core to this transition. And these Dutch companies, together with the expertise in California and Arizona, can really make a big impact in closing the loop to a circular economy, a necessity for climate neutrality by 2050.”

Smart solutions

The companies bring a wide variety of solutions, from urban farming to 100% sustainable neighborhoods and 3D-printed floors. The Netherlands is leading when it comes to developing the circular city of the future. Circularity goes far beyond just recycling waste and is about changing both design, production, business models and use. Changing the entire production and construction chain as part of the transition to a circular economy will help bring about a sustainable economy and better living conditions.

In 2020, the Netherlands launched a public private partnership aimed at circular urban development in the US, organized by Holland Circular Hotspot. The partnership is organizing the fact-finding mission, together with the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management, the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington DC, and the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco.

Consul General Dirk Janssen: “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time. Both the Netherlands and the US West Coast have innovative ideas how to achieve circularity in the build environment, and we’re happy to bring these experts together during this fact-finding mission and the World Circular Economy Forum.”

Circular Economy Forum

The World Circular Economy Forum + Climate, April 15 and 16, is organized jointly by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, to draw attention to the importance of a circular economy in reaching the climate goals. Among the speakers are Frans Timmermans, first Vice-President of the European Commission; Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG); and Sigrid Kaag, the Netherlands’ Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

The fact-finding mission will be launched with a virtual talk show, with speakers Stientje van Veldhoven, Eleni Kounalakis, Kate Gallego and James Ehrlich of Stanford University. The talk show can be viewed on Twitter, Tuesday April 13, 8.45 PT.

You can find an overview of participating companies here.

For more information, please contact Mr. Sietze Vermeulen, Senior Communications Advisor at the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco: +1 415-866-5572