Circular Friesland and Plug-In-City win Circular Economy Awards

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Circular Friesland and Plug-In-City have won the Circular Economy Awards in the categories 'Best Circular Region' and 'Work Location'. ABN AMRO, the main sponsor of the awards, presented the winners with their awards during the BT Event at Lelystad Airport on 2 November. Circular Friesland achieved victory by demonstrating that the circular economy is a concrete sustainable economy in which businesses can thrive and create jobs. And Plug-In-City has successfully put circularity on the map in the Brainport Region by developing a portable testing ground that moves across the city like a travelling circus.

As main sponsor of the Circular Economy Awards, ABN AMRO keeps close track of new developments in the circular economy. Over the past few months, an expert jury with representatives from TNO, Urgenda, Metabolic, and others has rated the organisations and regions with the best circular economy scores. They nominated 14 circular regions and 19 circular work locations for the Awards. During the finals, Circular Friesland, Haarlemmermeer and Venlo competed for the first prize in the category 'Best Circular Region'. As for the 'Work location' Award, the final contestants were Plug-In-City, Park 20|20 and the Blokhuispoort.

Circulair Friesland

Circular Friesland is an innovative initiative that has successfully mobilised the province of Friesland and combined circularity with economic prosperity. The province and involved municipalities actively focus on circular purchasing and tendering to boost local small and medium-sized enterprises. Circular Friesland Association chairman John Vernooij: “The ABN AMRO Circular Economy Awards provide an important acknowledgement to organisations that have been committed to the circular economy from the start.” Sander de Rouwe, member of the Executive Council of the Province of Friesland, is pleased with the award as well: “Friesland is a highly suitable region for this development. We're the circular economy pioneers of the Netherlands.”


Plug-In-City is an unusual concept where maritime containers placed on a brownfield site in Eindhoven are converted into a circular economy breeding ground. The containers provide workspace and collaboration opportunities for designers, architects, craftsmen, artists, gamers, and entrepreneurs. Bas Luiting from Redesign Factory, who came up with the Plug-In-City concept: “Collective thought is our priority. We receive no subsidy; the site and containers are borrowed. With our initiative we want to foster a young generation to embrace the circular economy and take it to the next level.”

Eric Zwaart, ABN AMRO Sector Banker Public & Education: “The Circular Economy Awards highlight the innovative solutions that circular companies and regions apply in their region or work locations. Circular Friesland and Plug-In-City are inspiring examples of locations and regions that purposefully prioritise circular material use, boost their energy efficiency, and look after their people's health. Their own organisations work with a circular design too. We are very enthusiastic about the high level of all submissions and we hope other organisations will follow this excellent example.”

About the Circular Economy Awards

ABN AMRO is the main sponsor of the Circular Economy Awards. During this annual election, the best Dutch initiatives for the circular economy are awarded for their efforts. ABN AMRO considers the circular economy to be an important development in the bank's own operations as well. Circular solutions can significantly boost sustainability of the built environment. The Circular Economy Awards highlight the successes that companies and regions achieve to this end. As such, ABN AMRO keeps close track of new developments in this area. ABN AMRO wants to contribute to a sustainable society, and one of the ways it does so is by boosting the pace in which the Dutch built environment makes the switch. The bank's sustainability ambitions are reflected in Mission 2030: ABN AMRO is committed to raising the average energy label for all of the real estate in its portfolio to A-level by the year 2030.


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