More than half of Dutch companies are working to improve sustainability, but often lack expertise and time

Press release -

These findings were revealed by a survey that GfK carried out for ABN AMRO Commercial Banking among 349 Dutch companies. ABN AMRO supports the transition to a more sustainable economy, and hopes to improve its understanding of what the Dutch business sector is doing in terms of sustainability.

  • Half the businesses in the Netherlands are proactively introducing sustainability measures 
  • The principal areas of focus are procurement policy, long-term capex and energy efficiency 
  • 54 percent of businesses want to invest in sustainability, but lack the understanding and time

A prominent issue for the Dutch business sector

Just over half of all businesses in the Netherlands (51 percent) see sustainability as a prominent issue. Almost three businesses in ten (28 percent) say that they will implement measures if and when that is demanded of them, and one in five (20 percent) announced that they were making little to no effort in terms of sustainability. The operational areas where sustainability improvements are mostly pursued are procurement policy (59 percent), energy efficiency of the business premises (59 percent) and long-term capital expenditure (55 percent). Other areas where sustainability is rated as important are efficient use of raw materials (48 percent) and giving back to society (42 percent).

Not because it is required

Businesses that want to invest in improving their sustainability primarily have intrinsic motivations (73 percent). Other factors are a desire to leave the world in a good condition for future generations (70 percent) and long-term savings (55 percent). More than half the businesses stated that they would like to make investments, but lack the necessary time and/or understanding (54 percent) or funds and/or manpower (46 percent).

Businesses want sustainable banks

For 47 percent of businesses, an active sustainability effort is a preference or even a firm requirement in their banking partner. Businesses mostly want their banks to make sustainable investments (75 percent), have a policy for human rights compliance (70 percent) and sponsor sustainable activities (67 percent).

ABN AMRO’s Senior Managing Director Commercial Banking Clients Fred Bos explains, ‘We’ve noticed that banks and businesses are moving closer and closer together on the matter of sustainability and are starting to work together to achieve it. Circular business models and improving the sustainability of real estate are key topics for ABN AMRO: we support businesses by providing knowledge, expertise and financing and we can help them overcome issues of time and money. For example, we recently introduced a Sustainable Investment Tool that offers clients explanations and advice about the sustainability of real estate and the possibilities for improving that sustainability.’


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