The members of our board are from diverse backgrounds, allowing them to reflect on the work of Circle Economy from different points of view. These people foster the mission Circle Economy has set out to achieve, guiding the organisation by utilising their own experience.
Robert-Jan van Ogtrop, former CEO of Bols Royal Distilleries and subsequently CEO of Remy Cointreau was also an industrial partner at CVC Capital Partners. He is now an active investor in a number of renewable energy/clean tech companies (E2, Ledzworld, Cautha). Furthermore he is trying to combine his experience in the business world with his activities regarding nature conservation and business development in Africa and Europe. As a Board member of the Wilderness Leadership School, Wilderness Foundation, BiD Network, the chairman of TBL Mirror Fund, African Parks, and as a founder of Foundation for Natural Leadership and Circle Economy he practices what he has been preaching. “We do not really have any choice. We cannot continue to go ahead, exploiting the natural resources of our planet as if they were infinite nor using a linear growth model that produces enormous amounts of waste which inevitably will destroy our quality of life. It is time to use our collective intelligence to redesign our way of working with nature as inspiration since it is, in itself, a perfect ‘circle economy’.”
Herman H. F. Wijffels is a Dutch economist and politician for the CDA. From 1981 to 1999 he worked for the Rabobank ultimately as chairman of the board of directors and from March 15, 1999 until April 1, 2006, he was chairman of the Social-Economic Council (Sociaal-Economische Raad, SER). From 2006 to 2008 he was the Dutch representative at the World Bank and in 2007 he was `informateur’, coordinating the negotiations between the political parties for the cabinet-to-be. Since 2009, Herman Wijffels is professor in Sustainability and Societal Change at the Utrecht Sustainability Institute (USI) of Utrecht University. This chair focusses on which quality of life is possible given the ecological boundaries. In 2011 he founded the Sustainable Finance Lab, which develops ideas to contribute to a stable and robust financial sector, which in return, contributes to an economy at the service of humanity that does not exhaust our living environment.
Louise E.M. Vet is a professor of Evolutionary Ecology at Wageningen University and director of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO), the largest institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). She is a biologist with a broad interest in ecology and evolution. Her research involves chemical, behavioural and molecular ecology of plants and insects in a community context (life-support function of biodiversity). Louise Vet has a special interest in communicating the importance of ecology to the general public. Her outreach focuses on achieving a positive interaction between ecology and economy (see e.g. TEDxAmsterdam talks). Practice what you preach: she was the driving force behind the realization of the highly innovative, sustainable laboratory/office complex of the NIOO. “Destruction of biodiversity and ecosystem services is a design problem. Let’s learn and make use of 3.8 billion years of successful natural design. Join us in the challenge to turn our linear economy into a circular one!”
Since March 2014 Mr. Lopes Cardozo is CEO of Black Bear Carbon, a producer of carbon black from end-of-life tires for the tire, rubber and paint industry. Lopes Cardozo is a successful serial entrepreneur. In the USA he built and grew a number of technology companies, all of which had successful exits. Returning to The Netherlands in 2008 he has fulfilled strategy and M&A roles at large corporates. Lopes Cardozo has a MSc degree in Applied Physics from TU Delft and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is also an Entrepreneur in Residence at Yes!Delft, where he advised and supports a wide variety of start-ups including many in the clean-tech space.
For six and a half years Fiona was the Director of Business Support at a.s.r. Insurance during which, she was responsible for Sustainability, Facility Management, Operations and the Sustainable Renovation of the company’s 86.000m2 head office. Fiona was awarded the Bouwpluim 2015, the Nederlandse Bouwprijs 2017, and was nominated for the Duurzame 50 2017 for her work in the field of sustainable building. She also holds several advisory positions, including one on the International Advisory Board of Utrecht University on the subject of sustainability. Fiona’s extensive experience in corporate environments gives way to her strong focus on corporate responsibility and circularity.
She has an MSC degree in geology and geophysics from Utrecht University and furthered her education at the London Business School. Recently Fiona received her certification as an Executive Coach, which she is now using to help business executives tap into their intrinsic motivations and develop themselves to their full potential.
"We do not really have any choice. It is time to use our collective intelligence to redesign our way of working with nature as inspiration since it is, in itself, a perfect ‘circle economy’."Robert-Jan van Ogtrop, Founder, Circle Economy
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