September 21, 2016 - 12:00
September 21, 2016 - 13:30
AddressTU/e campus Blauwe Zaal View map
Maurits Groen is a ‘serial sustainable entrepreneur’ who has founded several sustainable companies. For more than 30 years he has been running his own environmental communications consultancy, MauritsGroen*MGMC. He is also active as a writer, producer, director, editor and presenter and is currently CEO of WakaWaka, a company which aims at making sustainable essential products available and affordable for people at the Bottom of the Pyramid. In 2015, he was named the #1 most sustainable person in the Netherlands by the Dutch newspaper Trouw.
This lecture was organized in cooperation with Studium Generale. Over 150 people were there to learn how a “sustainable business model” is a pleonasm, as companies will need to incorporate global responsibility and sustainability in their business model. That is, if they still want to exist in a few decades.
The Waka-Waka concept is about empowering people. Bringing clean light and electricity to the world’s poorest provides them with an opportunity to work and study after dark. Petroleum and wood-fuelled lights provides serious health risks as well as environmental pollution, which is avoided when using solar-power LED lights. Also, an owner of a Waka-Waka device can rent or lease it to others to generate income and thus alleviate poverty. Creating a sustainable business model should always take sustainable development into account, the UN development goals mentioned below are applicable to Waka-Waka, but other sustainable companies might find entirely different goals to focus on.
Sustainability goals involved:
1 – no poverty
4 – quality education
7 – affordable and clean energy
13 – climate action