Lecture Sustainable Business

How to incorporate sustainability and social responsibility into successful entrepreneurship?


Maurits Groen


September 21, 2016 - 12:00


September 21, 2016 - 13:30


TU/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


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