The frontrunner group of sustainable business associations implements concrete and delineated projects that contribute to a sustainable and liveable environment
Some of the entrepreneurial associations in Amsterdam have indicated that they want to get started with sustainability, but they are not sure how to approach it. That is why the frontrunners group was created.

A project team has been set up by the municipality with six members from different disciplines and backgrounds, from sustainability, economic affairs, waste and public space management. The six front runners were selected on the basis of ambition and innovation and they prepared a pitch. Every frontrunner then drew up and implemented an action plan for his of her challenge in the field of sustainability. The challenges of the frontrunners focused on the different organization of waste, sustainable lighting and sustainable catering logistics.

The project team facilitated the frontrunners with strategy, structure, guidance and coaching. Every member of the project team adopted one action plan. Several meetings were organized during the project to exchange experiences and inspire each other.

Learning, researching and experimenting together in the field of sustainability was the focus of this project. The project will be continued, a new round is in preparation.

Resources needed

The municipality contributed € 120,000 to the project for the meetings, process guidance and evaluation report. The entrepreneurs contributed in hours and resources to carry out their challenge.

Evidence of success

For the evaluation of the project, the front runners and the project team were asked about their experiences and lessons learned. In addition to successfully achieving the results from their action plans there are also other successes. They have experienced the added value of working together as a group, to inspire each other to continue in the event of a setback, to expand their network and to collaborate in a different positive way with other business associations and the municipality.

Difficulties encountered

Consequences of the corona crisis: A possible (temporary) reduced attention to sustainability and leading to the postponement or cancellation of sustainable investments. Crisis can also serve as a flywheel for entrepreneurs to become more sustainable: energy savings are cost savings.

Potential for learning or transfer

An active, facilitating role for the municipality, experienced project team from different departments of the municipality to facilitate business associations, a strict selection procedure to select ambitious frontrunners, have a fixed contact point for every frontrunner and the meetings are the main pillars of this project.
Main institution
Municipality of Amsterdam
Start Date
October 2018
End Date


Hennie Loos Please login to contact the author.