Heineken Nederland is one of the pioneers of Green Circles (Groene Cirkels), a partnership to make the region a global example of green economy and sustainable area development. The driving force behind this collaboration is the development of Heineken Brouwerij Zoeterwoude into a climate-neutral company.
Nature as the starting point
A climate-neutral Heineken brewery in a climate-neutral chain, a sustainable economy and a pleasant living environment where knowledge is developed for a climate-neutral society. These are the ambitions that Green Circles are committed to. It does this by taking nature as a starting point and realizing programs on the topics of energy, water, raw materials, mobility and living environment. The Green Circles initiative was set up by multinational Heineken, province of South Holland and knowledge partner Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra).
Green Circles serves as a platform for companies, entrepreneurs and knowledge institutions in the region. The parties work together to realize their own sustainable ambitions and the commonambitions within Green Circles. By connecting the parties, the province’s sustainability ambitions are accelerated and unique, world-class projects are developed.
Reuse of residual flow
Heineken Zoeterwoude has a lot of experience with reuse of its waste streams and currently recycles 97% of it with its suppliers and customers. Green Circles is researching how the residual and by-products of the brewery, such as waste stream, bostel or phosphate, can be reintroduced into the cycle. Green Circles will use this knowledge to improve the reuse of residual flows, with and for companies in the province of Zuid-Holland.
Water streams of the future
In a large local farm near the Heineken brewery, a futuristic, multi-functional water purifcation stream was created in 2015 as a pilot for Green Circles. It has proven to be an effective way to ensure good water quality, better mest and more biodiversity. Thanks to Green Circles, this process is a collaboration between the farm owner, specialists from the water trade board, biologists of Wageningen Environmental Research, the technologists of Heineken and provincial policy makers.
The partnership is a source of much knowledge, including about how to overcome the obstacles that such experiments pose in practice. It can be a best practice project for the whole province and beyond.
The success of Green Circles has resulted in the signing of a letter of intent between various companies, government bodies and knowledge institutes to realise a Green Corridor, one of the first truly sustainable logistics corridors in Europe.
The Best Practices
Holland Circular Hotspot (HCH) wants to support international cooperation on the circular economy, with the aim of creating business opportunities and promoting the exchange of knowledge and innovation. In the magazine Circular Is Going Global - Join Holland's Flow you can read which circular best practices the Netherlands has to offer.