Sustainability is a popular term. Many entrepreneurs feel a connection with their surroundings and 'want to do something'. Continuously new large- and small-scale initiatives are developed, but these actions are mainly internally focused. That is a shame, because joining forces with other organizations provide enormous added value. But how do you start?
Twice a year in the Dutch city Eindhoven forces are working together to connect companies, schools, social and governmental organisations who are involved with their local environment. Well, ‘working’… the highlight of the ‘Sustainability 040’ *) is a nice diner. In a cosy setting contacts are easily made. The purpose of this particular evening: to create partnerships to ensure people with a distance to the labour market are provided with new opportunities, for example by offering internships or providing workshops.
We don’t have to invent the wheel again. Companies must do what they are doing already and should stick to their core business. A law firm provides legal services; a newspaper provides publicity, but for free. It is specifically not about money, but about sponsoring with knowledge and resources.
The wonderful thing about ‘Sustainability 040’ is that matches between organisations are made quickly. No big projects, but action! During the last event on 6 November 2012 44 organisations were present, which resulted in no less than 70 (!) matches. Some of the agreements made:
It is probably clear: sustainable dating is tasty, cosy and leads to quick success. Who is next?
*) ‘Sustainability 040’ (in Dutch: Duurzaam Ondernemen 040) is an initiative of the municipality of Eindhoven and De Lage Landen. 040 is the city access code for calling to Eindhoven.
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