Wim van Droffelaar
Wim van Droffelaar (1952) started as an entrepreneur by accident at the age of 28 when his father became ill and he took over the company, a consultancy firm specialized in spatial and environmental planning. Although he wasn’t intending on taking over the company, suddenly he had 25 employees and a lot of business to take care of. He learned and practiced to be an entrepreneur by doing. Because of his personal aversion against top-down planning and too much government interference, he made the company into a niche player with a very unique approach: instead of working only with the government, he chose to involve the core stakeholders from the industry, science, civil society and agriculture for economic and environmental development of areas and land. Wim is a pioneer in what is now called strategic sustainability: using ecological insights and drivers to develop business, create new opportunities and innovate.
With Wim, the company gradually grew to 40 employees. Several groundbreaking initiatives, like the “packaging covenant” that was signed by the dairy industry as well as the environmental ministry, were initiated by him. This was one of the first self-regulation agreements in the industry and proved later to be an example for many covenants in other sectors.