More companies say they are going green, but more are ignoring climate change as well

Youngsters demonstrating against climate change. Photo: George van der Raaij
Youngsters demonstrating against climate change. Photo: George van der Raaij

An increasing number of Dutch companies plan to be climate neutral by 2030, but there has also been an increase in the number of firms with no ambitions to combat climate change at the moment, according to a new report.

The latest edition of the Netherlands Innovation Monitor, compiled by Amsterdam university and hbo college researchers, shows that 55% of the 600 companies studied had plans to be climate neutral by 2030, a rise of seven percentage points on last year. But the number of firms with no plans also rose – from 13% to 22%, the researchers said.

The results of the research show that Dutch firms are becoming more polarized when it comes to climate change, professor Henk Volberda, who led the project, said.

The companies which are trailing in terms of climate are largely those which were hard hit by the coronavirus crisis, Volberda told NOS radio. ‘They are more occupied with surviving and have put the investments need to reduce their emissions on the back burner,’ he said.

The research also shows that Dutch companies are investing more in digital innovation, and this too has been influenced by coronavirus.

However, some companies’ ambitions have been hampered by their staff’s lack of digital skills. In particular, managers working in logistics and the financial sector are worried that their employers will not have the digital skills they need in 2025.


Companies too, are trailing in terms of socially-responsible entrepreneurship. While most firms have budgets for personal development and pay lip service to being socially responsible on their websites, less than half have a formal policy for diversity and inclusiveness and profitability remains the main driver for 45% of them, Volberda said.

‘Many companies are missing out on opportunities for social relevance,’ he said. ‘To cope with the major climate, social and social challenges ahead, companies will have to invest more in society at large.’

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