The Netherlands is one of the best places in the world for startups and companies working on green technology.
Controlling the climate is deeply rooted in Dutch culture. With nearly a third of its land below sea level, the country has adapted very well to environmental challenges and found ways to turn them into opportunities for technological growth.
Consider, for example, how the Dutch managed to reclaim land from the sea poldersor prevent flooding from the North Sea with the construction of the Delta Worksa series of dams and storm surge barriers along the southwest coast.
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However, the environmental performance of the Netherlands extends far beyond the management of water systems. One element that is often overlooked is the country’s huge agricultural industry.
Despite being the 131st largest country in the world, it is the 4th largest exporter of vegetables. This is due in large part to its investment and pioneering research in modern greenhouse horticulturewhich combines hydroponic technology and geothermal energy.
However, there is more that the country plans to create 16% of all energy consumed sustainable by 2023 – and it’s already home to one of the largest offshore wind farms and floating solar energy parks in Europe.
Most of these examples stem from large amounts of funding and government intervention, but this environmental innovation is also reflected in the startup scene.
According to the Startup Employment Report 2022impact startups — companies that put sustainable development goals (SDGs) at the heart of their business — currently generate more than 13,900 jobs in the The Netherlands.
Specifically, 40% of these jobs have been created by companies operating in the energy sector, which has experienced annual job growth of 22% between 2021 and 2022.
The report also found that investor interest in climate action such as SDG has received the highest funding since 2016, totaling €2.6 billion. And in addition to private financing, companies developing sustainable technologies can also benefit from government support collaborations or grants.
All this comes together to make the Netherlands a leading location for the creation of environmentally focused technologies. Not only is this supported by the government and embedded in the culture of the country, there is also an existing workforce that is very adept at dealing with these types of issues.
It is no coincidence that the Dutch are major exporters of knowledge about climate resiliencefinally.
Ultimately, the Netherlands has both a pedigree in environmental technologies and the potential to be a world leader in innovative green technologies. Startups working in this sector would be hard-pressed to find a better place to operate.