A view of Rotterdam, Source: Depositphotos

Rotterdam has a sustainability champion

Rotterdam has a sustainability champion

For over a year now, a dedicated person has been in charge of realising citizens’ circular ideas

European society is becoming more and more concerned with the protection of the environment and the ways our actions affect natural life and the climate. Without any doubt, there are multiple ways to improve our habits and adapt to the space around us, so as to minimise the negative impact we inflict on the planet.

Each of us probably has dozens of these ideas, but we often find ourselves unsure where to start. To solve this challenge and make sure that good sustainability solutions find their path to becoming a reality, the Dutch municipality of Rotterdam has even placed a person in charge of that.

Sustainable living is easier with a little guidance

Julia is what we can call a sustainability champion – a person who leads a change toward sustainability and gives advice and examples on how to transform organisations into more environmentally conscious places. Although the term usually refers to companies and institutions, Julia’s job can easily be applied to the whole Rotterdam community.

This is the case as ever since June 2021, Julia has been helping residents to implement their circular ideas, together with a small team within the Municipality of Rotterdam. The actions they advise on concern producing, purchasing new things and disposing of our useless items better.

Julia describes her tasks for the city website as follows: “I don't want to tell people what to do. I just want to hear what they want to do. It makes me very happy when I see what has already happened in the city in the past period. There is so much enthusiasm among Rotterdammers. That is contagious. I therefore hope that more and more people will come knocking on our door.”

For the past year, she and her team have assisted in the creation of a sustainable pop-up store, where residents can bring items they no longer need and give them a second life, a location for circular events and a sustainable workshop with second-hand materials.

Julia further points out that sustainable living is actually in the small, everyday things and everyone can do it. Good principles to abide by are: buy fewer new stuff, eat leftovers or buy things second-hand.

For those Rotterdammers who have ideas of greater scale or experience difficulties on their sustainability journey, Julia is available over email at



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