Column – A business approach: curse or blessing?

In 1996 the Dutch government published its first policy paper on Environment and Economy. This memorandum laid the foundation for the detachement between economic growth and environmental impact.

The paper created quite a stir and its principles still influence today’s environmental field. Environment and economy are since then inextricably linked. Moreover, environmental awareness appears to have turned into a means to earn money.

Almost twenty years and many ‘profitable business models with a positive environmental impact’ later, Emiel Hanekamp questions whether the path we have chosen is still the right one? Is linking environment and economy in the current fragile economy still a good idea? Or is it time to dust off the intrinsic values of environment and sustainability?