By Morag Beers
Going Dutch does not always have particularly positive connotations; but Going Dutch in green investments is a whole other matter. The Dutch do it well, and the results are increasingly being recognised as beneficial.
How do the Dutch know how to do this? I learned a joke about developers when I arrived in Holland: ‘
What is the first thing a developer does? He makes the land’. Ha ha.
The Dutch grow up to the national tune, Living with Water, not taking it for granted that our land is permanent and knowing that we are together collectively responsible for its stability. There is also the inbuilt advantage of being brought up on bicycles: as soon as you are old enough to sit up straight at a few months old, you can expect to be riding along on a seat out front on your parent’s bike. Being a very small baby projected into town traffic makes you brave in life. It is hardly surprising that these people grow up to be creative engineers and responsible investors, intuitively understanding environmental protection and not being easily fazed by life. Some of the most innovative, sustainable and thought-provoking investments and construction projects stem from Dutch activities which have served Dutch investment returns well. It is no accident that GRESB, the leading sustainability performance measurement, has its roots in Holland working with that other seat of innovation, California.