Elvie Kromwijk

Project leader Circular Deltalinqs Climate Program

1. In recent years, you have worked in different ways for a better world, both in business and private. Can you tell us about that?

For as long as I can remember, I have loved being outside. As a little girl I preferred to sit in the chicken coop, later on a horse's back and now I prefer to sit on a road bike or to walk through the mountains. It was not unexpected for anyone that I chose Future Planet Studies, an interdisciplinary study on sustainability. I am very happy with all the attention for sustainable transition in recent years. At the same time, I also see that a lot still needs to be done before we are really there. I worked as a consultant on the natural gas-free transition in the urban environment and I worked in various positions at a solar panel sales and installation company. I also freelanced for various startups, including the Rotterdam startup ‘’. I think it is important to believe in what I do and that what I do contributes to a more beautiful, fair and green world. That is why I am very happy to work as a project leader on the raw materials transition within the Deltalinqs Climate Program with the companies in the port of Rotterdam. This is where we can make a real impact. Sustainability is also a theme in my spare time. My boyfriend and I have built a completely self-sufficient tiny house together, where we have been living for two years. We purify rainwater into drinking water, get power from the sun and have a compost toilet. Together with my neighbors in tiny house village 'the pioneering quarter' I organize all kinds of things to happily live together and inspire people around us. Think of making worm compost, building bee hotels, growing vegetables for the neighborhood, creative expressions, guided tours and workshops.

2. How do you stay motivated?

With trial and error. During my studies we looked at major ecological themes such as energy, water, food and biodiversity. It did not always make me happy to learn a lot about this and especially not when I found all kinds of future ecological disasters as a result in my simulations. Driven by a sense of necessity in my first job, I had a totally unrealistic expectation of the pace in which we could make the world more sustainable. That was, and still is sometimes, frustrating. I then realized that my goals were too big. With only macro-level goals, you quickly get the feeling that nothing works and that is frustrating. I then organized a competition between different companies, where employees could earn points daily for achieving micro goals. Think vegetarian food or a putting a smile on the face of a stranger. This competition, under the name 'MicroBattle', was organized for a few more years. It showed that it works well for people to set smaller, achievable goals in addition to large goals. For me personally, the combination of tangible small-scale operations in my tiny house village works well as a variety against the longer-term projects in the port of Rotterdam.


Elvie Kromwijk

3. What do you currently see as great successes in the Port of Rotterdam when it comes to the energy transition??

As project leader circular, I prefer to talk about the energy AND raw material transition ☺. I see it as a huge success that the energy and raw materials transition is a prominent theme for all companies in the area. Especially if you look at the energy transition, there is a very concrete plan for the area with associated projects. It gives a lot of energy to see how companies that are traditionally each other's competitors work together to achieve climate impact. Of course I am extremely proud of projects such as H-vision and Porthos. And studies on the future energy infrastructure, which hopefully will soon lead to the realization of this infrastructure, are also fantastic.Although a lot is happening in the energy field that I am very happy with, my greatest pride is still in the raw materials transition. Because the raw material transition is also being worked on in more and more places. It is not always easy, because circular projects such as chemical recycling of plastic sometimes have a negative effect on energy reduction targets and nitrogen targets. There are also steps to be taken in removing obstructive legislation and creating appropriate incentives. Fortunately, many companies are not waiting for this and several projects are already in development. Think of recycling windmills and various types of plastics. Or to replace primary raw materials with alternative raw materials from green chemistry or residual flows, such as the Waste2Chemicals project.

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