Eiffel Financial Challenge

Eiffel Financial Challenge

In 2007-2009, One Planet received a lot of attention for her EcoVilla concept. EcoVilla provides modern, attractive living with 80% less CO2 emissions than the average Dutch home. This is made possible in a small row of energy-neutral homes under a communal greenhouse. EcoVilla was embraced by two companies, Eiffel and Essent. Together with Nijenrode University, they wanted to give attention to sustainability in an EcoVilla. They therefore sponsored the Eiffel Financial Challenge for financial students from universities, colleges and businesses. The student with the best business case for sustainable living in an EcoVilla, who could present it well to an jury of experts, could win great prizes. The main prize was an accountants education at Nijenrode University; the second prize was a trip to New York; the third was a Brompton folding bike. In four months, 25 candidates developed their business cases and presentations. The presentations took place in the new headquarters building of Essent in Den Bosch. The winners received their award from the CEO of Eiffel.

Essent, Ballast Nedam, DHV and Eiffel are committed to the One Planet project EcoVilla. Monique Noomen-Greve, CEO of Eiffel, gives the opening speech.

The professional jury assesses the presentations:

The lucky winners:

The reception in the hall of Essent in Den Bosch:

Rinse de Jong, CFO of Essent, gives an important speech about sustainability. As the largest supplier of electricity and gas in the Netherlands, with 40% of the energy market, it is remarkable that he explains that the business case for energy saving is always two to three times better than the business case for energy generation. If the government would invest in energy saving at national level, then that money would be much better spent on energy savings, than everything Rinse’s own company can do to generate green energy.  He also explained how a large company like Essent organises the energy mix of the Netherlands. Thanks Rinse!

The Eiffel Challenge shows that a small foundation like One Planet, with its innovative strength and knowledge of sustainability, can offer themes that resonate with the big players.