The Greenful Group has recently selected the Netherlands as its home market and base for launching global operations. This decision was made with the help of the RVO (Netherlands Enterprise Agency) and NFIA (Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency), both part of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, and the regional development agency Oost NL. Initially established in Estonia, Greenful was identified by the Dutch Embassy in that country as an ideal candidate company to benefit from Dutch government support for circular economy development and referred to the RVO and NFIA for bringing to the Netherlands.
The Dutch government has focused on the circular economy as a key development sector and Greenful fits the profile of firms targeted to bring the Dutch industry to the forefront of European Green Deal compliance by the year 2030.
According to Margot Roose, Regional Business Development Officer, Baltics & Finland, Netherlands Embassy in Estonia, “When I first met the Greenful team and learned about their business I knew right away that they would excel in the Netherlands. Facilitating Greenful’s introduction to the Dutch government organizations, universities and companies was smooth as there was an immediate “company-country fit“. This excellent cooperation is a great example of the execution of the Netherlands slogan “Solving global challenges together“.
Greenful, a manufacturer of construction materials made from recycled textile and plastic waste, plans to establish two factories in the Netherlands within the next 5 years, producing over 250,000 cubic meters of construction panels and other products for use in homes and buildings, flooring, furniture, and other uses.
Most importantly, Greenful will recycle more than 100,000 tons of textile waste in the Netherlands, waste that would otherwise go to incineration or landfills, thereby helping to bring the Netherlands into compliance with EU directives for textile recycling and solving a major waste problem. Greenful plans to expand its network to 10 factories across Europe by the year 2029 and the Netherlands will be the base for this growth.
According to Greenful’s CEO, Toomas Allikas, “The RVO, NFIA and Oost NL together have been instrumental in introducing us to key government ministries, regional investment authorities, and potential strategic partners in the Netherlands who will help us accelerate our business growth. For example, the RVO introduced us to the Defense Ministry to recycle old Dutch army uniforms and other clothing in our panels, a real win-win situation for the Defense Ministry, Greenful and the environment!”
The RVO and NFIA acted as a point of contact for Greenful with Dutch government resources. As stated by Elmar Bouma of the NFIA, “We provide customized information on all aspects of the Netherlands, including relevant business locations, Dutch legislation and tax regulations, labor law, permit procedures, government incentives, and many other subjects. This is aimed at helping companies establish in the Netherlands as an attractive home for international company operations. Greenful is a company that checks several boxes at once on the environment and is important for us to bring to the Netherlands.”
At the regional level, Greenful is working with the regional development agency Oost NL to find a suitable location for a factory in the east of The Netherlands. Janet de Rooy Smid of Oost NL relates that “Greenful is exactly the type of innovative circular economy firm we want to welcome to our region. We hope Greenful can create synergies with our local economy and institutions, such as the Pioneering consortium of construction companies and Saxion University of Applied Sciences which is a leading textile recycling expert. We expect that Greenful will be a strong addition to the region and the ecosystem of circular businesses, with their circular construction materials.”
In terms of industry partners, Greenful has already met with a number of Dutch construction firms and potential customers for its innovative building products. The advantages of Greenful products are that
(1) they are made nearly 100% from textile and plastic waste but better performing than traditional construction materials,
(2) 100% eco-friendly with one-third the CO2 level of traditional materials, and
(3) 100% recyclable at the end of life back into the original product, unlike almost all other construction materials.
As for the textile waste, in addition to the contract with the Defense Ministry, Greenful has agreed with several waste management firms in the Netherlands to take their textile waste, including post-consumer and post-industrial waste. In total Greenful plans to recycle up to 100,000 tons per year of textile waste in the Netherlands by 2028, representing 50% of the country’s total.
In summary, RVO, NFIA, Oost NL and Greenful have agreed to closely work together to bring important recycling technology to the Dutch market. Moreover, this cooperation is projected to result in more than 300 new high-skilled jobs, new innovative product R&D with local universities, and growing exports from the Netherlands throughout Europe while at the same time solving a key waste problem.
As stated by Maurice Goudsmith, Policy Maker Waste Concerns and Resource Management at the RVO, “Greenful represents a strategic win for RVO in the circular economy due to the product technology and synergies with existing Dutch partners. Firms like this will help push the Netherlands into a leading European, and global, leadership position in sustainable living. We welcome all such innovative firms to contact us and look at the Netherlands as their home.”