Empowering sustainability: Do The Right Thing Festival and beyond

Under the banner of Do The Right Thing, Nedappers continually challenge each other to contribute to sustainability as professionals and as individuals in their daily lives. Last week, the very first Do The Right Thing Festival took place. It was a week filled with inspiration, knowledge sharing, and challenges aimed at learning more about how we can contribute to sustainability in our daily work and in our personal lives. Shannon Smit, Team Lead Sustainability, reflects on a highly successful week: “It was a fantastic week! The turnout was good, and we received many positive responses.”

With workshops on topics such as Circular Design and Anti-greenwashing, and lectures by speakers like Jeroen Smit, Reinier van den Berg, and Bas Abel, Nedappers were treated to refreshing perspectives and new insights. For example, they learned about how data can be used to create sustainable value, how future thinking can place products in a new context, and how circular design offers a fresh approach to products. Shannon says, “What made this festival so enjoyable was that colleagues from different fields and business units came together to discuss sustainability. This led to valuable collaborations that resulted in innovative ideas and insights.” Additionally, there were workshops focusing on people, such as Diversity & Inclusion, navigating challenging climate discussions, and even guided physical activities with a personal trainer. It was a week dedicated to sustainability in its broadest sense.

"If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito in the room."

Dalai Lama

“Shaping the future” according to Jeroen Smit (investigative journalist and author)

The festival provided an opportunity to learn from some prominent speakers. Shannon: “The lectures from external speakers opened our eyes. Sustainability is a topic we no longer just talk about, but it’s important that we take action.” One of the best ways to do that is by creating flywheels: starting small and expanding to a larger scale by involving more people. “Invite others to join you; tackling the complex challenges in society requires diverse teams,” says Shannon. “Additionally, we were inspired to bring our personal beliefs into our professional lives. As professionals, it’s okay to have the same ideals as the ones you hold as an individual.”

The power of collaboration

The festival not only created space for new business ideas but also for building personal relationships. Shannon says, “It was also about expanding our comfort zones. What I found incredibly enjoyable and valuable was the genuine connection we felt, the collective effort to push boundaries, and the enthusiasm with which people participated in the sessions. But perhaps most importantly, we had a lot of fun.”

From inspiration to action

The Do The Right Thing Festival was a great starting point, and it’s part of our journey towards sustainability, according to Shannon. “It’s now up to us to turn the knowledge and inspiration we gained into concrete steps. We are working hard to make our sustainability ambitions even more concrete so that we can measure and improve our progress in the future. Sustainability should become an integral part of every decision we make in our work. We need everyone for that: colleagues, as well as partners, customers, and shareholders. Together, we can make a difference and create an impact.”

The Festival has proven that everyone can contribute to sustainability, regardless of their role or field of expertise. It has shown that sustainability is not just an abstract discussion but also a way to enrich your career while making a positive impact.