As a businesswoman, I’m becoming increasingly reluctant to follow what’s going on in the news. Aside from the positive news that Shell is stopping drilling for oil in Alaska, over the last few weeks we’ve been able to read about the large numbers of refugees, the slashing of prices of medication, the scandal over diesel cars and the ‘carbon bubble’.

But in particular that Shell ever considered drilling in Alaska, while 100,000 billion dollars of overvalued fossil reserves are going to ‘evaporate’. We don’t need it any more, so large quantities of oil; gas and coal will simply remain in the ground.

As a businesswoman, you mustn’t let all of these events distract you. You have to follow the path you decided to take, believe in your vision, stick to your mission and understand that many roads lead to Rome. The good thing about having a vision and a mission is that they are always based on opportunities. They are determined by what’s possible. And there’s certainly no shortage of opportunities! Not, in any case, for an international organization like Priva, which, together with its 430 colleagues, develops technology, products and services in order to create an optimal climate for humans and plants. With integrated solutions that increase efficiency with less energy and water, so that sustainability and economic growth go hand in hand.

Climate, energy, water, mobility, food, health. These issues are high on the political agenda all over the world, especially as a result of the development of vast metropolitan regions. Many of these metropolitan areas are located in deltas. The presence of water in the deltas makes food production, industry and transportation possible.

But urban ‘consumers’ do not want air pollution or stinking sewers any more. That’s why these cities are looking for solutions: efficient energy and water flows, smart logistics, safe and healthy food, good healthcare and green and clean neighborhoods. In the 21st century, cities are becoming the drivers for sustainability!

The Netherlands is also a type of city in a delta, with its interconnected network of metropolitan districts, motorways and industry. Where agriculture and green areas link the cities to each other and, together with the horticulture industry, can be seen as ‘urban farming’.

Today, the Netherlands is actually the greenest city in the world. An example to all the other large metropolises. We are able to be a showcase for magnificent, innovative and extremely efficient solutions in the fields of housing, water, energy, mobility, health and food. For all sorts of issues a city has to deal with.

And the development of integrated solutions is our special area of expertise. By this, I mean generating energy from water, building housing on water, using energy from greenhouses to heat neighborhoods, turning plant waste into construction materials and building cycle paths that generate light.

The Netherlands requires a shared ambition, a topic that inspires and also unites the leading sectors in the economy! It is only in this way that we can make a statement on an international scale that we can really excel in one area: the creation of Sustainable Urban Deltas. Making “green, circular and low carbon” the basis for a healthy and happy life in a metropolitan district. Developing a new business model together that isn’t dependent on gas. And further developing the Netherlands as one large reference project. We already have so many treasures to showcase internationally! And as far as I’m concerned, it wouldn’t do any harm to read this type of news in the paper every now and then.