RSM’s Willem Ferwerda ranked #1 in Trouw Sustainable 100

Ecologist Willem Ferwerda leads this year's list of sustainable doers and thinkers in the Netherlands, in the annual Duurzame 100 (Sustainable 100) ranking developed by Dutch newspaper Trouw. Ferwerda who is the executive fellow business and ecosystems at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), received the top prize for work achieved by Common Land, an organisation he co-founded and directs.

Restoring the environment

The Trouw Duurzame 100 jury, a panel of 12 independent sustainability advocates and practitioners, were impressed with the comprehensive yet practical approach taken by Common Land, which aims to restore the environment, soil and agriculture in large areas that are becoming uninhabitable. Common Land addresses the growing issues of depletion of agricultural land, forests and felled forests and the extinction of species. Ferwerda holds the conviction that these issues directly impact people’s livelihoods, including the availability of water, sufficient food, quality of life and jobs. Ferwerda has been able to bring together a range of stakeholders, from farmers to citizens, to government, businesses and investors to tackle these issues.

Global tax on carbon

Feike Sijbesma is CEO and chairman of the managing board of DSM. As an RSM distinguished alumnus and recent recipient of the Duurzaam Lintje (Sustainable Ribbon), Sijbesma has further improved his sustainability credentials with his ranking of seventh place in the Trouw 100. Sijbesma was recognised for having taken the lead internationally to introduce a global tax on carbon, a particularly significant accomplishment as a leader of the international business community. He believes that companies, governments and consumers will make different choices if a 'fair' price is inclusive of environmental externalities.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s leading research-based business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

Alumni , Bachelor / Bedrijfskunde , Bachelor / IBA , Business-Society Management , Companies , Executive education , Faculty & Research , Homepage , In the spotlight , Newsroom , Master , MBA , Sustainability , Intranet