Cooperation - The critical factor

Cees Anton de Vries, Origame
Cees Anton de Vries, Origame

The great thing about cooperation is: it is priceless (you can’t buy it), it has no standard form (you can’t contract it), and it can’t be enforced (you can’t impose it or instate it by power). Cooperation is always equal, symmetrical, and reciprocal and can’t be planned, managed, or subsidised. Cooperation is most enjoyable, and most effective, when it takes place between people who are different to yourself. Cooperation actually makes ‘difference’ productive. Not as a goal in itself, but as the result of people doing their best. And once you have experienced cooperation, you know that it can be an important basis for safety, success, and innovation.

"If you really want to achieve something and you ask for help, you will receive help."

Success begins by cooperation

In the long term, HEINEKEN will only be successful in the global market when every glass of beer contributes to a better world. But HEINEKEN can only become more sustainable when neighbours, suppliers, and organisations in the surrounding area work together with the company. Green Circles is about sustainability, energy, biodiversity, health-conscious products, water and natural cycles and above all about cooperation. Green Circles can provide employment, a sustainable landscape, and innovations in sectors such as agriculture, energy, and transport. A project on this scale begins with people learning to work together. People from HEINEKEN, the municipality, farming, the water board, the transport company, the regional province, environmental associations, and from universities; people in Zoeterwoude and Leiden.

"If you really want to achieve something and you find someone who wants to do the same, then you have a colleague or a competitor"

"I have a dream"

The seed of a collaboration is sown when one person with a dream gets the chance to tell others about it. The dream is further developed by talking about it and the dreamer starts taking the dream more seriously. This is the moment at which others stand up and say: “I have that dream too”, or “I have another dream, but our dreams can strengthen each other”. This unification of dreams is the foundation under Green Circles: people learn to listen to themselves and to others, and subsequently roll up their sleeves and start working together. Then, colleagues start recognising the added value and step by step a whole organisation follows.

For good beer, HEINEKEN already needs quality hop, clean barley, pure water, and 7 renewable energy. To supply good beer in the future, HEINEKEN needs to collaborate with others: the critical factor within Green Circles.

"If you find someone who shares your dream and also values you for who you are, then you have the beginning of cooperation."