Martijn de Ruijter, solutions-oriented optimist

Published on 08 October 2021

As part of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, signatories agreed to set specific targets for cutting carbon emissions. The Netherlands has identified existing buildings as a key area for reductions – and passed legislation to force owners to act. So SPIE Nederland has joined forces with five other companies to offer building owners a package solution: the Road to Paris. Martijn de Ruijter explains how he convinces building owners to join this initiative.

Martijn de Ruijter Commercial Manager for e-fficient buildings at SPIE Nederland
By 2023 all office buildings in the Netherlands will need to have a Level C energy label or better (on the Dutch government's scale of A to G)

"It’s a big adventure,” beams Martijn as he explains the various ways SPIE can help commercial landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their office buildings. His enthusiasm is contagious – and he’s a convincing salesman with a grasp of facts and figures. So just the right person to explain to building owners why they need to get on board with The Road to Paris initiative, which SPIE Nederland now forms part of, with five other Dutch companies.

By 2050 they will have to be fully energy neutral

The Road to Paris offer is geared to making it as easy as possible for building owners to comply with the new energy efficiency regulations the Dutch government has introduced in response to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. The package starts with an energy audit, then proposes measures, ins-talls systems, and monitors use, delivering a decommissioning plan, too. “Five steps, five companies,” says Martijn, “and SPIE is present at all stages.”

“In sales terms, we take a carrot-and-stick approach, showing customers the benefits of reducing energy consumption – and reminding them of the consequences of not doing so,” explains Martijn – and offers a demonstration: “Research shows that energy-efficient office buildings generate around 10% more rental income and are valued 9% higher on average,” he says, before cautioning that “commercial landlords whose properties do not have an Energy Label A, B, or C, on the Dutch government’s scale of A to G, will now find themselves facing government-imposed fines from as early as 2023.”

I just love the fact that we can make a specific contribution to reaching the Paris targets.”
Martijn de Ruijter, Commercial Manager for e-fficient buildings at SPIE Nederland