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Green Circles
Circular Sugar Beet Chain


Several participants in the sugar beet chain, namely Cosun Beet Company, the province of North Brabant and Naturalis Biodiversity Center, are working together to build a circular society with nature as a partner. 


April 2019


Logo Cosun Beet Company
Logo Province of North Brabant
Logo Naturalis


There is collaboration with various other organisations based on five themes:



Within the theme circle of circular agriculture, we’re working together on building a circular agricultural system that enables us to use raw materials and energy as sparingly as possible. We want to cultivate sugar beets with the lowest possible impact on nature and the environment. Minerals and nutrients need to be returned to the soil in order to achieve a more robust agricultural system and biodiverse landscape. In this theme circle, we investigate the application of circular agriculture principles to sugar beet cultivation, while focusing on biodiversity and nature, sustainable collaboration, and future-focused, robust revenue models.

Driver: Henk Gerbers, Province of North Brabant



This theme circle focuses on picking up and developing potential opportunities for biodiversified greening of the landscape, in close consultation with local parties. For this reason, this theme circle’s ambition is: “Green, green, green Prinsenland: together towards a liveable landscape in harmony with nature”. By taking stock of our own local projects and initiatives, we jointly provide an interpretation of the landscape in the areas of living, working and recreation. Central to this concept is a robust, green ecosystem.

Driver: Koos Biesmeijer, Naturalis



“Working together on a CO2-neutral sugar beet chain and environment” – this is our dream in the energy theme circle. The focus is firstly on creating a CO2-neutral energy balance from/at AFC Nieuw-Prinsenland, and contributing to the CO2-neutrality of the direct surroundings (within a radius of +/- 3 km). We want to start joint projects to save on energy consumption and replace fossil fuels with renewable energy as an energy source.

Driver: Nico Antens, Cosun Beet Company



Our ambition for the logistics theme circle is “Working together to develop sustainable logistics from the land to the customer”. Cosun Beet Company already uses its own 100% green gas bulk trucks to transport part of its sugar consignment to customers. During the sugar beet campaign, Cosun Beet Company transports a total of around 7.5 million tonnes of beets from the Dutch fields to the two sugar beet processing factories in Dinteloord and Vierverlaten. Together we want to improve the sustainability of this transport. To this end, we are investigating possibilities including transport from road to inland shipping, the use of renewable energy and technological innovations, such as further digitalisation of logistics.

Driver: Arno Huijsmans, Cosun Beet Company



The sugar beet offers many possibilities with respect to biobased applications and the circular economy. For example, it’s possible to manufacture sustainable packaging from sugar beet pulp. Other potential applications include paint, coatings, textiles, nappies, antifreeze and plastics. In addition, the sugar beet contains nutrients such as proteins, fibre and other sugars. In the biobased theme circle, we are investigating the possibilities of the sugar beet as a sustainable raw material in the biobased economy.

Driver: Elena Riha-Miloskovska, Cosun R&D



A circular sugar beet chain makes the difference. To realise this ambition you need a process-based approach. The common thread in this approach is cooperation and the use of the intelligence of different stakeholders through co-creation. This provides new starting points, different thinking and innovative strength. The result: new ways of producing.

Driver: Esther de Haan, Amsterdam Transition Institute


Andries Olie

Cosun Beet Company

Francisca Wit


Lenny Reiningh

Province of North Brabant

Esther de Haan

Amsterdam Transition Institute