by Tom Bosschaert

May 9, 2017

Tom Bosschaert

Dear friends and partners, From our sunny new office in Utrecht, we wish you a great spring of 2017. Did you know that this year Except turns 18? We hope you’ve all received our invite to join us in celebration on May 18th at 19:00, and see a sneak preview of our new UCo office in a self-developed energy neutral monument, formerly a train depot. With this newsletter a small update of what we’ve been up to. Enjoy, and see you the 18th.

Utrecht Community (UCo)

This year we've opened the doors of UCo. UCo brings together 150 pioneering sustainable entrepreneurs and SME’s in one inspiring walk-the-talk building in the center of the city of Utrecht. We’ve developed the building to become a showcase on energy neutral building, healthy and toxin-free building, and circular interiors as far as possible. To show that it’s not just possible, even in an old monument, but affordable, comfortable and inspiring.

We’re ‘booting up’ the building, with the first companies already moved in. This year we'll be completing the community (which is already over half full), building the circular interior and internal ecosystem with trees, and starting up the collaboration programs.

UCo is also the location of our new headquarters. Feel free to drop by during business hours at the 2e Daalsedijk 6A, in Utrecht. See more at

IKEA’s self learning supply chain

With Inter IKEA we’ve worked for the past two years on the IKEA catalogue supply chain, together with TradeExtensions and Deloitte. Now, we can start to see what our strategy for systemic intervention achieved, and the results are spectacular: CO2 emissions per catalogue copy dropped 28% between FY14 and FY16. Energy consumption per copy went down 5% in that same period. The use of renewable energy increased 30% and water consumption diminished 35% in the last year alone.

These results came from the first round of interventions in the supply chain, and we’re now working on the second round, expanding this impact to the entire print and paper industry, globally.

Read more on this project on the project page The IKEA Catalogue Supply Chain. A related project involved the internal communication of IKEA’s ecosystem of print in The IKEA Story of Print.

The Self Driving City

Self-driving vehicles will change the urban environment drastically. In 2015 and 2016 we worked diligently to map, understand and visualize the impacts, consequences and opportunities self-driving mobility brings us. Who will use self-driving vehicles, what are their effects on the urban fabric, business, and on us all, the people and our planet?

For a year and a half, a specialized team from Except under Bart Stoffels’ lead has been working on analyzing the effects of self-driving cities on metropolitan areas. It shows patterns and lessons learnt as well as five local in-depth case studies. The project is focused on cars and personal transport, with insights into logistics and corporate mobility underway in another project.

All our research is freely available on the project website. The project was funded by The Dutch Creative Industry Fund, supported by knowledge from local governments, universities and industries. The research consists of several documents, all published on our project page:

The Self Driving City Vision book (in Dutch)
This book contains the most important general patterns, conclusions and opportunities self-driving mobility brings us. Download or read it here.

The Self Driving City Research book (in English)
The research book is a collection of data found during our preliminary analysis of the project. This includes, as you’ve come to expect from us, a diligent trend analysis, precedent research, data collection, and stakeholder mapping. This valuable collection of research and data is now available for you, for free.

Case studies:

Lauwersoog Experience center for the Waddenzee

Last year we’ve worked on developing the concept and stakeholder community for an international visitor center for the Waddenzee, at Lauwersoog in the Netherlands. The concept has been completed, received with much enthusiasm, and now enters a new phase of partnerships and development.

We were able to sketch the foundations of the center, with localized (autonomous) energy neutral performance, water neutral, toxin free, utilizing mostly local materials and an extremely flexible and inspiring shell.

For this, we collaborated with the province of Groningen, municipality of De Marne, Staatsbosbeheer and the Seal Care Center Pieterburen, and 23 stakeholders involved in the project. While details remain under wrap for now to retain a competitive edge, we look forward to the continuation of the trajectory and publication after approval of the way forward.

Running projects

Moving forward, we have several projects in the pipeline, focusing on the following:

Sustainable Places:

  • Healthy, inspiring and sustainable offices
  • Biodiversity and natural capital in urban environments
  • Adaptive redevelopment of monumental and industrial heritage
  • Vastly improved building renovations with Catalytic Building strategies
  • Further development of UCo

Sustainable Organizations & sectors:

  • Innovation in Sustainability and CSR reporting
  • Circular economy business models and systems mapping
  • Polydome, continuing the development of sustainable agriculture systems
  • Workshops, inspiration sessions, and training programs

We hope you enjoyed this update, and don’t forget to sign up for our 18th birthday on the 18th of May. We have a surprise movie premiere for you!

The Except team

May 9, 2017