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Meiny Prins

CEO of Priva and Busi­ness­woman of the Year 2009

Sus­tain­abil­ity jus­ti­fies our exis­tence

Meiny Prins stands her ground, and not only at the fam­ily busi­ness Priva she is in charge of. The West­land, the green­house sec­tor and evolv­ing in her own role as an entre­pre­neur deal­ing with inno­va­tion and sus­tain­abil­ity: all this mat­ters a great deal to Meiny Prins. Hear­ing her talk, none of the clichés about the West­land apply. She is ambi­tious, pro­gres­sive and she can think in frame­works that even tran­scend those of our gov­ern­ment. For instance, in the recent Bouwhuis debate she announced that the gov­ern­ment is by far not ambi­tious enough in set­ting the pace for energy sav­ing: the built envi­ron­ment tar­gets set for 2020 can be real­ized much sooner, right away actu­ally. And she has already mapped out the road to get there: Meiny Prins sug­gested solu­tions that will amount to sav­ing more than 1 bil­lion Euros on nat­ural gas. ‘There is no time left for good inten­tions, we should really make this hap­pen now! Because of a shared eco­nomic inter­est, as well as our own respon­si­bil­ity for the envi­ron­ment, for our earth, I chal­lenge you to do what­ever it takes to con­vince deci­sion mak­ers!’ With these words she chal­lenges trade, indus­try and gov­ern­ment to join forces.

Only seven years ago Meiny Prins joined the fam­ily busi­ness Priva. Priva sup­plies prod­ucts and ser­vices for the green­house hor­ti­cul­ture indus­try and non-residential build­ing sec­tor all over the world. Over four hun­dred of its employ­ees work on devel­op­ing prod­ucts for cli­mate solu­tions. In the hor­ti­cul­ture indus­try Priva is a world mar­ket leader and one out of every three build­ings in the Nether­lands is equipped with Priva prod­ucts for indoor cli­mate control.

What is her dri­ving force? Her per­sonal moti­va­tion is to make a small con­tri­bu­tion to a bet­ter world. Entre­pre­neur­ship to her means giv­ing full play to those who pur­sue their pas­sion instead of their career. Sus­tain­abil­ity is her rai­son d’être. ‘The impor­tance of using water in a sus­tain­able way is still seri­ously under­es­ti­mated,’ she says. ‘Of all the usable water in the world 10% is used for con­sump­tion, 15% for indus­try and 75% for agri­cul­ture, and more than half of this is wasted!’ In her opin­ion the Nether­lands is play­ing an impor­tant inter­na­tional role in the tran­si­tion to a more sus­tain­able world. With­out doubt will she take a lead­ing role in this process.

In 2003 Meiny Prins started work­ing for the Priva Groep, a fam­ily com­pany in De Lier (munic­i­pal­ity West­land). In 2007 she was appointed man­ag­ing direc­tor of Priva B.V. Before join­ing Priva Meiny Prins was the founder and direc­tor of design and com­mu­ni­ca­tion agency “Pro­forma” one of the top ten agen­cies in the field of cor­po­rate iden­tity. In March 2009, Meiny Prins was the win­ner of the Prix Veuve Clic­quot 2009 pro­claim­ing her the Busi­ness Woman of the Year 2009. In Novem­ber 2009, Meiny Prins with Priva won the First Clean­tech Star of the World Wildlife Fund.