Except Integrated Sustainability

Who we are

Except Integrated Sustainability delivers concepts and strategies for resilient, just, and inspiring cities, companies, and governance. Since 1999 we bring together private and public partners and guide them towards systemic and fundamental improvement, where all stakeholders benefit. We apply innovative systemic analysis, develop road maps towards resilience, and execute solutions with inspiring design. Together we bridge gaps between sectors to accelerate the frontier of sustainability, and create concepts that are realistic and feasible.

We’re a passionate, practical, and dynamic team, known for our interdisciplinary and innovative approach. Our team consists of 30 sustainability strategists, researchers, and designers that works around the world, with our base in Utrecht, the Netherlands, in our own energy neutral and toxin-free renovated monument.

SiD Systems thinking framework

We develop and apply the Symbiosis in Development (SiD) systems-thinking framework. SiD sheds light on complex challenges, speeds up strategic decisionmaking, and applies dynamic analysis and visualization tools. SiD incorporates areas such as the circular and bio-based economy, iterative design, social justice, and crowd-based development.

From idea to implementation

We guide strategies towards realization with our partners, combining science, creativity, and social entrepreneurship. We work in multi-disciplinary teams, and involve stakeholders from start to finish. This way, we realize concepts that have greater positive impact while reducing costs and lead times for stakeholders. We work according to stringent operational principles, sustainability and ethics guidelines, and a commitment to delivering on time, within budget, and with impact beyond expectation.

Knowledge sharing

We believe we need both profitable business and effective government to create the foundations for a sustainable society, as well as support from people globally. To accelerate this, we help develop awareness by sharing our knowledge in seminars, publications, workshops. Our work is shared using open source licenses wherever possible, and all available knowledge is published on this website in depth.

Company structure

The Except Group is spearheaded by the Except Integrated Sustainability Foundation, a certified non-profit registered in the Netherlands. The foundation manages our guidelines, the development of SiD,  and safeguards our knowledge for public access.  The foundation also launches independent projects and launches spin-offs. 

Client projects are managed by the Except Integrated Sustainability B.V,  a platform without a profit motive. The platform ensures quality and continuity. Projects are exectued through our international network of certified and comitted sustainability professionals; the Exceptionals.

 

Our impact in 2016

   
 

Founded in 1999, this is Except’s 17th year pursuing its mission of creating the foundations for a sustainable society.

 
 
 

With 65 projects in 2015, our total now stands at over 500 projects in the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe.

 
 
 

Never go alone. This year, more than 80 partners and experts joined us in our mission, with over 300 partners through the years.

 
         
   
 

We estimate a direct positive impact on over 8,700 individual lives this year, and 100,000+ since 1999. Indirectly, we estimate a reach of several million, with tens of millions in our awareness and knowledge programs. 

 
 
 

We’ve started three new ventures and non-profits this year to support sustainable development, including the Except Sustainability Foundation and the Utrecht Community Foundation, to bring the total up to 7.

 
 
 
 

This year we developed projects in over 12 sectors, including resilient cities, buildings, organizations and circular industries, strategy and policy, bio-based industries, software and training.

 
         
   
 

An example project: systems thinking in combination with smart design in a single project for IKEA saved 285,000  barrels of oil this year (about the energy footprint of the entire state of South Carolina), and increasing savings for each next year to come, for less than .5 mio US$ in cost.

 
 
 

Projects had positive impacts across all eight SiD ELSIA categories of sustainable development, including renewable energy, health, wellbeing, economic diversity and resilience, entrepreneurship, biodiversity, and cultural expression.

 
 
 

To help make this possible we welcomed 11 new members, of which four staff. We held five public events including four Grid Nights, opened a new office at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, and started preparations for a new head office. 

 
“If you want to know where the future of integrated sustainable area development is heading, take a look at [Except's] Schiebroek-Zuid project.”
-- Marion Bakker
Advisor Area Development, NL Agency, Government of the Netherlands
“I was surprised at how many connections and relations were created for the project. Except is very open to people and connects stakeholders and participants throughout the process.”
-- Bart Verhagen
Development Manager, Estrade / Vestia Housing Corporation

Our Vision

Our mission is "to create the foundations of a sustainable society". Our vision is that we can.

We believe we can do this while creating beautiful cities, successful businesses, happy people and an exciting world to live in. 

Multi Disciplinary

Our approach combines insight and experience from over twenty disciplines from a strategic level down to design and implementation.

By gathering the perspectives from these disparate fields we can form custom solutions that work better in all dimensions, and assist in all sustainability related areas.

Bridging Sectors & Industries

We build bridges between sectors as disparate as agriculture, knowledge management, management consulting and sociology.

Connecting industries allows existing solutions from one sector to become breakthroughs in others.

Systemic and Integrated

Sustainability touches upon all aspects of society. So does our work. To do this we developed the SiD method.

Our Symbiosis in Development   (SiD) method  defines  what sustainability really is, and allows us to work on the full spectrum of sustainability. SiD is a systemic approach that lets us see through the complexity of dynamic systems, finds more opportunities and prevents future issues.

Global Reach

We work for visionary clients on four continents since 1999.

We learn from experiments in one country, and use this to develop new solutions in others.

We scan the globe for smart ideas that can help move us forward. Among us, we speak a dozen languages and provide local knowledge spanning many countries and regions.

Clients & Partners

Partners

Clients