EY - Netherlands winner

Tijn van Elderen



Tijn van Elderen represents the fourth generation of the Van Elderen family to run Brabantia, the Dutch company renowned for making beautiful and sustainable household products. When he was just 5 years old, he knew he wanted to run the company. “It was always my ultimate dream,” he says.

His wish was fulfilled in 2012 when he became CEO. The company had been badly hit by the financial crisis when Tijn joined, but he managed to get the business back on track. He injected a new sense of design flair and reassessed each product, looking for opportunities to trim costs without lowering quality. Today, Brabantia is a global company selling to more than 12,000 outlets in 90 countries.

The latest challenge Tijn has set for himself is “to show the world that you can have a financially successful business and be 100% recyclable as a company.” He takes a cradle-to-cradle approach to product manufacturing, and his ambition is to move to 100% recyclability within a generation.