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Anne-Marie Rakhorst

Anne-Marie Rakhorst

Portrait of a passionate entrepreneur
Languages : English, Dutch, French

  • Categories

  • Sustainable Entrepreneurship
    • Climate Change
    • Energy Issues
    • Sustainable Building
    • The Environment
  • Entrepreneurship
    • Successful Entrepreneurs (female)
  • Innovation & Creativity
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  • Employability

  • Lecture
  • Consultancy
  • Subjects

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental and workconditions
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Inspiring leadership
  • Durable entrepreneurship
  • Quality care
  • Creative and innovative entrepreneurship

“Defeatism achieves nothing!”, “There isn’t a company in the world that can put a sign on the door saying Closed for reasons of sustainability”, “Let’s join forces and make sustainable construction the Dutch export product par excellence!”

These are unmistakable slogans of Anne-Marie Rakhorst. Entrepreneur, author, founder of the various Search companies and in-demand speaker. She has not been idle after being voted Business Woman of the year 2000; quite the contrary, she has grown into one of the

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“Defeatism achieves nothing!”, “There isn’t a company in the world that can put a sign on the door saying Closed for reasons of sustainability”, “Let’s join forces and make sustainable construction the Dutch export product par excellence!”

These are unmistakable slogans of Anne-Marie Rakhorst. Entrepreneur, author, founder of the various Search companies and in-demand speaker. She has not been idle after being voted Business Woman of the year 2000; quite the contrary, she has grown into one of the most remarkable sustainability-oriented trendsetters in the Netherlands. Famous for her decisiveness, sharp one-liners, but especially her crystal clear vision, which she promotes with powerful examples and a great sense of humour.

She draws topical examples from the daily practice of the Search companies she founded. Having founded Search in 1994, Anne-Marie managed over twenty years to expand the company into an engineering agency, a training institute, a laboratory and a consultancy firm, with a wide range of services in the areas of (sustainable) construction, high-quality recycling (demolition), environmental surveys, spatial planning, energy, safety and water. 

In 2014, Search joined forces with SGS, world leader in the fields of inspection, control, analysis, and certification. Rakhorst passed her directorship to someone else to pursue a career as entrepreneur of Duurzaamheid.nl. Nevertheless, she is still associated with SGS as a consultant and is an (inter)national ambassador for the company’s sustainable ambitions.

Anne-Marie further wrote the bestsellers New Energy, the Netherlands after the fossil era, Sustainable development… a global opportunity, Sustainable building, sustainable profits and The power of sustainable change. She also initiated the Dutch translation of Cradle to Cradle, Remaking the Way we Make Things, the sustainability promoting bestseller by Michael Braungart and William McDonough and its sequel The Upcycle. For her own books she collaborated with sustainability experts like Wubbo Ockels, top officials like Jacqueline Cramer (former Dutch Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment), renowned architects like Thomas Rau and CEOs of the (inter)national business community. This is how she, in her books and in actual practice, inspires experts, government and businesses to join forces and make sustainable profits. Multifaceted profits. Profits for humans at large, profits for the environment, and certainly also profits for the Dutch business community. Because sustainability and financial success are not mutually exclusive, indeed, she is firmly convinced that they go hand in hand.

In addition to her activities as an inspiring entrepreneur, Anne-Marie Rakhorst holds a number of administrative positions that are in keeping with her vision of corporate social responsibility. These positions include memberships of Urgenda (a Dutch sustainability organisation), the Climate Council and the Club of Rome. She is furthermore on a committee, chaired by Mr Klaas Knot, president of De Nederlandsche Bank N.V. (the Dutch central bank), that selects the winner of the prestigious King Willem I Award and King Willem I Plaque every 2 years.

In short, an inspiring speaker with a clear vision and a pragmatic approach. An approach that she is more than happy to share, based on the belief that we can achieve this vision if we all work together. Because – to end with a quote by Anne-Marie – “If we can’t do it in the Netherlands, it can’t be done anywhere!”

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