Impact Story – Robbin Schinkel

22 May 2024

We introduced our Sustain Abilities training program in 2023 to inform, equip, and empower Arcadians on sustainability with one common language. A year on, it is incredibly rewarding to see how our programs benefit both participants as well as the many talented Arcadians who work behind the scenes to design them, by offering opportunities to explore their passion and apply their skills in an impactful way. 

The recently launched Module 7 of the Sustain Abilities program focuses on Sustainable Design. For this module, the Global Sustainability team worked with Arcadis experts from across the business to bring their unique knowledge and experiences to the program. Robbin Schinkel, Lead Community of Practice: Sustainable Design, was pivotal in the development of this module. 

In this Impact Story, we share how Robbin’s background and expertise in Sustainable Design motivated him to share his knowledge and contribute to Sustain Abilities to empower Arcadians, proudly supported by Lovinklaan. 

Robbin’s role at Arcadis 

Robbin started his journey in Arcadis Netherlands almost 8 years ago, when he got involved with the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects in a study on ‘The City of the Future’. As part of his research, Robbin focused on how advanced technologies could help solve the sustainability challenges that designers, engineers, and consultants face in urban development.  

That brought Robbin to his current role in the Arcadis Global Solution Stand-Up team for Places, focusing on supporting and disseminating solution stories and establishing the IT structure needed to bring these solutions to all Arcadians. Since his early days within Arcadis, Robbin has been involved in the Community of Practice Sustainable Design, culminating in his appointment as the lead of the Community of Practice. “I really enjoy this role,” he explained, “as I get to speak with a lot of Arcadis’ passionate sustainable designers around the world.” 

Importance of sustainable design  

‘We are the first generation to feel the effects of climate change – and the last generation who can do something about it,’ said former US President Barack Obama.  

For Robbin, this quote highlights the urgency and importance of creating a more resilient, equitable, and prosperous society that safeguards the health of the planet for future generations.  

“I believe that sustainable design principles enable designers, engineers, and consultants to address key sustainability considerations in almost all projects and discuss this with clients. This is how we improve our quality of life – one project at a time.” 

Developing the new Sustain Abilities module 

As the Lead of Community of Practice: Sustainable Design, Robbin is focused on facilitating organizational learning and knowledge sharing on key sustainability topics between Arcadis’ global SME’s.  

“With my background, personal interest in sustainability, and expertise, I am really motivated to empower Arcadians even more. Lovinklaan’s programs, particularly Sustain Abilities, caught my attention. So, I had an inspiring discussion with Nikki Spapens, the program manager of Sustain Abilities, where we got the idea to develop a module on Sustainable Design, which is now live!” 

The Sustainable Design Module 7 of Sustain Abilities is an asset training module about key sustainability considerations that apply to all Arcadis projects. The program aims to help Arcadians to broaden their horizon about sustainability and help them identify opportunities in their projects. The primary goal of this module is to give Arcadians the insights needed to achieve more sustainable outcomes in their projects. 

Want to learn more about Sustainable Design? 

The Sustain Abilities program, including Module 7, is now available to all Arcadians who are interested. To participate, or for more information, visit this page.  

Arcadians interested in joining the Community of Practice: Sustainable Design, can do so by clicking the ‘Join the community’ button on the Sustain Abilities SharePoint homepage. 

The Community of Practice is working on a Sustainable Design Toolkit that will enable Arcadians to find the right sustainability tool for the job. Stay tuned for that!