Professionalising The Ocean Cleanup | Deloitte Impact Foundation


Professionalising The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup designs and develops advanced technologies to rid the world's oceans and rivers of plastic. Deloitte supports The Ocean Cleanup with our full breadth and depth of services

Deloitte has been supporting The Ocean Cleanup since 2017. Every year, dozens of Deloitte colleagues across all functions put in their boundless energy and best expertise to help the non-profit organization in any way that they can. A special Core team ensures that all projects are managed in the right direction. “It is great to see an important organization as The Ocean Cleanup evolve from a start-up into a scale-up, and be able to support them in this.”

Core team

“As Deloitte, we want to make an impact. Not only on our clients, but also on society. The Ocean Cleanup is an organization that fits our purpose very well”, Alie Snijders, Senior Manager at Deloitte Consulting and Core team lead, says. “Plastic pollution in our world’s oceans and rivers is a big environmental, economic and health problem. A ticking time bomb. The Ocean Cleanup conducts global research and builds scalable cleaning systems for oceans and rivers. Since 2017, we support The Ocean Cleanup through a partnership with the Deloitte Impact Foundation. And I am very happy we renewed our partnership for another three years last year. 

In the past years, Deloitte was present during the launch of Wilson (System 001) and the successor, System 001/B. We were there during the reveal of the Interceptor and the economic assessment of the price tag of plastic pollution. Deloitte colleagues who participated in these projects share their experiences for The Ocean Cleanup in blogs and articles on various topics. Read more about the Core team.

The Price Tag of Plastic Pollution

An increasing number of initiatives and studies have put the spotlight on the environmental damage caused by marine plastic pollution. However there is also a financial impact of plastic pollution which has not been discussed in detail yet. Kees Mackenbach and other Deloitte collegues developed a comprehensive model to calculate the global economic impact of plastic pollution, and the results are quite shocking.

Kees: 'Before starting the assessment, various international studies had already indicated the impact of plastic pollution on several sectors in specific countries (such as fishing and/or tourism in the EU). Over the course of 1-2 years, we collaborated with many experts from The Ocean Cleanup & Deloitte Global to assess & combine these studies, gather global data, and create a model that could give us an estimate of the total economic impact per country. It was a great experience to work with everyone at The Ocean Cleanup and Deloitte to provide this important, and first, comprehensive view of the economic impact of plastic pollution worldwide.'

Colleauges involved in this project:

  • Writers of white paper: Vincent Viool, Jorg Schalekamp, Abhishek Gupta, en Laurens Petten
  • Development of model: Kees Mackenbach, Sander Oudmaijer, Bob Groenhuijsen
  • Visualisation: Bas Wagenmaker en Niels Tammes

Read the report.

Launching the Interceptor

Steffen Wijdemans and Niels Stol talk about their project for The Ocean Cleanup’s Interceptor campaign. They created an event management solution including the digital marketing journey and QR ticket scanning and even joined the launch event as volunteers. Read the blog.

The Interceptor business model

Sietse van de Riet and Zachary Bailet share how they built a go-to-market strategy for The Ocean Cleanup’s river Interceptor. Their challenge: Achieving a broad and rapid rollout that enables systems to be installed in the 1000 most polluting rivers, in five years from scaleup. Read the blog.

The Plastic Journey: What happens with all that plastic?

Arlette Verdonk shares how the Tax team assists The Ocean Cleanup with its different projects from a tax perspective. Their challenge: Determining what the tax consequences are of each of the commercial initiatives from The Ocean Cleanup and to make sure that these activities are not frustrated by adversary tax consequences in EU and non-EU countries. Read the blog.

Hacking for The Ocean Cleanup

To improve the cyber security posture of the company, The Ocean Cleanup requested Deloitte to conduct a security assessment on its public website and the administrative website. The Deloitte Impact Foundation Hacking for Charity team, performed two web application security tests and recommended actions for remediation of the vulnerabilities found. Additionally, 6 phishing campaigns measured the awareness and organizational readiness of the Ocean Cleanup and its employees.

Steven Bink, Head of IT at The Ocean Cleanup: “The in-house IT organization of The Ocean Cleanup is strictly lean and mean, with most of our resources focused on developing engineering solutions for our mission. Hence we do not have all IT specialist roles fully covered, which was nicely compensated by Deloitte professionals during the Hacking for Charity event. On behalf of the full team at The Ocean Cleanup, I would like to express my appreciation for this extremely valuable donation of time and skills to help test our public website."

About The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup is a Dutch non-profit organization that develops advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. Founded in 2013 by Boyan Slat, The Ocean Cleanup conducts global research, builds scalable cleaning systems for oceans and rivers, and now employs approximately 95 engineers and researchers. The foundation is headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Complementary to its approach to solve the legacy problem of plastic in the ocean garbage patches by means of its passive floating waste collection systems, the organization developed the Interceptor technology to help prevent plastic garbage from entering the oceans via rivers. Interceptors are now deployed in Jakarta, Indonesia and Klang, Malaysia, with preparations ongoing for further deployments around the world. 

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