The Ocean Cleanup & Deloitte Partnership

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The Ocean Cleanup & Deloitte Partnership

Looking back on the first six months

On Monday the 25th of September 2017 a three-year partnership between The Ocean Cleanup Foundation and the Deloitte Impact Foundation was signed by Boyan Slat (CEO, The Ocean Cleanup) and Peter Bommel (CEO, Deloitte The Netherlands), allowing Deloitte to become a knowledge partner of The Ocean Cleanup.

The Ocean Cleanup is a not-for-profit organization that develops advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. In the past two years it has grown from a small organisation with only a handful of people with unique ideas and concepts, to an organisation of around 60 people who are actually deploying the world’s first ocean cleanup system.
 

Achievements so far…

Having recently reached the six month milestone makes for a perfect time to gather the first impressions and experiences. How did this collaboration kick off? What have The Ocean Cleanup and Deloitte been working on from the start? And what were the first tangible achievements? Let’s hear it from those involved.

Jos Huijbregts, CFO of the The Ocean Cleanup: “After the substantial growth of the past two years, the coming years will mark further growth as we are aiming for a full scale-up of the cleanup in 2021.This experienced and future growth also means that our organisation needs to professionalise quickly, but we want to keep the distractions on our mission to a minimum. And of course keep the organization a lean and mean. Luckily, we can count on a broad range of support from Deloitte.”

The Ocean Cleanup Chief of Staff, Dieuwertje Ewalts sums up a few key projects of the past months: “Tax and expat support for our activities in the US, Audit advisory for our annual report, Salesforce implementation to improve our funding process, an IT & cyber security workshop to review our IT systems and processes and strategy support to enhance our business model. It is great to see all the Deloitte colleagues supporting us with such enthusiasm and we are looking forward for the projects to come.”
 

From left to right: Vera Sonneveld (Deloitte), Alie Snijders (Deloitte), Jorg Schalekamp (Deloitte), Joost Dubois (The Ocean Cleanup), Dieuwertje Ewalts (The Ocean Cleanup), Jos Huijbregts (The Ocean Cleanup), Boyan Slat (The Ocean Cleanup), Peter Bommel (Deloitte), Allard van Osch (Deloitte)

Personal motivation

For Deloitters, working on the project for The Ocean Cleanup is nothing ordinary and it asks for some extraordinary motivation. Luckily this did not prove hard to find. We asked Deloitters working for The Ocean Cleanup about why working on this project stands out for them.

“As an avid scuba diver I have – unfortunately – witnessed how badly the ocean is polluted by plastic. With a high regard for the initiatives of The Ocean Cleanup in developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, my colleagues Frank and Paul, and I did our outmost best to rid several tax hurdles for the organization. In this respect we had a meeting at the HQ of The Ocean Cleanup in Delft on the 11th of August to gather information about the foundation’s tax position. During this meeting we were also shown around the office and we observed how the research on plastic is done. Watching this young organization trying to achieve a greater good, increased my awareness of the importance of proactive, entrepreneurial minds setting out to make a change! The weeks after this first meeting with The Ocean Cleanup we analysed the information and collaborated with our specialised colleagues (incl. VAT, Global Employer Services and Business Tax) in order to point out several recommendations. On the 31st of August we presented our findings during a Masterclass at The Ocean Cleanup’s office. Today, we are implementing some of the key priorities with our US colleagues and more activities are yet to come. It is and has been a great experience to contribute to the partnership!”
                         Melissa Dezijn (Deloitte Tax & Legal, Consultant Tax)

“When I was approached by the Deloitte Impact Foundation to be part of a project at The Ocean Cleanup, it didn't take me long to decide to say yes. Over the course of 5 weeks, my colleague Reynier, and I worked closely together with The Ocean Cleanup to analyse their finance processes. After several visits at their impressive office in Delft and comparing the processes to the "industry standard" we came up with 30 recommendations on several finance areas such as Procure-to-Pay, Order-to-Cash, Month End Close and Reporting. The end report was delivered to The Ocean Cleanup at the end of 2017 and contributed to improve processes on short term and input for a long term ERP solution. It felt as an honour to be part of this great initiative, knowing that it helps them being ready, from a finance perspective, for all the good things that are coming for The Ocean Cleanup in the near future!”
                           
Marnix Franssen (Deloitte Consulting, Consultant)

“Working for The Ocean Cleanup Project has been a great experience. It is truly amazing what they are trying to achieve for our oceans and planet. Being able to share our expertise by giving a cyber security masterclass has been very rewarding. The Ocean Cleanup is different from our other clients and this reflects, for example, in their cyber security threats landscape. This made the research and creating a new kind of approach a lot of fun. You can really see that everybody at The Ocean Cleanup is passionate about what they are doing and it was a pleasure for me to contribute to that in this way.”
          Serra Lise Kammoun (Deloitte Risk Advisory, Junior Manager)

“It has been a fantastic experience to work together with The Ocean Cleanup. We have always admired what they have set out to do, and have watched their accomplishments closely over the course of years. Being able to set-up the partnership between The Ocean Cleanup and the Deloitte Impact Foundation has been extremely rewarding, and has given us a unique insight into the vibrant, enthusiastic, and ‘can-do’ culture at The Ocean Cleanup! We are grateful to have been given this opportunity, and encourage our colleagues from all functions to contribute to the partnership going forward, or other projects being initiated at the Deloitte Impact Foundation!”
    Vera Sonneveld and Allard van Osch (initiators of the partnership)

“With the Deloitte Impact Foundation we are able to dedicate time, resources, and professional expertise to make an impact. We have established a three-year partnership with The Ocean Cleanup to support them with services from all functions within Deloitte, including Consulting, Tax & Legal, Risk Advisory and Audit. With providing this support, Deloitte enables The Ocean Cleanup to focus on its core ambitions and capabilities: to rid the oceans from plastic waste. Looking back on the first six months of the partnership, I notice people are extremely proud and committed to being able to support. We all look forward continuing the partnership, and hope to contribute to make The Ocean Cleanup successful with achieving the many great milestones that have been set for the coming years!”
                              Jorg Schalekamp (Deloitte Consulting, Partner)

Deloitte strives to make an impact for our clients. It is partnerships with organisations such as The Ocean Cleanup, however, which allow us to simultaneously make an impact on people and society at large. Furthermore, working together with The Ocean Cleanup allows us to work and gain experience in a new environment, enriching our own perspectives, values and capabilities. Please visit the website of The Ocean Cleanup and the Deloitte Impact Foundation for more information:

Please visit https://www.theoceancleanup.com/ for more information on The Ocean Cleanup
Please visit https://www2.deloitte.com/nl/nl/pages/over-deloitte/topics/deloitte-impact-foundation.html for more information on the Deloitte Impact Foundation

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