The 2019 SDG Pioneer of The Netherlands

Last February Global Compact Network Netherlands started the search for our first SDG Pioneer. We’ve received a lot of inspiring stories from various young professionals. Our jury had the hard task of determining who had the best story and makes the most SDG impact on the road to 2030. After a long search we found our SDG Pioneer!

Dylan McNeill

is the 2019 SDG Pioneer of The Netherlands who will be able to represent our network in the Global Round of the SDG Pioneer search. Dylan has made a significant contribution to the SDGs as Director for Supplier Sustainability at Philips and as the youngest board-member of the European Partnership on Responsible Minerals. Dylan is responsible for the scale-up of Philips’ Supplier Sustainability Performance program within Philips.


Creating change trough a continuous improvement relationship with suppliers is a true, valuable and very impactful way to create change in the heart of the operations of a mulitnational, and its suppliers” – Eva Rood (Director Positive Change Initiative, Rotterdam School of Management and jury member)


He advances the SDGs through different partnerships (Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals) that among others allowed the team to make accurate predictions on supplier sustainability performance over time. Consequently, new methods and tailor-made change approaches could be developed. As a result, the Supplier Sustainability Performance program booked large-scale success, improving the working conditions of more than 240,000, workers in 2018 alone (Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth). Additionally, this approach helped reduce the environmental impact of its suppliers (Goal 13: Climate Action)


Dylan is making a difference for many workers in the supply chain of Royal Philips. In 2018 alone, working conditions of more than 240,000 workers at suppliers were improved. That tremendous positive impact shows the spirit and leadership of a true SDG Pioneer!” – Jan van den Herik (Board member GCNL and jury member)


Dylan and his team did not only contribute to Philips’ success by identifying the most important supplier sustainability improvement opportunities, but also to innovations for the SDGs by moving from a traditional auditing approach, to a scalable approach that ensures continuous improvement in supplier sustainability. On the way, Dylan and his colleagues actively shared this approach with peers and other industries, to increase awareness and mobilization on the topic of supplier sustainability.

The Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact have been strongly embedded in the scale-up of the Supplier Sustainability Performance program Dylan is responsible for. This is particularly reflected in the supplier sustainability declaration (SSD) that Philips’ suppliers have to fill out. This SSD sets out desired supplier standards and behaviors and covers topics such as Labor, Health & Safety, Environment, and Ethics. Unlike regular audits through which suppliers often only seem sustainable, Dylan’s engagement program focusses on continuous improvement; transparency on performance; and clear commitments to meet the agreed targets. In other words, his approach helps build the suppliers’ capacities and ensures the Ten Principles become a significant part of the suppliers’ management systems.


“Great job on the implementation of a new program in a big multinational!”– Liz de Bruijn (Programme Manager, Masterpeace and jury member)


The SDG Pioneer runner-up is Wineke Haagsma. Wineke is Head of Corporate Responsibility at PwC NL.Wineke has done a lot of work in creating awareness for the SDGs. She launched the ‘SDG Dome’, an immersive experience that combines virtual reality with a seamless 360-degree projection of the world’s biggest problems. It has already been visited by 3,500 people. Wineke has also launched an e-learning platform where stakeholders can familiarize themselves with the SDGs: the SDG Quick Start, which has already been used by more than 1,600 colleagues. In addition, she initiated an internal CO2-tax and the SDG Booster, a research on SDG implementation in The Netherlands.

About the SDG Pioneer search

As part of the ‘Making Global Goals Local Business’ campaign, each year the UN Global Compact recognizes a class of SDG Pioneers: young and future business leaders who are using business as a force of good to advance the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The SDG Pioneers play an important role in creating interest in the Global Goals. For the first time, the SDG Pioneer challenge started this year with a local round. Other local Global Compact networks that joined the search were for example the UK, South Africa and Egypt. Any young professional (35 and under) that worked at company part of the Global Compact Network was able to apply or be nominated by someone from the leadership team of the company.

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