Witteveen+Bos offers its clients value-added consultancy and top-quality designs for water, infrastructure, spatial development, environment and construction projects. We deliver reliable solutions built on the knowledge, experience, social insight and intellect of our employees. At Witteveen+Bos we maintain an inspiring working environment from where we tackle the fascinating challenges that the future holds. Professionalism, respect and integrity are our core values.
Witteveen+Bos is committed to being a first-rate consultancy and engineering firm. Performing at the very highest level is a precondition for achieving this goal. Striving for the top is a healthy ambition. A national and international orientation towards products, markets and the labour market is essential to operating at the pinnacle of our field of work.
Internationally, Witteveen+Bos has achieved a good position in the following areas:
- preparation, transport and distribution of drinking water
- effluent treatment
- water management
- environmental technology and policy
- ports, dredging, coastal water engineering, river water engineering
We conduct a selective policy on the geographical areas that we serve. Besides operating in nearby countries (like Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom) we have been active for more than 25 years in Indonesia and in the Caribbean. Witteveen+Bos maintains an office in Jakarta. We additionally have offices in Aktau, Atyrau and Almaty (Kazakhstan), Riga (Latvia) and St. Petersburg (Russia). In the Caribbean we cooperate very closely with Civil Engineering Caribbean (CEC), a company with offices on Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten. Since 1990 there has been a great demand in central and eastern Europe for the kind of engineering expertise and know-how that we provide. Over the past two decades we have been involved in projects in numerous central and eastern European countries. In 2009 we opened our Belgian office in Antwerp.
Together with engineering firms NIRAS (Denmark), Artelia (formerly Sogreah, France) and Tyréns (Sweden), Witteveen+Bos is a member of the Strategic European Expertise Network (SEEN). These independent firms rank are among the top in their respective countries – not in size, but in quality and in service. We exchange knowledge with each other via knowledge clusters in which we discuss interesting engineering developments and make them available for the members’ domestic markets. The firms also jointly develop new products and services and cooperate with each other in various projects in Eastern Europe, Africa and China.
At Witteveen+Bos we attach great importance to cooperation, both internally via our integral approach to projects and externally by joining forces with like-minded firms. For our clients this has the advantage that we are able to bundle knowledge from within and outside our organisation. We select our strategic alliances based on market demand, expertise, a specific project or special knowledge of a particular region.
Tunnel Engineering Consultants
Cooperation in the field of tunnels with DHV and Royal Haskoning.
Cooperation in the field of railway infrastructure with Royal Haskoning and Deutsche Bahn.
Cooperation with Royal Haskoning for development of the North/South metro line in Amsterdam.
Strategic European Expertise Network (SEEN)
Cooperation in all specialisations with NIRAS, Artelia and Tyréns.
It was in 1946 that Prof. G.S. Bos (1908-2004) and engineer W.G. Witteveen (1891-1979) established an engineering and consultancy firm called 'Stedebouwkundig advies- en ingenieursbureau Witteveen en Bos c.i.' to work on urban planning.
From 1924 to 1945, Witteveen had worked in Rotterdam at different times as Head of Urban Expansion and Buildings, City Architect, Director of Urban Development, Director of the Municipal Engineering Department and Director of the Rotterdam City Planning Advisory Office.
After qualifying as a civil engineer at the Delft University of Technology, Bos spent four years working at the Amsterdam Public Works Department and six years at the municipality of Enschede. He produced a plan for Enschede’s sewer system and what at the time was the largest sewage treatment works in the Netherlands.
The two men met each other by chance and the chemistry between them clicked from the start. One day someone advised Witteveen to meet with Bos, who was at that time attempting to start his own engineering firm. Bos always called it an incredible story: 'Half a day after this advice there was a meeting between the famous urban planner and a completely unknown civil engineer 17 years his younger. After talking after lunch for less than an hour, the decision was taken to enter into a partnership to establish an engineering firm for urban development and public works'.
The partnership contract was penned on just one sheet of A4 paper and survived until 1 January 1958 when Witteveen retired. Their successful association was built upon trust and reliability.
Witteveen+Bos is now one of the leading engineering firms in the Netherlands with a workforce of more than 900. Witteveen+Bos is ready for the future and remains staunchly dedicated to its critical quality attributes: friendly, expert, reliable and innovative. These are precisely the attributes that our founders cherished.
Witteveen+Bos has a unique shareholder system. Our shareholders are our employees, either as an associate, partner or senior partner.
The associates – 466 employees – hold 15,0 % of the company’s shares. The 79 partners hold 22 % of the shares. Partner shareholding is exclusively at the invitation of the Board of Directors. There are 7 premium partners and 19 senior partners who together hold 63,0 % of the shares. The General Meeting of Shareholders appoints senior partners.
Witteveen+Bos has a transparent organisational structure.
From our head office in Deventer and seven branch offices in the Netherlands, we are always able to operate near our clients. We maintain international offices at the heart of our working areas.
Our employees are grouped according to product-market combinations (PMCs). Each PMC is dedicated to its own particular products in a certain market segment. Close collaboration between the PMCs assures an integral approach to projects.
The PMCs are clustered into four business lines. The business lines are supported by the Finance and Accounting department, Personnel and Organisation department, Legal Affairs department, Quality Affairs department and General Affairs department. All of these departments are based in Deventer.
The work of an engineer is dedicated to shaping society in a responsible manner. Designing requires a continuous weighing up of how these activities will affect people and the wider community. At Witteveen+Bos, we adhere to basic principles directly related to the principles of sustainable development. Our designs and advices make allowance for the 'here and now' – meeting the needs of those who live in contemporary society – but we also give thought to the 'there and later'. That is why we advocate the use of sustainably obtained commodities and materials. We also apply the principle of life-cycle analysis. This way, we are striving to pass on a better world to future generations – a world where they will be able to make their own choices. We apply these principles within the constraints of our economic reality.
United Nations Global Compact
In 2005, Witteveen+Bos became the first Dutch engineering firm to sign up to the principles of the United Nations Global Compact. This covenant between the United Nations and companies worldwide sets down principles for doing business responsibly. The Compact is monitored by means of annual progress reports.
Corporate Responsibility Report
Increasing importance is being attached to reporting in writing on the measures and effects of corporate social responsibility. Witteveen+Bos published its first Corporate Responsibility Report in 2009. Our spearheads are to embed corporate responsibility in our business culture, to contribute to education and research, to stand out as a preferred employer, and to improve our company’s CO2 footprint.
Witteveen+Bos has set itself the goal of improving the energy efficiency of its operations and – where possible – reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. We are pursuing continuous enhancement of the energy efficiency of our operations by implementing energy-saving measures and ways of scaling down mobility, obviously with due observance of client satisfaction, quality of service, and the working conditions of our staff.
The items below are part of our policy for making our operations more energy-efficient.
- Every year, we monitor the energy consumption of the office buildings that we own.
- We encourage our employees to develop energy-efficient behaviour.
- Wherever possible, we take energy-efficiency measures during renovation of office buildings that we own or rent.
- When we must replace or purchase hardware and company cars, we give consideration to low-energy alternatives.
- We regularly disclose our energy data, energy policy, and energy targets – internally as well as externally.
- We study possibilities for using and/or purchasing green electricity and using alternative fuels.Each year, we check and – if necessary – revise our energy policy and targets.
Cutting CO2 emissions caused by air travel
In the first eight months of 2011, Witteveen+Bos reduced the CO2 emissions caused by air travel by its staff vis-à-vis a comparable period of the previous year. The overall reduction came to 11 %, whereas the average number of flights per month has remained the same. Since January 2011, we have reminded staff members who book flights that stopovers cause more CO2 emissions. The total CO2 emissions attributable to our air travel came to 890 tons in 2010. We set off these emissions by purchasing CO2 credits from a hydropower station in India.
Engaging with society
Many of our staff members display their commitment to society through their involvement in professional bodies and industry associations. An active policy on published articles enables Witteveen+Bos to contribute to the knowledge infrastructure in the Netherlands. Various members of staff work as part-time lecturers or professors, and many students come to our firm for a traineeship or final graduation project. Witteveen+Bos supports the Technasium Foundation in its efforts to make technical education more attractive. We are supporting the Delft University of Technology in its modernising campaign to align research and education more to the issues that face society. In our home city of Deventer, we provide the chairperson of the local employers’ association, and by filling board positions, we support various organisations in the fields of art, culture, education, and healthcare.
Committing to culture
The Witteveen+Bos Art+Technology Award, presented annually since 2002, is our way of displaying our cultural commitment. The award is for artists who work at the interface of art and engineering. Our aim is to raise the image and appeal of engineering. We also sponsor several institutes and initiatives in the art and culture field.