MAY 2020

Impact Report

Metabolic is an ecosystem of organizations striving for systems change. Our  mission is to build a sustainable economy – a broad and urgent goal that no entity can achieve alone. Together with a growing network of partners, we’re working to equip organizations all over the world with tools and insights to catalyze this change.

See how we did in 2019.

Eva Gladek Metabolic

As we approach the midpoint of 2020, we can see that our organizational mission has never been more critical than it is today. People around the world have a more tangible understanding of the importance of resilience, and of the scale of challenges we need to be prepared to address as a civilization. 

Eva Gladek, Founder and CEO, Metabolic

2019 at a glance






Publication views




Industry clients

About Metabolic

Metabolic supports governments, businesses, academia, and NGOs in adapting to a fast-changing global context, while creating disruptive solutions that can dramatically shift how the economy functions. In all of our work – research, strategic advice, the development of tools, and the building of new ventures – we use systems thinking to understand how different sustainability challenges are interlinked, and to identify their true root causes. Working in this way helps us understand where it’s most effective to intervene, and where we can have the greatest impact.

Impact Strategy

Transition the CURRENT system

Attempt to transition the existing global system as rapidly as possible by working with influential decision-makers to drive sustainability stewardship and organizational change.

Build parallel systems

Build parallel systems based on principles that are fundamentally different to the current system, in the form of disruptive new ventures and pilots of new governance and finance models.

Six Transitions

To accelerate the global systems change we envision, we must collectively re-imagine and re-design our systems and institutions. Metabolic’s focus is on six key transitions, four of which are expanded upon in more detail in this report. 

Cities and Regions


Food and land-use


Products and Services


Products and Services


Cities and Regions

It is estimated that by 2050, 68% of the world will live in cities. Our goal is to work with others to create future cities that are regenerative, inclusive, and circular by design.

Gerard Roemers_Metabolic

We need to change the way we shape our habitat as a species. Cities need to reconnect to the natural systems upon which they rely, and become regenerative producers of materials, energy, and human prosperity.

Gerard Roemers, Cities Team Lead

We must accelerate the transition to sustainable communities by sharing methodologies, data, and creating open source tools – so that every city and its inhabitants can drive their own transition.

Tamara Streefland, Cities Program Lead

Our cities team focuses on four key outcomes:

Consumption and production systems

Sustainable urban consumption and production systems.

Circular urban development

New methodologies and guidelines for circular urban development.


Supporting city governments to become stewards of a circular economy.

Decision-support tools

Tools that provide insight into resource flows and facilitate circular decision-making.

In 2019, we worked with city governments, developers, architects, and other urban professionals on:

City and region-wide strategies

Area development

Policy support

Built environment design

Amsterdam, Netherlands

The City of Amsterdam is an internationally renowned hub for circular economy innovation. With Metabolic’s headquarters in Amsterdam, we have been fortunate to work with the City and its stakeholders on a trajectory of pioneering projects over the last six years. 

De Ceuvel

A circular community hub

De Ceuvel is an award-winning circular economy innovation hub hosting a vibrant community and experimenting with technologies and processes to close urban resource cycles.


A circular neighborhood

For Buiksloterham, a 100 ha post-industrial site in Amsterdam North, we co-developed a vision, roadmap and action plan for the area to transition to a fully circular neighborhood.

Urban Mining

Mining the city?

Together with AMS Institute, we developed a method to assess the metal contents of buildings in Amsterdam, matching demolition to construction and promoting the circular use of materials.

Circular Tendering

Changing the rules of the game

With partners SGS Search, we developed circular tendering procedures to help municipalities, developers, and construction companies embed sustainable innovation in the city.

Monitoring Circularity

Measuring circular progress

Amsterdam has been engaged in the circular economy for several years and wanted to be able to systematically monitor its progress. We helped the Metropolitan Region create the right framework to do so.