Your own energy-neutral home and promoting sustainable newbuild at national level

Ellen Posthoorn with construction helmet in front of new construction homes and crane.
Content marketeer Housing Ellen Posthoorn
Ellen Posthoorn
Content marketeer Housing
Reading time6 minutes

Helping your local community become more sustainable while building a home which generates as much energy as it uses. And simultaneously working to promote sustainable newbuild projects. That’s how Ellen Posthoorn, content marketeer Housing, works on her development and shapes the world around her.

Ellen works for Rabobank at the Housing Marketing Department, where she supports the “Newbuild projects” group. “The combination of newbuild and sustainable building is fascinating. I provide information on the financing options – such as our green mortgage products – to the project developers and the potential buyers of the newbuild homes.”

Ellen is no stranger to sustainable housing. She and her family built one of the first completely energy-neutral homes in the West-Brabant region, known in Dutch as NulopdeMeter (NLM) housing. “To qualify as NLM, our house must be able to use the same amount of energy as it generates independently, measured over the period of one year. We generate energy through a heat pump and solar panels. We keep our energy consumption low through effective insulation and energy saving measures. This way we can reduce our energy bill to zero.”

Living sustainably through Rabobank?

“Our ambition is to be the most sustainable bank for housing in the Netherlands. I am really keen to help solve this societal challenge. The energy transition is simply too important, not only for society as a whole but also for my little boy’s future!" Ellen’s determination shines through both in her work as a content marketeer and as a Rabobank ambassador in her local community.

Ellen Posthoorn goes for sustainable building in new construction project.

She gives her all to every project that comes her way. When she saw an appeal on intranet for staff to tell their local communities about Rabobank, she registered straightaway. “It involves anything from teaching a class in school, giving a presentation, or presenting a Rabo Clubsupport check to a local sports club. It gives me great pleasure to help so many people and makes me proud to work for Rabobank too.”

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Energy cooperative

Ellen is also involved with a local energy cooperative project called Opgewekt Drimmelen. “I saw that a new energy cooperative was starting up near my home. The cooperative installs solar panels on the roofs of large farms and supplies the electricity generated to local residents.”

The people running the cooperative were looking for help to raise awareness of the project and asked the Director of the local Rabobank for help, who in turn asked Ellen. She and two co-workers volunteered to write the communications plan. “I did that partly in my own time and partly during working hours. Rabobank gives me time and space to support sustainable projects and I can the knowledge and experience I gained from the organization to play my part.”

After helping the project get off to a successful start Ellen and Rabobank reduced their involvement but they still receive updates. “The cooperative now supplies 270 households with locally generated green energy. This is a great example of a local project that I can get really enthusiastic about!"

"Projects to help society energize me." 
Ellen Posthoorn, content marketeer Housing

Showcasing sustainability

Ellen also comes across local projects in her job in the Rabobank Housing Marketing team. There are 16 people in the team, Ellen explains: “we each have our own focus area. Mine is the newbuild market.”

One of her tasks is to help project developers produce and publish customer stories relating to sustainable housing. “We give the project developers tips, content, resources and blogs. We showcase their sustainable projects to create interest among possible buyers.”

Woman with glasses sits on cart at construction site.

“A good example is Klein Gouda, which is a new residential area on the south-west side of the city. The industrial building styles are inspired by Gouda’s historic streets and canals. We work with the project developers to encourage builders and architects to design and build new homes in line with the criteria for a government-issued . The criteria can vary from the type of timber used to the color of the solar panels, and the expected energy performance. The Klein Gouda project was given a green certificate and nearly every house has been sold. “It was a great success for all concerned.”

Customized approach

Ellen is enthusiastic about the bank’s local and cooperative mentality. “You need to start locally and then scale up. You need to customize your approach to each municipality. That’s where Rabobank’s rootedness in local communities is a real advantage because we know the people and the area. The commitment to society and the help we offer really energizes me.” On the other hand, Ellen sometimes finds it hard to ask for help herself. With a smile, she says, “I have to admit, as the daughter of entrepreneurs, I have a very strong sense of responsibility for my work. Sometimes I need to just let things go.”

“Our team recently took part in a session that helped us better understand our talents and motives. Since then, my co-workers keep reminding me that I don’t need to do everything myself and that they’re happy to help. That’s a personal learning path which is helping me to develop.”

Collaboration and stakeholder management are key competences in the marketing teams. “Sometimes it’s hard to know who the right person is to answer a particular question. Because I know a lot about the local banks and the different systems, I’m happy to point new colleagues in the right direction. You’re never on your own here. We all have the cooperative mindset and way of working in our DNA.”

Over Ellen en duurzame nieuwbouw

Ellen’s careerpath: Marketing communication Rabobank Ridderkerk > Marketing communication Private Banking > Content Marketeer Housing

The process for buying a newbuild home is slightly different to buying an existing property. All the information on how Rabobank can help you in this process is available at this page in Dutch).

About Ellen en Sustainable Newbuild

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