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Mentor: Ted van der Put

Startlife Mentor

Ted van der Put is an independent sustainability strategist who helps organizations develop and implement (more) sustainable strategies. He also works as Executive Advisor for IDH and New Foresight and is a Member of the Boards of FairPhone, the Apparel Impact Institute, Chairman of the Precious Forest Foundation and the IMVO Convenant Sierteelt sector and Non-executive Chairman of the Board of Meridia Land. Through his work he actively contributes to the transition towards a more sustainable and fair world.

Ted’s professional background includes over twenty years experience in several international management positions at Philips Electronics including as CEO of the Philips Lighting Innovation group (a.o. responsible for preparing the transition to LED lighting), the Philips Lighting Solutions activities in Europe (2001-2004) and as CEO of the Philips Enabling Technologies.

Ted is also former Executive member of the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH, www.idhtrade.org).  In this role he provided leadership to a wide variety of (mainstream) sector transformation initiatives for sustainable sourcing including:

  • Coffee, partnering with Nestle, JDE, Tchibo, Olam, ECOM and many others and creating 6 national public-private platforms in coffee producing countries. Ted was the first Chairman of the Global Coffee Platform.
  • Tropical timber, where IDH has been supporting and co-funding over 80% of all recently certified tropical forests (9 million hectares)
  • Aquaculture, where he was Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), the leading standard for responsible aquaculture.

The guiding theme in his professional career has been a passion for longer term value creation, engaging his teams and stakeholders in that vision and delivering the targeted results.

Skills and field of expertise

  • Sustainability (strategic assessment, innovation, partnerships)
  • Business strategy development
  • Marketing
  • Stakeholder convening
  • Organizational development
  • Organizational governance

Offer and interest (startups)


I offer you my expertise in enabling supply chains to scale sustainable practices. My expertise is based on more than 35 years of experience in international corporate leadership positions in sales, marketing, product strategy, R&D and innovations and general business management (CEO roles).


Agrifood startups that challenge existing business models to ensure more sustainable practices in production, trade and consumption.

Personal quote

“The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.” – Paul Valéry




If you are interested in our StartLife Mentor Program, let us know and reach out to us for more information.