Frederik van de Ven

Frederik van de Ven

Director Sustainability at Kintetsu World Express

Kintetsu World Express
Frederik van de Ven, Director Sustainability at Kintetsu World Express, Outlines his Attempts to Instigate Meaningful Change Across his Industry

Frederik van de Ven is a leader who relishes the challenge of building something from the ground up. 

Having studied industrial engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology in his native Netherlands, Van de Ven began his working career with Air France-KLM and went on to excel in numerous roles, including Chief of Staff to the Board and Global Head of Sustainability for the cargo division. 

However, after eight years, he recognised an appealing opportunity at Japanese logistics giant Kintetsu World Express (KWE) that was simply too good to turn down. 

“I get a lot of energy from starting something new,” says Van de Ven. “Sustainability at Kintetsu was, at that time, still relatively new, and they were asking me to join them and support them in setting up sustainability.

“I’ve been here for one-and-a-half years and I’m really happy to have made that choice.”

Dealing with change

Since September 2022, Van de Ven has been working as Director Sustainability at KWE, looking after sustainable logistics across the business. 

Moving from one major industry player to another has allowed him to realise that one major challenge continues to dominate the rest: change management. 

Dealing with change, he says, can be especially problematic in the cargo industry given the relatively high average age of the workforce compared to other industries.

“All the content, and setting up the right strategy, projects and processes, is challenging,” Van de Ven explains. “But the most difficult part is actual engagement to the topic, which is, of course, part of change management. 

“The willingness to really include sustainability in the business strategy versus acting on it – there is sometimes still a really big gap.”

A year to remember

Van de Ven can reflect with pride on his achievements at both KWE and his previous employer. 

At Air France-KLM, he took responsibility for setting up and rolling out the very first sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) programme in the world for the cargo industry, setting an example to dozens of fellow airlines. 

By the time Van de Ven departed in August 2022, the SAF programme had no fewer than 50 partners, which remains a high number in the context of air freight. 

Turning his attention to KWE, Van de Ven is enthusiastic in emphasising that 2023 was certainly a year to remember for the Tokyo-headquartered company, especially from a sustainability perspective.

Within a 12-month period, Kintetsu committed to science-based emission reduction targets, became an official member of the Smart Freight Centre, embarked on its exciting pilot project alongside Shell Aviation and launched decarbonisation products with the aim of benefitting customers.

“That's something I'm very proud of,” Van de Ven adds. “It shows as well how quick and how fast we can be as an organisation, and gives me a lot of confidence, actually, for the future.”

Read the full story HERE.

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