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Amsterdam Business School (ABS) graduate Willem Grefkens (MSc Business Administration, Consumer Marketing track) has won the George Molenkamp Sustainability Thesis 2021 award. The award was presented jointly by KPMG and the ABS for the 5th time during the UvA in Tuschinski event on Friday 8 October.

Grefkens (2nd from left)

Grefkens’ thesis Beauty and the Battered: How Aesthetic Appeal Influences Pro-Environmental Behaviour was supervised by ABS assistant professor of Marketing Dr Carina Thuerridl. The award committee praised the theoretical insights and practical knowledge in Grefkens’ thesis and were impressed by the huge body of literature he studied for his exceptional work. In addition to the award, the winner also receives a  €1,000 prize sponsored by KPMG.

The award committee and other finalists

The award committee consisted of Jolande Sap (KPMG Supervisory Board), Jerwin Tholen (Partner Sustainability, KPMG), Sofiya Koba (Faculty Student Council), and Bernd Hendriksen (ABS lecturer and sustainability entrepreneur).

In addition to Willem Grefkens, 2 other finalists were considered for the award:  Laura Ghitoi (Refashioning the Fashion Industry: The Growing Digital Aftermarket and the Circularity within the Resale Revolution, supervised by Dr Aldo do Carmo), and Mana Reed Stutchbury (Racial Diversity in Brand Communications – The Effect of Racial Diversity on Intention To Engage And Engagement Valence on Social Media: The Role of Self-Referencing, supervised by ABS lecturer Dr Sadaf Mokarram Dorri).

About the award

The award is in honor of Dr George Molenkamp, a pioneer in business sustainability. Dr. Molenkamp is a former Partner and Chairman of KPMG Sustainability Services and he has been instrumental in developing the field of environmental and sustainability management and auditing. He has also served as a Professor at the University of Amsterdam, among many other positions of responsibility he has held in society and business. The award is presented annually to the author of a high-quality, ambitious thesis that contributes to sustainability.