XStern - van Hattum
Product Innovation for Sustainability


Ernst-Jan van Hattum is MSc Industrial Design Engineering and holder of several patents. Of Dutch origin and Swiss, he currently resides in Switzerland where he is an avid climber, taking advantage of the many climbing opportunities both indoors and out. From 1997 to 2008, he has served as Chairman of the O2 Global Network Foundation on Sustainable Design, the governing body behind the O2 Global Network on Sustainable Design, with representatives in 70 countries and an e-mailing list with over 1700 subscribers. He has served as editorial board member of "The Journal for Sustainable Product Design" and was part of the organizational team of SusProNet, the EU’s first Thematic Network on Product Service Development.

After receiving his MSc. Industrial Design Engineering in 1989 from the Technical University of Delft, the Netherlands, Ernst-Jan worked as R&D Manager and Industrial Designer for Promech Sorting Systems BV, a producer of sorting systems for clothing, books, CDs and other products, which are used within the logistic centres of companies such as Nippon Express, SSD (Japan, in joined cooperation with Toyo Kanetsu K.K. Tokyo), but also Sears, GAP (USA), Benetton (Italy), Lingenbrink (Germany) among others.

In 1989, Ernst-Jan began applying Ecodesign principles to his work and designed a low-energy, 95% recyclable sorting system that was selected as best practice example of Dutch Ecodesign and was presented by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in a video for entrepreneurs entitled “The Profit of Environmental Product Development”.

From 1998 until 2002, Ernst-Jan was senior project advisor and deputy manager of the Innovation Relay Centre Netherlands (IRC NL) in the Hague at Senter, an agency of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. IRC NL is part of the IRC network for Technology Transfer within Europe. During his time there, Ernst-Jan’s technology area was Sustainable Design/Eco-Innovation, the Environment and (Renewable) Energy. He also served on the board of the Thematic Group Environment within the IRC and Senter.

End of 2007 Ernst-Jan started as Innovation and Technology Consultant EEN – Enterprise Europe Network - Swiss access point at Euresearch, Bern, Switzerland (ex Innovation Relay Centre IRC). Focus: Eco-Innovation, Innovation for Sustainability, Intelligent Energy and Machinery. The Euresearch EEN Team won several Best Practice Awards within the EEN Network (nowadays more than 53 countries).

Through his privately owned business XStern, near Zurich, he offers services in Design and Innovation for Sustainability and organizes practical workshops for both private industry and academic institutions, like van der Veer Designers (Netherlands), Zürcher Hochschule der Gestaltung, Fachhochschule Aarau or ETH Sustainability Summerschool. From high-tech industrial systems to low-tech artisanal collaborations he uses a whole-systems approach to design that considers not only the environmental aspects and impact of materials and processes but the social and cultural factors that are an essential part of truly sustainable products and services.


Open CV / Lebenslauf in PDF Format (63 KB)