Purpose, Promise, Principles


An inspiring purpose

To connect everyone with a brighter energy future



Lighting the way ahead together


The principles underpinning our work




Everything in energy is connected

Local, national and international. Electricity and gas. Offshore and onshore. Supply and demand. The people who make energy systems possible, and the people who need them.

And it’s people across governments, businesses, organisations and communities who share the responsibility and the capabilities to drive the energy transition and manage our finite resources as best we can.

In our role as an independent European grid operator, TenneT brings these people and their expertise together with our own, in our pursuit to create a brighter energy future – more sustainable, more reliable and more affordable than ever before.

It’s a challenge that needs new ideas, new technologies and new behaviours that build on the strong foundations we’ve laid. It demands that we do things differently, and that we learn from each other, across industries, because we know we don’t have all the answers ourselves.

It’s why we’re happy to collaborate and share the knowledge and experience that enable us to keep the lights on, so that as a society we can design and deliver the energy system we all need for tomorrow.

Together, we are lighting the way ahead.

The world is changing and so is TenneT. Developments are coming thick and fast, more so than ever before. And society’s urge to secure a sustainable future is increasingly tangible everywhere. TenneT wants to make an important contribution to that and fulfil our promise to all our stakeholders.

Last year, we discussed as a company what such a promise entails and specifically how it affects our organisation. After all, when we make a promise, we must live up to it. We have looked at our purpose, promise, and principles. Put simply, this means that we have asked ourselves what purpose we want to fulfil as an organisation going forward, what we want to promise our stakeholders, and what values and behaviour, i.e. principles, go with that. Needless to say, these three things have to tie in seamlessly with our strategic pillars, which we defined last year. • Energise our people and organisation • Secure supply today and tomorrow • Drive the Energy Transition • Safeguard our financial health.

Broadly supported across the entire organisation

It is key to us that the purpose, promise, and principles be supported by the entire organisation. We want our colleagues to identify with our purpose, promise, and principles and be motivated to contribute to them, and we want our purpose, promise, and principles to inspire new talent to join our company.

What we have done to reach our goal

First of all, we looked at how similar organisations are positioning themselves in the Netherlands and Germany. What is it that sets them apart? Next, we engaged with Senior Leaders, asking them questions such as, how do you see the future? What is good about our organisation and should we preserve? What needs to change? What kind of behaviour does that involve? What makes that you come to work at TenneT every day with your spirits high. We put these and other questions to colleagues of the Coalition of the Daring and to various other colleagues in the Netherlands and Germany through an online survey. From those survey results, we extrapolated three different directions through which we can and want to set ourselves apart from others. Each of these three directions comes with its own unique challenges. An international firm that specialises in these kinds of processes helped us with that.

We subsequently submitted these three directions to the members of the Executive Board and discussed them. We challenged the board members to come up with a detailed response to each direction we presented, and to discuss them with each other.

No top-down decision making

Seeing as we do not want this to be a decision made solely by the Executive Board, we organised online workshops that were attended by roughly 70 colleagues from different sites in the Netherlands and Germany with different backgrounds and roles at the company. Their responses were promising, which gave us excellent feedback that we can build on. We have incorporated all the feedback into this final version. The Executive Board discussed this version on various occasions and subjected it to close scrutiny. Do we agree with everything, will we be able to live up to the promise and motivate our (potential) employees with our new positioning? We hope and expect that we will. Because at TenneT, we are lighting the way ahead together.

What you can do

We are very interested to hear your take on our new purpose, promise, and principles. Discuss them with your colleagues over the coming months. Do you understand the intention behind them? What will you do to contribute and live up to the promise? Please send an email to communication@tennet.eu and let us know what you are planning to do. We look forward to being inspired by you.

Interested to find out what the purpose, promise, and principles look like and what they mean? Watch the video.

Job de Visser

“This direction is truly engaging. It sounds great to do things together, because we are going to have to do things differently in the future, although we don’t yet know how. Our prime minister, Mark Rutte, is now taking the initiative in these times of coronavirus, saying, ‘we have to make 100% of the decisions based on 50% of the knowledge.’ We have to go through a change, but if we wait for the world to figure out exactly how we ought to change, we will fall behind. We at TenneT will be spending over 10 years working on construction projects, and so we will need to get started early to be ready for the future on time.”

Dr. Roland Dongping Zhang

“TenneT is an innovation leader. The new positioning has to back that up, such as by proactively driving the energy transition, while always staying connected to our stakeholders and society as a whole.”

Camiel van Altenborg

“Our Purpose lies in our threefold societal goal of providing a sustainable, reliable, and affordable power grid. Keeping those three scales balanced is a major challenge. TenneT can play a unique role in this respect as the central interface between many stakeholders with different beliefs as to which scale is more important. This can be frustrating sometimes due to the many conflicting demands, but it is also fantastic, as we have the overall view and the expertise to be able to weigh up the different interests. My colleagues do that every day, with reasoning and conviction. That, to me, is the great thing about TenneT, that’s why I get up in the morning.”

Mitra Ariatabar

“All the discussions and deliberations about what our missions and visions are and how and what we want to be as a company not only benefit the company. When I think about what my company's visions are, I automatically think about what my own visions are, as a human being, and that is something we have to ask ourselves at several points in our lives.”