Introduction: these are the first six nominees for the Sustainable Thirty election

In recent weeks, almost 100 initiatives have been registered from Fryslân, Drenthe and Groningen, which try to make the world we live in a little better. Once by the creators themselves, another time by an enthusiastic fan.

From small private projects to business access. At least everyone with the idea of ​​inspiring others and / or copying the idea. A jury has selected the sustainable thirty from the entries, which go on to the public round. This week we present the lucky ones. These are the first six.


Customers come primarily for the unique meeting place and the tranquility in the middle of the water. But for Susan Janssen and Jorrit Jouwsma from Leeuwarden, the sustainability of their conference boat De Voorraag is crucial.

From an electric motor to recycled toilet paper: everything is well thought out. They started in 2019. Shortly after, the corona caused silence on the boat for two years. “To draw attention again to our story about De Voorvlucht, we now emphasize that – apart from the soft drink – all our food comes from a radius of 25 kilometers around the boat’s quay in Akkrum,” says Susan Janssen.

The two note that people are less likely to book the meeting boat since corona. “There is a lot of reluctance to meet outside the door. If you look at Schiphol, it does not seem to be that bad, but we have a different target group. We are not Easyjet among meeting places. ”

Their ship also inspires others, Janssen has noticed. “The people behind the new inspection vessel PW 10 have met each other here. When I saw the PW 10 I thought: ‘they have looked around with us.’

They are happy with the nomination for Sustainable 30. “We’re already spamming everyone to vote for us,” she jokes.

Short about

Who: Susan Janssen and Jorrit Jouwsma
What: Meeting ship VOF de Voorvoors
Where: Akkrum
Since: 2019
Objective: Energy-neutral meetings
More info:


Village interests in Langelo appealed twelve (!) Years ago to a residents’ evening to ‘do something with energy’. Richard Ton and his wife, Import, seemed like something to be done in the effort. Great way to get to know more people. But yes, Langelo has 100 homes, will that be enough?

If you still have to do ‘something with energy’, it’s better to make it big right away. And then the whole of Noordenveld municipality (15,000 homes) became a work area, of course with the help of people from the other cores. Energie Coöperatie Noordseveld now has about 40 volunteers.

“We started,” said Richard Ton, president, “by helping people save money. We have trained energy coaches to advise people. And yes, we went from door to door. ”

Later, the production of renewable energy also came into being. The roofs of the farmers were covered by solar panels, which were paid for by the whole neighborhood, and from which the whole neighborhood shares the profits. Noordseveld, the largest energy cooperative in Drenthe, has now become a serious discussion partner for the municipality. “It started after we said we would be better able to get the residents on board,” says Ton.

The next project in the pipeline is a large solar park in the southern edge of the municipality. With this, Noordenveld would in one fell swoop fulfill the regional energy strategy, which determines the sustainability task for the municipality in 2030.

Midt Drenthe

Jaap van der Stel (68) and his wife live in Hornhuizen and wanted a food forest near their house. It was all a bit complicated. After selling their house in Haarlem in recent years, where they lived until their retirement, they took a bigger approach.

Via a website, they came in contact with a farmer in Drenthe. He had cut down forest to turn it into agricultural land. It requires the government to turn around. The farmer saw no benefit in this, but the Van der Stel family saw it as a way to help reduce CO2.

,, At the end of last year, the eight acres were ours. Last winter, the first hundred young trees were planted with the help of volunteers. We still need the next five or six years to complete the whole piece. It is only possible in the winter ”, says Jaap van der Stel.

Why a forest? “Of course because of the positive impact of the trees on the climate. And for ourselves: We do not want to eat in the ground day in, day out or remove weeds. The beauty of young trees is that they actually become a forest on their own. ”

Short about

Who: Jaap van der Stel and wife
What: Creating a new forest
Where: Midtdrenthe
Since: October 2021
Goal: contribute to less CO2 in the air


All decoration blacksmiths work with recycled material from the wholesaler. Annora Poppe uses new gold, but from mines, where the gold diggers get a good salary.

With this so-called fairmined gold is also not used mercury to separate the gold. “Ordinary blacksmiths could be called more sustainable, but their recycled gold comes from mines where humans are exploited. You have to tackle problems at their core. I bring more honest gold into the cycle with my jewelry. ”

This gold is more expensive and carries a significant premium that pays for training for the miners and their families. Her jewelry is therefore more expensive. “But it applies to everything that is made sustainable.”

She has only recently started working, but people know where to find her. , Recently came a couple who had their wedding rings aware of fairmined desired gold. These are rings with great sentimental value. Then the knowledge that it is made of honest materials is a plus. ”

Forging involves a lot of chemicals. “I try to work as sustainably as possible. After soldering, a piece of jewelry is cleaned in Vitrex, a strong corrosive acid. I replaced it with citric acid. It seems slower, but is a natural product. ”

Short about

Who Annora Poppe Jewelry Design
What: Jewelry of gold or silver from fair mines
Where: Heerenveen
Pages: 2021
Goal: to make jewelry as fair and sustainable as possible
More info:


Wouter Banus (40) had finished building that building at some point. Not that his business was not running. Due to the necessary management, he actually no longer got to work with his hands. It had to be different. It should also be greener.

Wouter Banus (40) had finished building that building at some point. Not that his business was not running. Due to the necessary management, he actually no longer got to work with his hands. It had to be different. It should also be greener.

By the beginning of this century, he had already started to greener with an electric cargo moped in order to sustainably supply Groningen’s city center. Things went wrong. A little too early in time.

But with a lot of construction experience in his pocket, he threw himself on the green roofs. “Making roofs and walls greener ensures more biodiversity and contributes positively to climate policy,” says Wouter.

What makes his company, Munus Vergroent, unique is that they go for triple sustainability. In addition to laying sedum roofs, they combine this with solar energy. “Solar panels provide more if they have refrigeration systems around them.” And the triple is completed with solutions for water buffering.

Wouters dream? ,, When I’m on Forum and do not see any black roofs anymore. Any flat roof where no solar energy is extracted or is green is a missed opportunity. New development? Who knows, in five years we might be able to grow food on rooftops. I anticipate unprecedented opportunities for sedum taking. ”

Short about

Who: Wouter Banus, Munus Vergroent
What: Green roofs
Where: Groningen
Since: 2018
Goal: No more black flat roofs in the city
More info:


Sometimes you have the best of intentions, but your roof does not cooperate. A group of residents in the Maarwold district in the western part of the Haren wanted solar panels. Their beautiful home from the 1930s was just unsuitable for that. Come on, they thought, we’re looking for one big roof together, right?

“But that was not the only thing,” says board member Jan Berenst of Coöperatie Energiek Maarwold (35 members, “and we expand almost weekly”). He and his neighbors wanted not only green electricity, but also green streets. “We planted a lot of bulbs and sowed wild flowers. We send a newsletter to about 100 addresses, and we arrange cleaning campaigns in the area. ”

In this way, the residents immediately get to know each other; also an important goal for Energiek Maarwold. “In this part of the village there was little to do, and the residents were quite isolated. If you involve people in activities, there is automatically more cohesion,” Berenst states. “I now have good contacts with neighbors I did not know before. ”

Since 3 May, the Cooperative has finally got its solar panels after about three years of preparatory work. They are on the roof of Nikolajkirken. “We are now looking for another suitable roof because we want to continue to grow.”

Short about

Who: Cooperative Energiek Maarwold
What: Generate solar energy, plant flowers, clear debris together
Where: The hare
Since: 2019
Goal: to make the neighborhood more sustainable and increase social cohesion
More info:

Vote for your favorite

Until June 19, you can vote on your favorite initiative via † The winner will receive an advertising budget of € 100,000 to advertise his plan through the channels of Mediahuis Noord, publisher of Nordens Avis that Leeuwarder Courant and Friesch Dagblad † The other two podium candidates each have € 50,000 to spend. The winners will be announced during the final evening on June 27th.

Tomorrow we introduce six new initiatives for you.

Who’s on the jury?

The jury consists of:
– Henk Moll, professor of natural resources in relation to sustainable production and consumption at the University of Groningen.
– Marissa de Boer, founder and CEO of SusPhos, a company in Heerenveen that is a leader in the recycling of phosphate from waste streams.
– Reinder Hoekstra, director of the Nature and Environment Association Drenthe.
– Thereza Langeler, climate reporter Nordens Avis
– Ria Kraa, editor-in-chief at Friesch Dagblad

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