ABOUT THE FOUNDATION
Re-greening our planet
The COmON Foundation is a private, charitable fund, dedicated to the regeneration and re-greening of degraded areas worldwide, empowering communities, optimising land use and nurturing nature, based on innovative approaches.Read more
The board of the COmON Foundation is made up of the following individualsRead more
About the foundation
Re-greening our planet
The COmON Foundation is a private, charitable fund, dedicated to the regeneration and re-greening of degraded areas worldwide, empowering communities, optimising land use and nurturing nature, based on innovative approaches.
We provide grants to innovative projects that are then undertaken by organisations that recognise the value of good soil. In that sense, soil is the most valuable asset on Earth. At the COmON Foundation, we find inspiration in projects that restore degraded landscapes and protect nature, for the benefit of people and planet. Such achievements can only be brought about through excellent stakeholder management.
At COmON, we fully embrace the 4RETURNS approach, a holistic approach to restoration, that combines and connects three different landscape zones over a period of 20 years, thereby delivering:
- Return of inspiration: happy people with passion
- Return of social capital: job creation
- Return of natural capital: restoring biodiversity
- Return of financial capital: making a financial profit
Check our map of projects here
Grant making by the COmON Foundation is by invitation only.
The board of the COmON Foundation is made up of the following individuals:
- Wijnand Pon, Chairman
Maas Jan Heineman (Director)
Maas Jan Heineman | Bio
At the start of the COmON Foundation, Mr Wijnand Pon asked Maas Jan Heineman to join the board. Mr Heineman has a background in Reproductive Medicine. He is affiliated with the University of Amsterdam as a professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and was vice-chair of the board of directors of the AMC (Academic Medical Centre Amsterdam).
Due to his background in science and education, Mr Heineman always looks for evidence. He puts forward the ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions. Mr Heineman embraces the 4RETURNS methodology. This methodology enables a systematic and holistic approach to the problems related to large-scale land degradation. Mr Heineman’s believes that working along the lines of the 4RETURNS method not only results in successful regreening of the planet but also to a more civilized and friendly world.
Apart from following a proven methodology, Mr Heineman fell for the principles of the Blue Line Society™. In this society consumers, producers, and policymakers understand that we as humans cannot take more from the earth than the earth is capable of giving back; thus striving for true sustainability. Community development through business creation, large-scale nature conservation, and landscape restoration go hand in hand, and that’s why we do the things we do at COmON Foundation.
Gerard van Hengstum (Treasurer)
Gerard van Hengstum | Bio
In 2013 Mr Wijnand Pon asked Gerard van Hengstum to join the board of the COmON Foundation. Mr Van Hengstum is a Register Accountant. Until 2013 he had been a partner of KPMG, and now he is the financial advisor of Mr Pon and others involved in several Foundations.
Due to his background, Mr Van Hengstum assumed the role of Treasurer on the Board of the COmON Foundation.
Mr Van Hengstum embraces the motto introduced in the COmON Foundation by Mr John Loudon: the desire to live in a Blue Line Society™ in which consumers, producers, and policymakers understand that we as humans cannot take more from the earth than the earth is capable of giving back; thus striving for true sustainability.
Mr Van Hengstum also joined the board of Commonland Foundation in the same role of Treasurer. He fully supports the 4RETURNS methodology of Commonland. This methodology enables a systematic and holistic approach to the problems related to large-scale land degradation aiming for successful regreening of the planet and a more civilised and friendly world through community development.
Mr Van Hengstum lives in Soest, in the Netherlands, is married to Myra and has a daughter and two sons.
John Loudon (Executive Director)
John Loudon | Bio
John Loudon’s love of nature and nature conservation, and on a more commercial level, brand communication and marketing, has led him to a diverse, yet very focused, career path.
In 2016, Loudon became the Executive Director to the COmON Foundation. In that capacity, he is a continued Executive Board member to Peace Park Foundation, a member of the board to Commonland, and advisor to the board of the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands. He also serves as the Treasurer to the Prince Bernhard Nature Fund and lastly he is a member of the advisory board of Het Loo Royal Estate.
At COmON Foundation Loudon’s life-motto was further developed: Wouldn’t we all want to live in a Blue Line Society™? In this society consumers, producers, and policymakers understand that we as humans cannot take more from the earth than the earth is capable of giving back; thus striving for true sustainability.
He started his career in 1993 when he became the Managing Director of the Savage Paradise Foundation to promote the making of nature feature documentaries for the cinema with high impact. After delivering several successful cinema movies in co-production with Walt Disney Corporation and Discovery Channel he became co-owner and Managing Director of Holland’s largest Sponsorship Strategy agency, GLP/BrandWorlds Network, together with Joop van den Ende and Jan Willem Lokerman in 1996. In 2002 he started his own company servicing non-profits, governments, and multinationals along his self-developed JL Social Responsibility Impact Scheme™, a tool to better incorporate and execute Corporate Social Responsibility programs.
Since 1998 Loudon has also acted as a member of the Executive Committee and Member of the Board to the Peace Parks Foundation, creating cross-border parks throughout Southern Africa. Founded by Dr Anton Rupert, Dr Nelson Mandela, and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, Peace Parks Foundation aims to conserve & restore biodiversity, creating economic upliftment in southern Africa leading to regional peace & stability. Peace Parks Foundation is currently working on 10 cross-border parks in 10 countries, spanning 1 million km2.
Apart from all his travels to various wonderful places in the world related to his work, he loves to visit the outdoors of Alaska to fly-fish the waters of the Last Frontier.
Loudon studied business economics at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He is married to Yolanda and has a daughter and son who both study in the Netherlands.
The COmON Foundation is an initiative of Mr Wijnand Pon. Mr Pon has always been fascinated by nature and the outdoors. As a farmer, he is very knowledgeable about livestock, land use, forests and woodland wildlife. At the same time, he is a businessman.
Mr Pon likes to think big. At the age of 63, he decided to launch COmON Foundation to help push positive transformation towards what we call the Blue Line Society™. His fascination and desire to re-green degraded areas around the world has become his primary motivation. The 4RETURNS methodology is the way to achieve his goals. Re-greening, as a standalone objective, was not enough. Re-greening can only truly make a difference when both people and planet benefit. This idea led to the establishment of the COmON Foundation.