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
COmON foundation consists of the following individuals:Read 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
If you want to know more about 4Returns, check out this webpage and keep browsing: 4 Returns Framework - Commonland.
Check our map of projects here
Grant making by the COmON Foundation is by invitation only.
COmON foundation consists 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.
Julia de Groot
Julia de Groot | Bio
Julia de Groot grew up in the rural part of The Netherlands known as the Achterhoek, both feet in the mud. Being surrounded by trees, fields, animals and all other sorts of creatures, she has a strong conviction to look after the environment.
In her daily life she tries to actively pursue the philosophy of less is more, so; reduce, reuse, recycle and recover. All of this led to a course in (Landscape) History.
She believes the age of the Anthropocene is over, and the time of the Symbiocene has come. A present era in which all living creatures interact harmoniously. She also supports the Blue Line Society, because it is time to start giving back.
Julia works at Sonnenborgh - museum & observatory in Utrecht. A historic place where her love for history, environment and people intertwine. As volunteer coordinator she contributes her piece to its rich history and ongoing relevance as a place of popular science in our rapidly changing world.
She lives in Utrecht with Tim, and their cat Norbert. She has a great love for gardening and the outdoors, making Utrecht greener one patch at a time.
Julia is the oldest granddaughter of Wijnand Pon and has joined the board of the COmON-foundation in December 2022.
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.
(Executive assistant to the Board, Personal Assistant John Loudon) Bio
Annemieke Gerritsen-Nouwens | Bio
In 2016 Annemieke joined the COmON Foundation, as John Loudon’s personal assistant. She shares his love for nature and nature conservation and embraces the Blue Line Society as we cannot take more from the earth than she can give back.
Annemieke’s career began in 1987 as a private assistant for a Dutch businessman. She gained more experience throughout the years at various assistant levels at several companies, and also became a partner and director of an expatriate company, working internationally in also London and Bangalore. Annemieke’s focus within the COmON Foundation is the organisation process management, leading to 4 board meetings per year. She is the first point of contact for the board of COmON, our partners and other relations.
In her private life, for 5 years, she was the chair of a volunteer organisation – with 500 members- at the racing circuit of Zandvoort. In addition to her work for the COmON Foundation, she loves to travel with her family and dogs to the Belgium Ardennes where she absorbs nature whenever she can.
She has a background in Economics and Administration. She is married to Remko, and they live in Heemskerk, The Netherlands, together with her mother and their pets (dogs and cats).
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.