Pioneering director Jeroen Hatenboer: ‘Being a green region literally as well as figuratively is a challenge’

Jeroen Hatenboer is one of the people who are well aware of the many initiatives in our region as director of the Pioneering Foundation. “All sorts of things are happening. The challenge is to make sure that there is synergy between all these different plans. That is one of the tasks of our foundation. We make sure that plans become a reality by connecting the right parties, for example. Circularity, infrastructure, construction, water and climate; we are involved in all of these areas.”

In short:

Pioneering Foundation director Jeroen Hatenboer wants to keep figuratively green Twente literally green as well while ensuring that it is a vital region where businesses flourish and want to settle.
According to Jeroen, the region is brimming with initiatives in the field of sustainability and circularity. His foundation’s task is to ensure that parties come into contact with each other and that plans become a reality.

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Support and drive

The foundation organises meetings on such topics to support entrepreneurs, knowledge institutions, and authorities by sharing the latest insights and connecting them. “We support and drive”, he says. An example? The climate squares in Twente. “At Saxion, for example, we mapped out how a climate-adaptive square could be created with students and the board. The square will be realised soon."

Innovative region

According to Jeroen, the region needs to think and act green. "This is a necessity if we want Twente to stay relevant. Of course, our region is one of the country's greenest. We want to keep it that way, but we also want to be a lively, innovative, dynamic region where people and companies want to settle. Combining these two can be quite a challenge. An example is all the (flex) houses that need to be built. It is necessary, of course, but it can happen at the expense of the environment. Making sure that one does not get in the way of the other can be tricky, but it will work out if we work together and look for synergy.


He is confident that the world and Twente will become figuratively greener. “I’m an optimist, which helps. But I am not joking: I see many initiatives regarding sustainability and circularity. Awareness among residents and companies is growing. The fact that the government made it compulsory to consider the environment also helps. Companies are now working to meet the requirements, and you can see that more and more employees choose to work for socially responsible companies."

Improving the world

It is nice that big companies are taking responsibility, too. “An example is Patagonia: their founder recently announced that he is giving his billion-dollar company away and putting the money into improving the world by transferring it into two funds. The scarcity of gas right now is annoying, but it also ensures that we have to look for alternatives, and the market is picking up on this everywhere, including here in Twente. That’s great to see. We, as Pioneering Foundation, keep an eye on all developments and gauge the market to see what needs to be done so that we can have experts provide us with the right information. Our big network also allows us to bring parties together and have them help each other. We ensure that the world becomes a little greener together, in this way.”

Date: 30 September 2022 |

Source of tekst: Jeroen Hatenboer |

Author: Maaike Thüss

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