One Planet started from the kitchen table in 2005. In 2006 we found office space in an old government building at Stationsplein 16 in Amersfoort, opposite the station. From one person and one project (EcoVilla) we grew until in 2012, One Planet had 35 people working in our building on sustainability projects. We were a busy, creative and vibrant community with many visitors and meetings each day. Many highly motivated and well-educated young people from different nationalities worked shoulder to shoulder at One Planet.


Our activities in Stationsplein 16 ended abruptly one night in April 2012 when the building was destroyed by an arsonist’s fire. All our workspaces, meeting rooms, roof garden and facilities were lost. Because of asbestos we could not re-enter the building. Each project team had to work from wherever it could find space. One Planet shrank back to three central employees and found temporarily accommodation in the Law Courts beside us in Stationsplein 14


One Planet then rented space in ‘The Gymnasium’ on the Barchman Wuytierslaan (below) and worked hard on two projects, Business Garden and Eemstroom, to earn new revenue so One Planet could grow again.

Eemstroom: an energy company start-up that grew from zero to 220 customers before the One Planet Board decided that Eemstroom had received enough support and had to continue as a separate company on its own feet, with its own offices and staff in Vathorst.

 Business Garden: A spectacular € 9.5 million eco-renovation of the old building at Stationsplein 14-16, where One Planet had been housed until the fire in 2012. One Planet formed a partnership with a local builder-developer for the financing and construction of this project. One Planet served as project leader and designer and by 2015 we had gained plan-approval from the municipality of Amersfoort and also contracted tenants for about 60% of the spaces. See project: Business Garden https://www.oneplanet.org/en/project/business-garden/ 


After one year at The Gymnasium, One Planet returned to its former location Stationsplein 16, under a Real Estate Protection Contract with the government. The government had cleaned up the asbestos after the fire and installed temporary services on the ground floor offices. In September 2015 the government also placed Stationsplein 14 under the control of One Planet. We restored our Roof Garden and continued work on the big Business Garden project


These were very difficult years for One Planet but we learned an awful lot and changed tactics to survive! It started when we lost money on three of our more adventurous projects - Eemstroom, Business Garden and Kit Houses. We had to write off our investments and cut back very severely on all operating costs. We then decided that a not-for-profit organisation like One Planet should not be taking big financial risks and investing her own time and money in projects. We downsized and shifted to partnerships in which One Planet continued with the innovation and 'brain work' and other commercial partners invested their own time and money to be part of our coalition. Then if our projects succeeded in getting to market, everyone would have a slice in the pie.


2017-2020 found One Planet looking for a new future. On the big Business Garden project; Amersfoort municipality bought Stationsplein 14-16 with the intention of redeveloping it under conditions of high sustainability. On the Kit House project; One Planet made a new design, called it FlexApartments and formed a new coalition with Dutch partners. This was bought and taken over by a building company in 2020. We continued picking up new opportunities and new projects, but stayed small, limited our risks and worked in coalitions. A sustainable world is more important than ever and the future is full of opportunity!


One Planet started at the kitchen table in 2005 with the goal of promoting sustainability. In the last 14 years we have run over 72 projects. Perhaps the kitchen table was a good place to start, because our diets have the biggest environmental impact. What we buy in the supermarket today decides the world our children will inherit tomorrow.