Forerunners!

Forerunners!

Op Kop (translated into English means: Forerunners!) was a climate awareness program of the Province of Utrecht that ran for five years from 2008-2012, in which companies committed themselves to move step-by-step towards CO2-neutrality. See, for example, the climate agreement between the Province of Utrecht and One Planet Foundation herself: intentieverklaring Op Kop  A similar covenant was signed by all companies or organisations that joined the Op Kop program.     

Paul Heistein from One Planet was, right from the start of Op Kop, together with Sjarka Bakker of Province of Utrecht, a co-leader and climate ambassador of the program, as well as leader of the Amersfoort chapter of Op Kop.  He was also sometimes chairman of a conference or leader or organizer of a working group. Together, we helped to grow the program to 102 members.

One Planet received compensation from the Province for our role in Op Kop. This brochure shows one of the events we organised for the Amersfoort ChapterOp Kop Brochure  This brochure shows one of the many central events organised for Op Kop in Utrecht:  Op Kop Nieuwsbrief LR sept 2010

Below: The provincial leader Wouter de Jong, was the driving force behind Op Kop from the Province. He was a peppy and energetic man who is now the mayor of Houten.

Op Kop came to an end when, after 2012, the newly elected liberal provincial government chose a different policy on climate. They drew back from direct stimulation of CO2-reductions and chose instead to offer bank guarantees for sustainability projects that were ‘on the borderline’ when it came to getting financing by banks. Their idea was to ‘let market forces play their role’ and nudge a project over the line where the banks were in doubt. This meant that only the bigger businesses and developers could make use of these extra financial guarantees, because the banks never funded smaller players. This policy ended the climate awareness campaign in the province. 

Below: Sjarka Bakker of Provincie Utrecht; project leader Op Kop

Below: Paul Heistein of One Planet; co-leader and climate ambassador for Op Kop, in his role as chairman of a climate congress in Utrecht,

Another company joins the Op Kop climate program …