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Triple E
nieuwsbrief mei 2020

Nature has no lockdown: it is spring and so everything really pops out of the ground again. We can see that everywhere. Also at Phytorefinery the Growing Place (Fytoraffinaderij de Groeiplaats) we can hardly control the blossoming nature. Growing, blooming and pruning, that’s what it’s all about in spring. Also within Triple E, by the way: literally and figuratively. We are also growing fast this spring. We have now put the outdoor space, which has been fallow for years, into operation, to store our raw materials and for the cultivation of native trees for instance. This is also part of our project in Overijssel, in which residual flows from nature areas are converted into Brickz and trees. 

We also bloom a lot in this spring. This is mainly due to a number of new ideas we have about the different Brickz and for which we are looking at whether we can patent them. Pruning, on the other hand, is still a term that fortunately has to be taken literally in our company. And we have a day job to do so.

In the meantime, our projects continue as usual. For Fiber2Fiber, we are busy with the tests aimed at applying sewage sludge as a substrate for the cultivation of biomass. We are going to enter the second round of tests, in which we will mainly scale up. Together with NIOO-KNAW and KIWA we continue to improve the degradation of asbestos by mycorrhiza. For our B3TC project, we are, amongst others, working with ‘World of Paper’ (Wereld van Papier) on developing Brickz for hops, based on residual products from beer production. Our motto wit this is: Life in the brewery is Life in the soil.

For our project in Overijssel, we are now mainly working on growing trees with substrate and Brickz from Overijssel. Roy Schuurman of Bosbalans has made a tour of the projects in which Brickz have been used and all trees look great and are in almost all cases (much) better than the trees where Brickz have not been used. For our assignment in Brabant, we are investigating the collaboration with Centre Frits (Centrum Frits) and we have drawn up a business plan for the Brickz with the State Forestry (Staatsbosbeheer). In short, we are on track.

Nobody can fully overlook the consequences of the Corona crisis. But we can think about how we can get better out of this: as a person, as a company, as a country. Which roads are we going to take? It is clear that sustainability will be part of our route. However, for those concerned with nature, the environment and sustainability, it is time to reflect carefully on what the right measures are right now: to counteract the consequences of climate change for instance. There are serious flaws in this. Something we already pointed out in the 2009 book ‘The Energy Landscape’ (Het Energielandschap). But a book is old-fashioned, nowadays we prefer to watch a documentary on YouTube. Anyway, it does not matter which medium is used and whether it is too late: better halfway turned than completely lost.

As always, we walk our own lonely road (to put it in ‘Bommelterms’), thereby sometimes looking back and then seeing a photo from May 2014, taken in Scotland. A period when Triple E was also at a crossroad. But we don’t look back too much, because the best is yet to come. That is why we are already working on the 2019 annual report in spring, which we will have ready at the beginning of June. Not to look back, but as a foundation for the future. Then we know where we stand. Even the annual plan for 2020 is already primed. In short, we overlook everything, think and comtenplate a lot, but when it comes to roads, we stick to what has been Tom Bade’s go-to poem since 1977 and what we can recommend to everyone in these special times as reading material:


there are many ways

but the right way

is the way against it

not the road underneath

that is crawling

not the high road

that is vanity

but the way against it

against all roads

and that is of my wisdom

just the beginning

Bertus Aafjes

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