Festive start for Forest of Oss

As a sustainable and socially conscious shipyard with robust ties to the local community, Heesen Yachts stands as one of the pioneering partners supporting the establishment of the Forest of Oss. The inaugural trees for this 50-acre forest in Heesen’s hometown were planted during a celebratory ceremony.

A stone’s throw away from the Heesen shipyard, nearly 200 people have gathered for the official commencement of the 50-acre Forest of Oss. Funding partners and project supporters, including the children of Oss who will be the future stewards of the forest, participated in planting the inaugural trees. Completing the forest, with approximately 1,600 trees per acre, is expected to take over a year. Locating such a substantial parcel of land in a densely populated urban area, in close proximity to residents, posed a significant challenge. However, the organization, in collaboration with the community, successfully overcame this obstacle.

Bringing people together
The Forest of Oss aims to create a greener, more sustainable, and biodiverse local living environment, contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions and offsetting global deforestation. However, the social aspect of the project is equally significant, emphasizes René van Ass, Chairman of the Forest of Oss Foundation. “Uniting people in a collaborative effort is a pivotal objective of our forest. Businesses, the municipality, residents, educational institutions, interest groups, and service clubs—virtually the entire Oss community has come together to ensure its success.”

Social responsibility
The festive inauguration of the forest marks a significant milestone for Van Ass, who has tirelessly worked in recent years to organize the funding. “The project is funded by local businesses. Last year, we reached out to several companies that showed immediate support for our idea. Fortunately, all of them were enthusiastic about the concept right from the beginning. The backing of these pioneers was crucial to kick-start the project,” explains Van Ass. One such pioneer is Heesen. Rick van de Wetering, COO of Heesen Yachts, affirms, “Participating in the Forest of Oss is of great importance to us. As a major employer in Oss, playing a significant economic role in the region, we feel a responsibility towards our community. Beyond the project’s sustainability goals, we highly value the social aspect of the forest.”

Heesen BlueNautech
Sustainability is a paramount concern at Heesen, as highlighted by Van de Wetering. “Through our BlueNautech programme, we are dedicated to designing, engineering, and constructing yachts with a reduced environmental impact. We consistently explore innovative methods to enhance our yachts’ ecological footprint, such as improving hull and propulsion efficiency, reducing energy consumption, and utilising eco-friendly materials. Simultaneously, we are investigating new recycling techniques and more sustainable production methods. Notably, we completed our solar farm last year, covering 80% of the sheds’ roofs and generating 60% of the shipyard’s power requirements. Our commitment is to enhance the quality of our living environment, and I believe this project symbolises the collective achievements possible when a community comes together.”

In addition to local initiatives, Heesen is actively involved in supporting international sustainability collaborations. The shipyard serves as one of the anchor partners for the Water Revolution Foundation, an association dedicated to preserving the oceans and offsetting the yachting industry’s environmental impact.

Forest for future generations
While envisioning the completed Forest of Oss may require some imagination, it is not difficult to contemplate the positive impact it could have on the local community, particularly for future generations of Oss. Rick van de Wetering reflects, “I remember participating in National Tree Planting Day about 45 years ago. Supporting initiatives like this remains crucial, especially for the well-being of my grandchildren.”

René van Ass wholeheartedly concurs, stating, “The children of Oss are the future stewards; they will grow alongside the trees and the forest, so to speak. It is my hope and expectation that this forest will be embraced by the entire community of Oss and all its residents; that it will truly become the forest of the people of Oss.”





Mark Cavendish   Chief Commercial Officer

| Robert Drontmann   Sales Director

| Sara Gioanola   PR & Press Office Manager

Heesen Yachts North America

Thom Conboy   Agent North-America, Mexico, Bahama's & Caribbean