Corporate Story of Colubris Cleantech

July 13

Let’s close the loop together

It is 1984. Somewhere in the Dutch countryside a man decided to start up a business. Gertie van den Hurk is bursting with energy and is very decisive, wanting to make use of his technical knowledge  to make a living and to make the world a little bit better.

Gertie: “The first year I started, I did all by myself. At some point I discovered that I earned 2 guilders and 50 cents an hour. Every week I worked 25 extra hours, at that time still in addition to another job. Everybody made fun of me. I did everything alone”. Van den Hurk quickly realized that you also need others to achieve something.

“That is why I decided in the second year not to do all by myself anymore. First I hired people for 10 hours, then 20, I did the drawings and they carried it out. The drawing boards were in the bedroom. My wife did the bookkeeping and kept it in a closet”.

Family business
Over the years the company grows more and more. Not only more staff, but over the years also Van den Hurk’s three children came to work in the company, each with their own specialism. Nowadays Colubris is a global player in wastewater treatment, waste recycling and bioresource solutions. But it remains a family business, where we remain conscious that we can never do it alone.

“Right from the beginning, the employees are the backbone of the family. The greatest strength is in the people around us. People have always been the passion in my life. If you are engaged in the world and the environment, you are engaged in people and the future."

Gertie van den Hurk

The Colubris slogan is: Let’s close the loop together! Let’s complete the circle together. We really want to make the world a little bit better by purifying water and by reuse of residual waste, so that also in the future a balanced environment can be enjoyed.

New generation
Also in another way the circle is completed now. In 2018, almost 35 years after the foundation of the company, Van den Hurk decided that it is time for a new generation. Van den Hurk just turned 65 and believes it is time for a new generation of leaders, so that accumulated knowledge and passionate young people with new insights can complement each other.

However, as entrepreneur and owner he continues to be engaged in the growth of the company. His children have grown up with Colubris. They continue to uphold the family honour in different roles.


A new CEO
After a long search Colubris found the experienced man in the person of Frank Tillmann, who will take responsibility for the daily management. As per September 1 2018 Frank Tillmann will be the new general manager/CEO. Tillmann:


’We found each other in vision and same insights”. “In this respect we will also strive to collaborate with external parties that can make us stronger. Cooperation and continuity are crucial."

Frank Tillmann

The circle is complete, and it will never be ending. Let’s close the loop together.

Gertie van den Hurk