Dutch infrastructure company Krinkels recently announced in its annual sustainability report, that it had been awarded with eleven projects, in which the award advantage was granted through the CO2 Performance Ladder. The secret to this success? To go beyond achieving sustainability objectives with the help of the CO2 management system.
Krinkels works in the sectors of landscape management, infrastructure, water and sports facilities. The maintenance and quality of infrastructure and the professional design of public spaces in the Netherlands are the main focus of Krinkels. The construction and maintenance of sports fields and the application of water cladding are among the activities of the company. Krinkels managed to achieve level 5 of the CO2 Performance Ladder due to the implementation of CO2 reduction measures, such as electric vehicles and sustainable building materials.
“The construction and infrastructure section is slowly but surely making progress in sustainability and corporate social responsibility”, says Daan van Schijndel, CSR manager at Krinkels. “That way, sustainability is more included in the procurement process. Due to systems such as the CO2 Performance Ladder, organizations are being awarded for sustainability and CO2 reduction. Next to the award advantage that the ladder provides, Krinkels has been granted several projects thanks to the implementation of the CO2 Performance Ladder.”
Commissioning parties such as the Dutch Provinces of Drenthe, Groningen and the municipality of Eindhoven have already selected Krinkels for their projects. The projects in these areas were awarded to Krinkels, because the company had strengthened its ambitions towards sustainability and made use of the CO2-Performance Ladder in order to do so. “The trick is to be concrete about sustainable procurement. We continuously ask ourselves the question: when is a product more sustainable and which products can be compared with one another? This takes sufficient knowledge about how the product was made, the suppliers, but also the LCA (Life Cycle Analysis) of the products”, says Van Schijndel.
“Other than CO2, there are many aspects relevant to our work, such as management of the environment, communication, circular products and corporate social responsibility. Along with CO2 reduction, we have the ambition to remain frontrunner within these aspects of sustainability.”
“We conduct our own procurement processes, which enables us to have certain demands for our suppliers. By conducting our own procurement processes, we can therefore continuously opt for products that lead us to the greatest amount of CO2 reduction. We also notice the correlation between CO2 reduction and the reduction of costs. A good example of this is the award advantage that companies gain by implementing the CO2 Performance Ladder. Less CO2 therefore means less costs, in most cases, and this triggers us to make the CO2 management system work.”
One of the projects that was granted to Krinkels with CO2 award advantage was construction on a riverbed. The project was awarded by Rijkswaterstaat, the executive institution of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment. In this project, Krinkels was responsible for the improvement of the river stream. “In this project, we set ourselves a higher ambition by developing our own plan of CO2 reduction”, Van Schijndel says. “The CO2 Performance Ladder Certificate on level 5 was sufficient to gain an award advantage during the tendering process. However, we wanted to challenge ourselves and come up with a plan that leads to even more reduction of CO2 emissions. During the project development, we applied measures to save fuel, such as large driving roads, that made sure the wheels of our vehicles would run smoothly and not fall through the ground.”
In a different project, Krinkels mowed the grass on the side of the roads in the Dutch Province of Drenthe. This project lasted two years, which led to a significant amount of grass that needed to be disposed of. Instead of disposing the grass, Krinkels decided to sell the mowed grass to a waste management company called Attero for the grass to be turned into green gas. Attero then delivers the gas to PitPoint, an international provider of clean fuels, that also owns gas stations in Drenthe. This initiative led to the reduction of 358 metric tons of CO2.
Krinkels sees opportunities to emphasize the relevance of CO2 reduction within the organization. Van Schijndel: “It can be quite challenging to change people’s behavior and make them aware about the consequences of CO2. In most cases it is about small changes and small actions, such as turning off machines when you’re not using them to not waste energy. At the moment, we are working with meters that measure the driving behavior of our employees. This data can then be used in a benchmark, so our employees can compete with one another over the largest amount of fuel savings. The one that saves the most fuel, will be rewarded.”
The CSR manager notices that many employees are satisfied about the CO2 Performance Ladder. Because of its ambition to become a sustainable employer for its employees, Krinkels aims for the highest results in sustainability and CO2 reduction.