With five employees, Arie Arts Landscaping is a relatively small SME in the green sector. However, that does not mean that there are no opportunities in terms of CO2 reduction and sustainability. The green company went to work with the CO2 Performance Ladder and has now been certified at level 3.
Arie Arts Landscaping is an expert on trees. Whether it is about removing trees, pruning, grubbing, maintaining or planting; Arie Arts Landscaping now has almost 30 years of experience in it. The SME company now has a large number of customers in the south and center of the country, from small private individuals to municipal institutions and companies. "One time we remove a small tree from the back garden, the other time we plant dozens on a new business park," explains Jeroen van der Ven, director and co-owner of the green company.
Love of trees
One of the company's core values is being careful with nature. "Where possible, we are committed to preserving trees," can be read on the website. In practice, this means that the company actively enters into discussions with its customers, in order to give written off trees a chance.
"We are often called by customers who want to remove a tree, for various reasons: too much shade, extension of a building, trees that are sick, you name it," explains Van der Ven. “However, removing a tree is not always the best solution. You can also prune it in a certain way, so that the nuisance is remedied. And a sick tree can also give you a chance by giving it the right fertilizer. We always try to bet on that first. ”
In addition, the SME company is affiliated with the Trees for All foundation. For a small extra charge, customers can choose to have two trees planted back through this foundation, one in the Netherlands and one abroad. Arie Arts Boomverzorging has agreed with Trees for All that it will plant back one hectare of new trees in the coming 2 years. That is getting on pretty well, says Van der Ven: "About 80 percent of customers like it and are happy to cooperate."
Win a tender
The environmentally conscious efforts of Arie Arts Landscaping in the field of trees are of course an extension of sustainability and CO2 reduction. Nevertheless, the SME company did not end up at the CO2 Performance Ladder for reasons of intrinsic motivation. A tender, which the company wanted to participate in, set the requirement that competing companies must have at least level 3 on the Ladder. This is reason enough for Arie Arts Landscaping to get started. A good choice, because that tender was eventually won.
However, the CO2 Performance Ladder also brought other benefits to the green company. Van der Ven: “Step one in the certification process is gaining insight into your own CO2 footprint. This brought us a number of important insights and it makes you aware of your own footprint. For example, we did not know that there is an alternative form of diesel on the market that is a lot more environmentally friendly. We came across this through the CO2 Performance Ladder. "
Getting started as an SME with CO2 reduction
For Arie Arts Tree Care, fuel use proved to be the key to level 3 on the Ladder; a world could be won there. "We are of course a small player with a comparable budget, which sometimes makes it difficult," Van der Ven explains. “For example, we have noticed that CO2 reduction also leads to higher costs. Certainly as an SME, we have to make a trade-off between the two in every decision: is this feasible for us? ”This trade-off, for example, comes to the fore with regard to fuel consumption: more environmentally-friendly alternatives, such as biofuel, still have a higher price tag than conventional fuels.
For Arie Arts Tree Care, the greatest opportunities appeared to lie with fuel consumption, from both vehicles and machines. That was where most of the CO2 emissions were. For example, the company will soon start using a new truck that complies with the European Euro6 emissions standard and switched to biofuel for its saws. Other machines, from tractors to mobile cranes and telehandlers, switched to a more environmentally friendly diesel.
The SME also purchased an automatic registration system that keeps track of how much fuel each machine uses. "With that information, we can better determine where the opportunities lie and perhaps use fuel more efficiently."
Optimize and research
Van der Ven is happy with the awareness that the CO2 Performance Ladder has brought and expects that it will also lead to more environmentally conscious choices in the future: “If we buy new machines now, they must meet the highest energy requirements. efficiency and fuel consumption. "
Whether Arie Arts Tree Care is growing to level 4 or 5 on the CO2 Performance Ladder is not yet certain. There are no plans yet, says Van der Ven, but it could just be: "If we ever move to a new building, it would be wonderful if we could get it CO2 and energy neutral."