Since 2016, Meerlanden Holding has been certified at level 3 of the CO2 Performance Ladder. The company strives for both CO2 reduction and circularity, whereby waste flows are returned to the chain as much as possible. To achieve its ambitious goals in the field of CO2 reduction and circularity, the company makes use of the CO2 Performance Ladder, among other things, to gain valuable insights. SKAO discussed this with Meerlanden.
Meerlanden Holding was established in 1996 thanks to a collaboration between the municipalities of Haarlemmermeer and Aalsmeer with the aim of achieving efficient waste collection and street cleaning in both municipalities. Over the years, several municipalities have joined the company. These are the municipalities of Bloemendaal, Diemen, Haarlemmermeer, Heemstede, Hillegom, Lisse and Noordwijk. With the arrival of several municipalities at Meerlanden, the waste company has expanded its activities to maintenance and management of public space and landscaping. The company now consists of eight participating municipalities and provides its services to 4,000 commercial companies in the Netherlands.
“Our activities vary from waste collection to processing waste to 'green products'. We are also active in the management and maintenance of public spaces. For example, work in the sewer system, public garden services, and the installation of play equipment in public spaces, ” says Dolf de Jong, Facility Services Coordinator at Meerlanden Holding. With green products, the coordinator refers to biogas, residual water and heat. By processing these products from waste that is otherwise lost and causes CO2 emissions, the green products are al so referred to as avoided emissions. “The waste that we collect consists of, among other things, organic waste (vegetable, fruit and garden waste) that we compost at our location and process into biogas. We then use the CNG gas again to drive our trucks, but also as fuel for the passenger cars in our fleet. Because we have made this possible, we have started to look further at what we can do to scale up our business operations. "
Another circular measure that the company applies is the use of residual water that is released from the fermentation installations to thereby perform work in the field of street cleaning and slippery and weed control. In addition, Meerlanden supplies residual heat that is released from recycling processes to greenhouses and nurseries. With this the company speaks of a 'green factory', in which waste streams are reused as much as possible. "Sustainable processing of waste streams is one of our main priorities. Wherever possible, we will not leave it to apply. A goal that we aim for 2020 is the purchase of circular work clothing. We purchase our corporate clothing new. As soon as the used clothing is worn out, it is used to make new clothing that we ourselves will also wear ”, says De Jong.
Meerlanden started certification on the CO2 Performance Ladder to gain more insight into the CO2 emissions of its operations, projects and activities. The company also uses the Ladder to strengthen its market position during tendering processes for the public sector. “By using the CO2 Performance Ladder, you as a company get a very good insight into where the emissions are and what causes them. With these insights, we can then focus on CO2 reduction by taking the necessary measures. Our CO2 footprint, for example, shows that power and fuel consumption is an incredibly high percentage compared to everything else that we do, "says De Jong. The waste group uses 4.1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and 1 million liters of diesel annually. “We immediately started managing this by investing in, among other things, LED lighting at our locations, the purchase of green electricity and a fleet of vehicles powered by CNG gas, which we produce ourselves through the circular waste processing process. In addition, we have purchased trucks that also run on CNG or that are more fuel efficient. Finally, our drivers follow the 'The New Driving' course, which makes them more aware of fuel consumption with a view to saving CO2. ”
The next step for Meerlanden is to measure the effect of the CO2 reduction measures that the company takes. “Thanks to the CO2 Performance Ladder, we as an organization now have more insight into the effect of our efforts to reduce CO2. We are currently seeing the effects a year after the measures have been taken, but we are working on a program to gain daily insight into the effects of our CO2 reduction measures. For this we link our administration system with a digital monitoring of the current fuel and power consumption. We process this data in a dashboard, where we can see at a glance whether our measures actually contribute to our goal of reducing CO2. ”Meerlanden aims for a linear CO2 reduction of 2 percent per year. "Our ultimate goal is to be a large company with the co2 footprint of a small company," says the coordinator.
In the future, Meerlanden wants to work on levels 4 and 5 of the CO2 Performance Ladder in order to stimulate the chain and waste management sector to reduce CO2 emissions. However, according to De Jong, there is still a major challenge. “Meerlanden works together with various organizations and suppliers, who cannot always meet the request we make with regard to CO2 reduction. This means that we can be limited in the parties with whom we work, while we strive to work with as many local companies as possible based on our organizational policy. That is why we must adopt an attitude that motivates the market to get started with CO2 reduction. We do not achieve our goal by forcing parties to take measures that are not profitable for them. We are interested in what is now possible and what we can learn from each other. ”