Efficient and sustainable transport
The environmental factor we can influence the most is the transport of the materials. This receives a lot of attention in our operational management.
Avoiding temporary storage
We try to transport the products directly from the drinking water company to the client, and thus make minimal use of temporary storage. For years now, we have managed to reduce our transport kilometres by minimising the use of storage. This presents a constant logistical puzzle for our planner: after all, we handle 6,000 loads a year! Working in response to demand also puts a lot of pressure on the drinking water company: the residual must be of the right quality and be available exactly on the agreed date.
Through good planning and efficient matching of supply and demand, we sell as many of the residuals as possible locally. This saves on transport.
It is true that materials for high-value applications are often transported over longer distances, because the client sets specific requirements for them, which the water company in the closest vicinity can’t always meet. The environmental benefit resulting from avoiding the use of primary raw materials is however much larger than the environmental burden of the transport. It may therefore be very worthwhile to travel farther for an application that generates an extra environmental benefit. In the case of dewatered aquafer, the environmental benefit is only offset after a good 5,000 kilometres has been travelled.
High load rate
We also save transport by loading more tonnes per truck and by not driving half-lorries. The average cargo has increased from 32 tons in 2013 to 34 tonnes by 2015. This allows us to reach the maximum load of a truck.
Most of the transport, 88 percent in 2015, takes place with Euro V trucks or better. For new contracts with carriers, this emission standard is one of the requirements.