Moving forward on sustainability

As a trend-setting player in the sector, Heijmans wants to play a leading role in making the living environment more sustainable. We can make a difference by designing sustainably, with an eye for alternative and decentralised energy generation, efficient (re)use of resources and optimal commitment to user comfort and experience.

As the creators of a healthy living environment, in 2018 Heijmans expressed its ambition to be CO2 neutral (scope 1 and 2) from 2023. This will happen on four fronts: our mobility, our equipment, our construction sites and our offices. We have already taken another step in the right direction in terms of our own mobility. From 1 January 2023, employees can only choose a lease contract for an electric car. And we have shortened current lease contracts for fossil fuel driven cars from five years to a maximum of three. Our goal is to have an emission-free lease car fleet by the end of 2025. In addition, we use Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) when diesel is still required.

We also want to use raw materials and materials as efficiently as possible and reuse them wherever we can. We cannot do this alone. We will only achieve our objectives if we involve our peers and our cooperation partners in making our operations more sustainable. For example, during the implementation of major maintenance on the Zwanenburg runway at Schiphol, we managed to reuse most of the asphalt we were asked to renew.

Carrying out work without emitting CO2 or nitrogen in the process is becoming increasingly important, especially near nature reserves. Heijmans is pioneering the use of emission-free equipment, such as cranes, rollers and transport equipment. In the first six months of 2023, we took 10 units of new large electric equipment into service, including four crawler excavators. Heijmans now has 17 pieces of large electric equipment in use, and we have ordered over a dozen new electric pieces of equipment. Thanks in part to these initiatives, Heijmans is getting closer to the realisation of its ambition to be carbon-neutral in terms of direct emissions by this year. Unfortunately, despite all our efforts, we are not going to achieve this goal in 2023. Nevertheless, in view of our new strategy, we continue to set the bar high in terms of our sustainability ambitions.

The main challenge is reducing emissions during the execution of our operations. On the one hand, this challenge is due to the increasing demand for electric equipment. First of all, the market for what was originally fossil fuel-powered equipment is now faced with waiting times due in part to the global shortage of chips. And the fact that this equipment can then only be converted manually is also leading to delays. On the other hand, we need a change in culture, at both Heijmans and our clients. We need to break through traditional patterns of behaviour in the implementation stage, choosing the most sustainable solution rather than the cheapest.

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