Sustainability as a way of life
The Netherlands are thought of as the land of tulip fields, dykes, meadows, windmills and bicycles. About a fourth of the country is below sea level, and it is one of the world's most densely populated countries. Yet when you think of the Netherlands, you think of green meadows and tidy little villages with long tree-lined roads.
Green is also the dominant colour of the website of the Den Ouden group, located in Schijndel north of Eindhoven. The first word on the website is "Naturally..." A simple word with many meanings, but most of all a word that has a lot to say about the green activities of the Den Ouden group. The company offers a wide range of services, almost all of which have to do with "soil" and "nature." The most important services are the testing, cleaning, processing, improving and fertilizing of soil, as well as green waste recycling and consulting.
Green cuttings: The ideal raw material
Until 1988 all waste in the Netherlands was landfilled. But when separate collection was introduced things changed dramatically, including for Den Ouden. "My father and his four brothers realized that green cuttings were much too valuable to landfill. So in 1988 they started composting green cuttings on our own land right next to the Vlagheide landfill. At first the compost was sold to farmers, which wasn't difficult, but soon they started thinking that they should be able to do more with it."
The first steps were modest from a machinery point of view. The windrows were turned with a bulldozer. The company got its own trommel screen, but shredding was at first outsourced. It started with just 3000 tonnes, but now the company processes around 350,000 tonnes of green cuttings at six sites.
Think sustainably - act sustainably
As Marcel den Ouden remembers, it was 1999 when the company got its first Komptech trommel screen, a Magnum. That Magnum was followed by another Magnum, then several Mustangs, and in 2004 by the first electric star screen, a Multistar L3.
In 2006 came a Multistar XXL and in 2007 the first Crambo 5000.
A Crambo 6000 wasn't long in following. In 2011 the company got another Crambo, electrically driven like the Multistar L3 purchased the same year. In 2013 an electric-drive Cribus 5000 replaced the Magnums, and two Cribus 3800 also came on board. The machines work an average 2000 hours a year!
"It's been a long and very positive relationship," says Marcel Den Ouden, "that also has a lot to do with the very committed service of Komptech's local sales partner, Pon Equipment. But there's more to it - clearly with Komptech we're on the same wavelength in terms of sustainability." This is evident in the electric drive machines. Lower noise, lower emissions, lower fuel use - the Cribus machines cut fuel costs in half. With these compelling arguments Komptech is a perfect fit for Den Ouden's company philosophy. "Sustainable thinking is one step, but truly sustainable action is another," says Marcel Den Ouden.
Green efficiency® - a fit
Komptech and its green efficiency® are a perfect fit. green efficiency® by Komptech is an innovation programme that gives our machines higher performance with lower consumption, and also uses the latest exhaust scrubbing technologies. The reward is twofold: Our customers save on operating costs, and the environment - and with it all of us - benefit from reduced CO2 emissions and resource use. This is exactly the approach Marcel den Ouden takes: Electric cars, trucks with Euro 6 engines, hybrid wheel loaders and Komptech machines are part of the company's everyday work and show that here, sustainability isn't just a phrase, but a way of life.