How we plan on being part of the solution, not the problem
Sustainable initiatives for a changing world
Antwerp / Belgium / November 24th, 2016
Sustainability is not just a buzzword at Ahlers. Thanks to a couple of in-house initiatives and developments we are proud to say that we are really working towards a brighter future.
We have developed an in-house solution that calculates the CO2 emissions of our customers. Knowing where you stand, enables you to take the appropriate action. Actively reducing your CO2 emission can have a positive impact on transport costs and lowers the environmental impact on our world.
The Ahlers CO2 calculator is a real add-on for your supply network analysis. The tool goes further than the simple add-up of estimated data you can find online. And since calculation is better than estimation, we have created a system that is based on the guidelines dictated by the in European standard CEN-EN16258 on what such a calculation should entail.
In general we offer the calculation as a service to all our clients. And for our dedicated big data department ASNIA, which stands for Ahlers Supply Network Innovation & Analytics, determination of a company’s’ CO2 emission is a first step in building a detailed visual model of their transport network. Based on this blueprint, they advise customers on what steps can be taken to make their supply network leaner and greener.
Sustainable Development Goals
When the United Nations presented their 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the so called SDG’s, Ahlers decided to start a focus group to determine what we as a company can do to achieve what the UN described as a way to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and climate change, while insuring that no one is left behind.
The targets are ambitious, but we do believe we can make a difference by focusing on 4 of these domains:
• Good health and Well-being
• Quality education
• Decent work and economic growth
• Climate actions
The focus group has already mapped out a few targets and the first results are being implemented as we speak. Before the end of the year all the lighting in our chemical warehouses in Ghent will be replaced by LED light based on movement sensors. We have signed a so-called ESCO (Energy Service Company) agreement for this project and expect a significant drop in use of electricity and CO2 emission.
In a second phase we will do the same for the 13 remaining Sustainable Development Goals: set up a focus group, determine objectives and start working on achieving those.
Lean & Green program
Last month the VIL (Flemish Institute for Logistics) and the VEA (Organization of Antwerp forwarders) announced the start of a Lean & Green program for the Antwerp forwarders, a special edition of the project that was launched in Belgium four years earlier. Ahlers is one the eight companies who committed to reducing their CO2 emission by 20% within the next five years. The goal is ambitious, seeing as we play the part of the middle man and don’t have transport means of our own.
Nevertheless Eefje Morren, Customer experience and sustainability coordinator at Ahlers, says we have the potential to reach this target: ‘it’s a combination of baby steps and big projects, but I do think waking up our co-workers, suppliers and customers is the first thing we have to do. By means like our CO2 calculation tool, we paint a very precise picture of the current situation. And then it is up to everyone to take action. For us, this could be the further digitalization of our processes, thus offering our customers CO2 friendly alternatives.
By end of February Eefje will have a full action plan ready to submit to the Lean & Green committee VUB-MOBI. And then the real challenge starts: putting all those plans into action.
Via these pages on our website we will keep you informed on our progress.
We are open to your feedback and questions on the subject.