Berdal is well known for its high-quality buckets and tubs, including its Gripline range;
for its FolieFol films and foils; and for its Pandser EPDM products for façades, rooves,
and gutters. By focusing relentlessly on quality, Berdal has staked out an impressive
market position. Eugène van de Broek, Berdal’s Commercial Director, explains that
the company actually has a second important point of focus. Thanks to the persistent
attention it has been paying to sustainability in its market, Berdal is a true leader in circular
business. Sustainability is already built into the products themselves: almost all
of them are made from recycled materials. But for Berdal, that’s just not enough – and
this is why it is looking at its waste streams, at cutting its consumption of raw materials,
at efficient transport flows, at lower CO2 emissions per product, and at generating
its own energy. The company is just as conscious about saving resources when it comes
to the planet as it is in its own operations. Berdal has made great strides on this score
in the past year, and this is making a big difference, even at the European level.
Circular business practices are in Berdal’s DNA
CEO Bas van Kamperdijk says: “Last March, a large number of European countries and companies launched the European Plastics Pact, which sets ambitious common targets in order to create a circular European plastics economy. By 2025, all packaging plastic and single-use plastic must be designed to be re-usable, or at least recyclable. The pact aims for a 25% increase in the number of sorting and recycling facilities for all plastics by the end of 2025, and for a 20% reduction by the same date in newly made plastics. We can only be pleased with that. Berdal has been aiming for better and full recycling for some time now. That’s why we enthusiastically joined this pact, and why I myself was the first and only producer in our industry to join the recycling working group. Berdal has a vision and a strategy in which it is really keen to lead the way on this score. Aside from the automotive industry, construction is one of the biggest consumers of plastics. And that’s why we don’t just sit around talking in working groups: we’ve also taken a lot of specific steps on our own.
The Gripline Durable
Eugène van de Broek adds: “Behind all the investments we make, there’s the idea of sustainability. Our best-known product, the construction bucket, has always been 100% recycled and has a Blue Angel certification. That’s the official German eco-label, which is akin to the Dutch eco-label Milieukeur. We have now invested in new high-quality moulds, with which we make our Durable products.
These, too, consist of 100% recycled, certified material that has been recovered from plastic household waste. But because of the new moulds, we now use smaller quantities of raw materials for a bucket of
exactly the same quality. This means that the amount of CO2 emissions per product is considerably lower. With the Gripline Durable, we can show that sustainable production does not come at the expense of quality. Our thinking is quite clear: that products must be designed to be recycled, that we all use recycled raw materials, and that we try in every way we can to reduce the use of raw materials. We are doing quite well at this, because Berdal is not far from earning its Cradle-to-Cradle certification for the Gripline series, among others.”
Full-color wrap Berdal has managed to reduce its energy and water use, and is also working hard to cut its use of diesel. Eugène tells us: “In recent years, we’ve made our logistics smarter and smarter. Sometimes this has meant starting to supply certain locations directly, because that way we did not have to ship materials. But then we do things the other way around, by using Zevij-Necomij’s intermediate warehouse, because then you can fill the trucks you’re driving, and that’s always the more environmentally friendly option. We’re also in constant dialogue with Zevij-Necomij, looking together with them at how logistics can be even more fully oriented towards sustainability. Here you always have to keep an eye on the entire supply chain, because that’s how you can optimise your planning to the full.” Bas van Kamperdijk gives another good example of cutting transport: “We always used to have our printed buckets screenprinted in Belgium. This meant that trucks with unprinted buckets would drive from Almelo to Belgium and come back with printed buckets. We have now invested in an advanced machine that can put a full-colour wrap on our buckets. We’re the first in Europe to do this. The quality of the printing is even better, because it’s real photo quality, and it cuts out a lot of transport. What’s more, we can now market our 100% recycled buckets, which can be made only with virgin materials.”
When it comes to large investments, Berdal has always seen capacity, quality and distinctiveness as key factors. Eugène puts it this way: “This is where the sustainability effect comes in. For example, we have now installed a new packaging line that gives us more capacity, quality and flexibility, but the decisive factor was that it allows us to use as much as 35% less packaging material. It’s a similar story for our new injection moulding machines. These help us increase efficiency, enhance quality and grow our capacity, but they also allow us to use up to 25% less energy. That’s an environmental win-win – no question about it.”
With its full-colour wraps, Berdal can deliver its buckets in any colour. But whatever colour they are, we know they’re always green.
Source: Magazine ‘De Kracht van’