Chris Janssen discusses the logistics partnership
"Janssen Group's yellow construction machinery is becoming greener"
The Maastricht family-owned company Janssen Group is doing all it can to promote itself in South Limburg. If Maastricht needs a new tunnel or the outer ring road of Parkstad is due an update, or building foundations or sewer systems need work, then Janssen Group's crane drivers are on the job. But more fuel is required if more work needs to be done. With the new generation of the Janssen family heading the company, they are looking to make these processes more sustainable. What can be done in a more environmentally friendly way? As of 2020, Zuid-Limburg Bereikbaar will take specific steps to contribute to initiatives like these.
The name Janssen Group immediately invokes images of lorries and large yellow construction machinery. The family has been using such vehicles for three generations. ‘As the years go by, our focus shifts to other things,’ explains director Christian Janssen. ‘The main challenge facing the environment is facing our industry. For example, we see less of a future in levelling quarries and more in recycling construction materials. We own thousands of road plates to use as temporary road surfaces, and these are in demand for large infrastructure projects. After all, heavy vehicles driving over hard surfaces use significantly less fuel than heavy vehicles driving over soft surfaces.
Zuid-Limburg Bereikbaar wants to inspire and encourage companies to take action together. That was the most important reason in Janssen Group’s choice to collaborate. ‘Where possible, we select the more sustainable option. As a logistics partner of Zuid-Limburg Bereikbaar, we are kept up to date on the latest developments. We can exchange ideas and receive useful help. As an example, we are scheduling a campaign to inflate vehicle tyres to the right pressure on 6 March. This campaign will target our company vehicles, lorries, cranes, road rollers, and dump trucks. Under-inflated tyres lead to increased fuel consumption and more noise nuisance for the surrounding area.’
2,000,000 litres of fuel
‘One fifth of our hourly rate is determined by fuel. We use 2,000,000 litres of fuel per year. This can be reduced by evaluating our business practices. As an example, all our drivers would drive to the office on Fridays to hand in their timesheets. Now they can do this via an app, which means that we have reduced the number of kilometres driven. The kilometres that we currently do drive can often be covered in a cleaner way. Just like the new way of driving for cars, we have the new way of operating construction machinery. We regularly organize training courses on this topic and ask our drivers to cover their empty lorries. That really makes a difference. Our machines are fitted with an on-board computer, so we can use current data on fuel consumption for policy.’
Sustainable or cost-efficient
‘By using cleaner fuel, we can significantly reduce CO2 emissions. A synthetic diesel called HVO is already on the market. While it is more efficient, it is unfortunately also much more expensive. This means we're occasionally faced with a tough dilemma: if we want to be as sustainable as possible, we will lose out on tenders because of our higher rate. We would like to see the government encourage sustainability. The CO2 performance ladder is a great instrument for that purpose. Governments should use it much more often in tenders. After all, governments are the largest contractors for our sector in the region. If they make sustainable construction methods a requirement, then this traditional sector can make significant strides forward,’ explains Janssen.
How green can those yellow machines get?
‘There are so many possibilities still available to us. We are currently aiming to use cleaner fuel, but the threshold to using electric vehicles will become smaller in the years to come. The CO2 performance ladder has helped us make much of our business more sustainable. Zuid-Limburg Bereikbaar will help us do more in that regard throughout the year. We welcome putting time and effort into working towards becoming more sustainable,’ says Janssen.
If you would like support to make your business more sustainable, then contact Mark Luikens – our project leader – who would be happy to help.