ARN Relatiedag 2016: circulair doen en denken | ARN

ARN Relatiedag 2016: circulair doen en denken | ARN

On 17 November 2016, ARN held its joint annual business relations day on the circular economy with the Institute for Sustainable Mobility (IvDM). Almost 100 people from the automotive sector, the recycling sector, public authorities and consultancy firms came along to the event at the Metaal Kathedraal in Utrecht.

Circular economy

After an enthusiastic kick-off by the chairman, Rens de Jong, who warmed up the room with questions about the audience’s own cars, and words of welcome from director Arie de Jong, the programme began with a presentation by Kees Baldé of Statistics Netherlands. Using figures, he illustrated that, according to one measurement system, the Netherlands is perfectly positioned for the circular economy, while according to another, our raw material footprint is growing. The automotive sector is doing well in terms of recycling, achieving an impressive 97%, but this is only one part of the circular economy. In a discussion with the audience, he looked at how residual materials with a negative value can be transformed into a positive value. There are many obstacles lying ahead for which we need to find a solution.

Beyond politics

After the networking lunch these solutions were discussed during the presentation on the national vision of the circular economy by Marc Pruijn of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. This is a subject that is “beyond politics”, as Dutch MP Stientje van Velthoven says. It covers a host of important topics such as jobs, the economy, the environment and cohesion, the aim being to achieve a 100% circular economy by 2050 and to reduce our raw material usage by 50% by 2030. To this end, various parties will be signing a raw material agreement this year.

Mentality shift

What is ultimately needed to achieve a circular economy is a mentality shift. We all need to move away from the throw-away mentality and use our raw materials responsibly. During his presentation, Pruijn asked about the intrinsic motivation of the sector. The business case is the main criterion at the present time: if there is no revenue model, not enough happens. This and other provocative hypotheses were discussed in more depth by the panel. The new sharing economy, in which the car shifts from a product to a mobility service, offers potential opportunities. There are 1 billion cars on the planet which are used for an average of one hour a day, which means that there is a value of 7 trillion euros literally standing idle. We can reduce this number with car sharing concepts, which would result in cars being replaced sooner following more intensive use and more new technology becoming available on the market sooner. The panellists, André Habets (member of the board of the industy association of manufacturers and importers of consumer electronics in the Netherlands FIAR CE), Patrick Muezers (Managing Director, Polymers BV), Koos Burgman (Director of External Relations, BOVAG) and Gerard Bolder (Managing Director, Ford Nederland BV) agreed that the government should be setting goals and formulating policy frameworks but that the rest is up to the market parties. The trick is to get the consumer involved as well. Soon, 70% of people will be living in urban areas: this encourages the sharing economy and offers opportunities. At the same time, “the linear economy is standing in the way of the circular economy,” as Habets concisely put it.

Approved Sustainability Plus

After a summary of the day by Arie de Jong came the official presentation of the Approved Sustainability Plus certificate. Van Mossel Automotive Group and Amega Group were the first organisations to be certified for Approved Sustainability Plus including the EED module. The two companies were awarded the Approved Sustainability Plus certificate in recognition of the fact that they comply with European legislation on energy saving. Eric Berkhof, General manager of Van Mossel Automotive Groep, and Leen de Koning, Director of Amega Groep, were presented with the certificate by the chairman of the Institute for Sustainable Mobility (IvDM), Olaf de Bruijn. After a photograph was taken to capture this festive moment in the room, participants had an opportunity to network while enjoying a non-alcoholic drink.

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