The story of … Autosloperij Pieper: sustainability as standard
Successful automotive recycling is a combined effort. In the Netherlands, more than 95% of the weight of all end-of-life vehicles is reused or recovered. ARN’s almost 300 chain partners are all essential contributors. We go out into the country to give the people behind these businesses their say. This time, we visited Autosloperij Pieper in Putten, a car dismantling yard, where we spoke to Gerard Koopman.
Gerard, it’s lovely to talk to you. Can you tell us something about your fabulous business?
“I love my work. Working with your hands is a tradition in the family. My brother and I were both trained as landscape gardeners. I spent some time in that profession, but my brother started work at Pieper after just one year. He has now been here 25 years, and was offered the opportunity to take over the business by his former boss. Despite the challenges, it seems to have been a wise decision. I have now been with the company for nine years and I still enjoy my work every day. There is a story behind every car. Besides dismantling cars, we also carry out maintenance and sell new and second-hand parts. In other words, we are the place to be for anything to do with your car.”
Pieper has an excellent reputation in the region, and as such has built up a very loyal customer base. Gerard explained, “We are a universal breaker’s yard, and work on various car marques at the yard. That fact alone makes us quite unusual. The segment we serve consists of cars of 10 years and older; that is where our knowledge and skills lie.”
And what is your vision on sustainability?
“For us, sustainability is an essential standard. It is not without reason that we have fitted 80 solar panels on the roof. It is vital to ensure that you avoid polluting the environment and creating a burden for future generations. That is why we are so fully in favour of environmentally aware business practices. And we are supported in that by ARN”
How do you enjoy working with ARN?
“Thanks to ARN we can contribute to a sustainable recycling chain. We deliver the dismantled end-of-life vehicles to certified shredders, and the other residual products like oil and petrol all go to certified recyclers. Many of the parts are reused, and dismantling is carried out in an environmentally friendly manner, in line with the rules. That approach means we can fully chart out all the waste flows. Everything we do is traceable and that transparency means we can demonstrate that we are on the right track in terms of sustainability.”
So affiliation to ARN was a conscious choice?
“Absolutely. Pieper was already focused on sustainability before the company became an ARN affiliate. My brother built on that fact and improved the situation. ARN takes some of the paperwork out of our hands, for which we are very grateful. ARN also supplies and maintains machines that help us ensure the sustainable processing of substances and parts. At companies not affiliated to ARN, you are never sure what happens to the waste materials and residual products. Happily, more than 231 car dismantling companies have already signed up to the ARN approach, so it is not difficult to make a conscious choice.”
Thank you Gerard. Could you briefly tell us what the future holds for you?
“Pieper is very much my home. Every day I am hard at work outside, fulfilling my passion. There is of course paperwork, but I in fact enjoy the change of scenery. I want to leave behind a world that is a good place for future generations, and am willing to make the necessary effort. Today, tomorrow and in the years to come.”
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