Since this summer, 1300 solar panels have been glinting on the roof at Van Beek. After heat recovery from ventilation air, waste separation and a reduction in the use of plastic, the company is taking the next step in making its Drunen premises more sustainable. “This ties in with the sustainable economy that we aspire to”, says managing director Perry Verberne.
An impressive number of 1300 solar panels is not just a sustainable investment, but definitely also a profitable one. In addition to generating green power for its own use, van Beek sells a significant proportion of its surplus energy to the electricity grid. Verberne: “With the solar panels we generate 40 percent more energy than we use. But we expect electricity consumption to increase in the future due to the purchase of electric cars and machines. And once we are able to heat the building using this electricity, we will be less dependent on gas.”
A pillar in our business operations
Sustainability has now become an important pillar in Van Beek’s business operations. According to the managing director, who has a track record in the sustainable energy sector, thinking about the future goes hand in hand with doing business. “I am constantly asking the question: how can we increase sustainability? Then I had a thought: ‘We have an amazing building with a large roof, surely ideal for a huge number of solar panels!’ We really need to think about how we can treat nature and the environment as kindly as possible, both now and in the future”, says Verberne, who tells us that his staff, customers and partners also see generating their own green energy as a positive development.
Accelerating energy transition
Energy transition is moving at a rapid pace. In the past, sustainable energy was seen as something only for do-gooders, but it’s now becoming more and more mainstream and part of business operations. “Energy transition is moving fast. As a result, we may hit certain limits, however, it’s becoming a priority, and an increasingly urgent one”, observes the managing director, referring to restrictions on the electricity grid in the Netherlands, which sometimes means that green energy cannot be returned to the grid. These are simply growing pains, and a solution will eventually be found. Verberne encourages everyone to look at the possibilities within their company and budget. “Even if you start by removing plastic coffee cups, it’s still a first step!”