Filed under: Best Practices in The Netherlands | Tags: Leasing, PAAS, Product As A Service, SAAS, Software As A Service
Customers want no hassle, no upfront costs, up-to-date and high quality products. Products As A Service’ (PAAS) become increasingly popular and respond to some of these needs.
What is a ‘Product As A Service ? PAAS is a creative derivation of the ICT word ‘Software As A Service’. Instead of becoming the owner of a new product or service, you just rent and ‘pay as you go’. Take for instance Salesforce.com : an online CRM system paid on a monthly base.
PAAS can be found in all industries : Take the machines you can find at the office : copy, coca cola and coffee machines can be rented instead of buying the equipment representing substantial CAPEX. Dresses, costumes, shoes can be rented for special occasions. Michelins offers tyre-services to its lorry transportation customers, taking care of the tyres and the maintenance whilst customers pay for the transported kilometers. Property developers rent instead of sell their office and retail properties. Philips pilots a new ‘pay per lux’ service : customer like the architect agency of Thomas Rau profit from up-to-date high quality LED lighting without the hassle of installation and maintenance.
Customer advantages of PAAS are numerous : No need to pay high upfront costs : just pay as you go. No need repair the product yourself : just ask the owner. No hassle to get the latest version : the supplier will take care of. And if you do not use the product any more : the supplier will come and take it back.
Environmental advantages of PAAS are obvious : By optimising the use of high-quality products, they can be kept operational for a longer period of time. In this model, suppliers and customers extend the lifetime of products, use less separate products and create a smaller environmental footprint.
In the ideal situation the supplier takes back the product and closes the product life cycle by using components as raw materials for new products – just as The Van Gansewinkel Group demonstrates.
- Thanks to Mirjam Kibbeling for our exchanges -
Filed under: Best Practices in The Netherlands | Tags: Ahrend, Cradle2cradle, Desso, Mosa, Océ, Office Paper, Philips, Raw Materials, Recycling, Steinbeis, Van Gansewinkel
The Gansewinkel Group (The Netherlands) has recently launched its new product : Van Gansewinkel office paper, powered by Océ : the first office paper in the world that is cradle2cradle certified. The product launch is remarkable, as the van Gansewinkel Group has, over the years, developed from a traditional waste collector to a supplier of sustainable raw materials and energy supplier.
Van Gansewinkel Office Paper, cradle2cradle certified, reducing 100% wood consumption, 85% water consumption, 72% electricity use and reducing 53% CO2 emissions compared to standard office paper
Why did the Van Gansewinkel Group develop its own office paper ?
Florens Slob, Marketing manager at the van Gansewinkel Group states : Our motto is ’Afval Bestaat Niet’ (or in English : There’s no such thing as waste). We make all efforts to give waste a second life as a raw material or as a product. By analyzing our customers waste streams we identify how their waste can be re-used for the development of other products or as an energy source.
We have noticed that a large proportion of our customers waste consists of paper and cardboard. Of which a substantial part is high quality office paper. Recycling paper for newspapers and tissue paper is yet common practice. However, our challenge was to close the product cycle for our customers and offer both a service for shredding and recycling ‘old’ office paper as well as developing ‘new’ office paper that could be used again.
How has the new office paper been developed ?
The new office paper has been developed according to the guidelines of the scientific Cradle-to-Cradle institute EPEA. The development is a result of a close partnership with the document management and printing system supplier Océ and sustainable paper producer Steinbeis. Van Gansewinkel brings in used and shredded office paper provided by its customers. Paper producer Steinbeis produces the office paper. Océ contributes with its office paper and media knowledge and distribution channels – That is why the paper is co-branded as ‘powered by Océ’.
Van Gansewinkel partners with Océ and Steinbeis to develop and sell its office paper.
What are the advantages of the new Van Gansewinkel Office paper ?
Functionality & Price : First of all, the paper has a high standard quality for a reasonable price – just as professional customers expect their office paper to be.
Ecological benefits : Secondly, it offers a number of ecological advantages : The production of the new paper takes up to 83% less water and 72% less energy than standard office paper. The CO2 emission reductions are estimated at 53%. Maybe the most important advantage is that no trees need to be cut down to produce this paper. Mind that 7,5 kg of wood that is needed for 1 pack of standard office paper.
Is the office paper ready for sale yet ?
Yes it is. Professional customers based in Belgium, The Netherlands or Luxembourg you can contact Van Gansewinkel or Océ : http://www.vangansewinkel.com/officepaper
Is the Van Gansewinkel Group planning to develop more products ?
Absolutely ! Our office paper is the first cradle2cradle certified product that Van Gansewinkel brings on the market. More products are expected to follow as a result of our partnerships with customers and industry partners.
To name a few examples : Van Gansewinkel investigates with Philips how coffee-machines can be shredded and re-used as raw materials for new products. It exchanges with carpet manufacturer Desso how used carpets can be recycled, with manufacturer Mosa how broken tiles can be brought into the production processes and with Ahrend how used office furniture (parts) can be reused.
So, certainly : more news to come !
Philips, Desso, Ahrend and Mosa : all partners of the Van Gansewinkel Group.
For more information have a look at : http://www.vangansewinkelgroep.com/en/company/news/gansewinkel_office_paper.aspx and http://www.vangansewinkelgroep.com/en/company/CtoC-Real-life-examples.aspx
Filed under: Best Practices in The Netherlands | Tags: green marketing, Green products, intellectual orientation, material orientation
Some people doubt about the good intentions of companies selling ‘sustainable’ products. However, under certain conditions they still find green products attractive and are happy to buy green products. How come ?
Robbert Elderenbosch and David Wijland, of the Marketing Management Master at the Nyenrode Business University in The Netherlands, studied the buying intentions of different consumer groups related to products with sustainable claims.
Consumers that are intellectually oriented buy green products because they are really searching for product advantages related to society and environment. Other consumers are more materially oriented and can be sceptical about sustainable claims of suppliers.
Would it be possible to persuade mainstream customers, and notably the materially oriented, to buy green products ? The answer is : Yes.
Based on case studies with propositions for a new (Calvé) mayonaise, Elderenbosch and Wijland found that even sceptical consumers focussing on material advantages, are willing to buy products with sustainable advantages under the following condition :
First functional and personal advantages should be communicated (such as healthier, more simple, more effective), secondly the sustainable aspects (lower energie consumption, less toxic, less packaging).
Communication about ‘traditions’ and ‘authenticy’ related to products tends to be connected with the sustainability claims and are positively perceived for some consumer groups.
Confidence also grows when additional information is offered on specific websites to explore the sustainability claims that are made.
To conclude : It is possible to develop products with sustainability advantages ánd reach mainstream markets. Best would be communicate first about the personal, cost and functional benefits and secondly (and shortly) about the sustainability advantages - possibly with a link to a website for further details.
Filed under: Best Practices in The Netherlands | Tags: CSR, CSR Orientation, Innovation, Market Orientation, Mirjam Kibbeling, Supplier Orientation
In December 2010, Mirjam Kibbeling PHD presented the findings of her thesis on ‘Creating Vlaue in Supply Chains’ at the Research School for Operations Management and Logistics in Eindhoven in The Netherlands.
New publication of Mirjam Kibbeling PHD.
For long, purchase has been equivalent with cost reduction. Nowadays suppliers are asked to contribute much more : from developing new customer value propositions to reducing carbon emissions. It is illustrative that not less than 50 to 80% of companies activities are currently outsourced to suppliers.
Mirjam Kibbeling dissertation deals what the key factors of the suppliers contribution to a firm’s value creation processes, or in other words : its innovativeness.
Kibbeling analysed the relationships between :
- supplier : innovativeness, market orientation, and CSR orientation
- target company : innovation competences, CSR reputation, customer satisfaction and financial performance.
88 matching supply chain sets (supplier-firm-customer) were analysed based The Netherlands and Belgium. Surveys were send out to analyse the mentioned factors.
Kibbelings key findings were :
1. Suppliers innovativeness is a key driver of the focal firm’s innovativeness and companies financial performance : Hence a crucial role exists for strategic purchase management and selection of innovative suppliers to accomplish the companies innovation ambitions.
2. Market orientation has been known in business literature for long as a factor for Innovation. Kibbelings confirmed this assumption.
3. The CSR orientation of a supplier boosts the innovation of products, business and processes. The ability to embed environmental social and ethical needs in business processes has been suggested as a driver for a companies innovativeness in literature before. Kibbeling proved that this is the case in an empirical way.
Note that a single-orientation on CSR seems not a good idea. Companies should make sure that the three most important criteria for the innovativeness of a company (suppliers innovativeness, market orientation and CSR orientation) are taken into consideration together.
Too extensive ‘CSR codes of conduct’ and ‘extensive supplier surveys’ may hinder essential stream of ideas between supplier and the company, on products and customers . This constant stream of ideas are essential levers for creative (co)development and innovation. In contacts with suppliers, companies have to make sure that enough time and room is reserved for the necessary creative flow of ideas and knowledge on products and customers.
More information on Mirjam Kibbelings new book and other publications can be found on Mirjams publication site.
To stay tuned on news on CSR and Innovation practices in Europe, you are invited to subscribe to this blog on the left hand side.
Jacobine Das Gupta, The Green Take, Paris.
Filed under: Sustainability in France, Best Practices in France, Best Practices in The Netherlands, Best Practices in Germany, Best Practices in Sweden, Best Practices in Finland | Tags: Best Practices, Summary Blogs 2010, Best Wishes for 2011, European Sustainability Leaders
Thank you for your reviews, comments and ideas in 2010. To stay tuned in 2011 on new articles, do not hesitate to subscribe on the left hand side.
Among the blog entries in 2010 were articles on Best Practices of Sustainability within leading private, public and non-gouvernemental organisations throughout Europe, following interviews with senior managers, among them at Philips, DSM, Redevco, SAP, Eneco, Nokia, Shell, Bouygues Telecom, Ericsson, association ADN, the Dutch municipality of The Hague and Rotterdam Floating Pavilion, as well articles on measuring social impact, new CSR reporting rules in France and new social impact product labels.
Sparkling little LEDlights on the Champs Elysées, December 2010, Paris.
I wish you an inspiring, healthy and prosperious 2011. I look forward to continue our cooperation and exchange.
The Green Take. Implementing Sustainable Innovation.
Filed under: Best Practices in The Netherlands | Tags: Building, Energy Savings, Floating Building, Phase Change Materials, Rotterdam, Stadshavens Rotterdam, Sustainable Building
Three transparent domes are currently floating in the Rotterdam City Harbour ‘Rijnhaven’. It is an exhibition pavilion that showcases floating building construction, energy efficiency and climate management technologies.
The Floating Exhibition Pavilion in Rotterdam
What is the Floating Pavilion ?
The recently opened Floating Expertise and Exhibition Centre consists of three semi-transparent domes of respectively 18. 5, 20 and 24 meter in diameter. In total, they cover a surface of about 1000 square meters. The building has been built in one of the city harbours of Rotterdam and is now located in the ’Rijnhaven’. The Pavilion is accessible for professionals on request and will be opened on a regular base for Rotterdam citizens as well.
Why has it been built ?
A large part of the Netherlands is situated below sea level. Over the last 150 years, the Dutch people have conquered the sea to develop new land (‘polders’) and protect them with dikes and extensive water pump systems. Raising sea levels and intensified storms lead to reinforcement of existing water management structures. See also the article about The Hague on innovative dike renovation projects.
Every strip of land ánd every strip of water is precious in a highly dense country like The Netherlands. The Task Force ‘Rotterdam Climate Initiative’ has been established to study building constructions in areas outside the dikes. The floating pavilion is the first result.
Important objectives of the new Pavilion are to showcase ways to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, in line with the Rotterdam Municipality objectives of 50% CO2 emission reduction by 50% by 2020 (1).
Icon of ‘Building on water’. The new industrial sea harbour area ‘Tweede Maasvlakte’, located much closer to the seaside, has taken over the role of the City Harbours since a couple of years. Now 1600 hectares harbour area becomes available for other activities. The program Stadshavens Rotterdam investigates the development within the City Harbours of as creative new industries, public space and accommodation.
Concept Studies for the new area under development ‘Stadshavens Rotterdam’ : Floating Communities, Creative Industries and Water Technology.
Learning experience. The development of a ‘Floating Building’ allows architects, building constructors and public parties not only to learn about ‘how to build on water’, but also ; how to transport floating buildings’ and all other aspects related to ‘houses on water’. For instance : Who will be the owner ? How to register this ‘not-just-a-boat-but-certainly-not-a-house-either ? How to interpret the municipality city plan (‘bestemmingsplan’) that has indicated the function ‘harbour’ for this area, where now people can sleep, work or meet ?
Constructed on water in the ‘Heijsehaven’, the pavillion has been transported to the ‘Rijnhaven’ quai.
Who developed the Pavilion ?
It was Dura Vermeer who has built the building. On the 2,5 meter layer of polystyrene, floating in the Heijsehaven, the concrete, steel and foil elements have been connected. Later on, the building was pulled to its current place at the Quai of the ‘Rijnhaven’ in the centre of Rotterdam. DWA developed the installations for cooling, heating and cleaning water.
RNW Conceptdesign is responsible for the interior development and development of the semi-permanent exhibition in the Pavilion showcasing new ways of building, energy production and use and water management.
Who is the audience ?
Rotterdam Municipality welcomes various representatives of scientific, public as well as business partners such as building constructor Dura Vermeer, Eneco and TU Delft. The special geographical situation in the heart of the city harbour, combined with the fascinating architecture and on-site showcase of new building innovation offers a great location for conferences and team building sessions (!).
People in Rotterdam are used to work and live next to the water. They tend to be very curious about what is happening inside the three domes. Every last Sunday of the month they have an opportunity to see inside the domes. Archiguide Rotterdam arranges two guided tours free of charge. For more information see http://www.drijvendpaviljoen.nl
What makes the pavilion so special ?
Floating foundation. The polystyrene foundation contains a cellar for technical equipment of 9 by 3 meters for technical equipment. By using a floating foundation, buildings can be built directly on the water and shipped to the (temporary) future destination on water. Certainly, the rest of the construction needs to be ultra-light, so the building won’t sink.
The pavilion showcases a range of new innovative building technologies that assure an ultimate light structure and an optimal climate management.
Ultralight light building structure : The pavilion has been built on a 2,5 meter layer of polystyrene (‘piepschuim’ in Dutch). All elements are chosen to limit the weight of the total contruction : small steel frames and ETFE foil is being used to create the roofs. Compared to a glass building, this construction is hundred times lighter.
The Pavilion is floating on 2,5 meter of polystyrene (‘piepschuim’)
Climate management : The foil-roof consists of three layers of foil, filled with air under pressure that insulates and keeps the warmth inside the building. A part of the upper roof elements are covered with Vector Foiltec that add a layer for Ultraviolet protection (principle also used in the Beying Olympac Swimming Pool). Air convection streams are created by window opening on ground floor level and in the top of the roof.
Roof and side window placement create natural ventilation and cooling by air convection streams.
Climate management differentiation : The climate in the different rooms is managed in a different way, depending on the use of the rooms :
1) Exhibition room : The exhibition room is a sort of ‘public open space with roof’, where people are informed about new ways of energy generation, water management innovations and building construction. This room is not extra heated, the temperature is only slightly higher than the outside temperature with an maximum teperature of 15°C.
2) Conference room : In this room, lectures and meetings are organised, for maximum 150 people. This room is heated, when used, to a confortable temperature, by using the warmth of the thermal connectors that are placed on the roof, as well as the Phase Change Materials in the walls of the room : these materials absorb warmth (liquid phase) above 21 ˚C or heath up the room when the temperature is below 21 ˚C (fixed phase).
The exhibition space and the conference room of the pavilion
Will the pavilion stay in the Rijnhaven ?
The building has been designed and built to last at least for the coming 5 years (to the contrary of other temporary floating exhibition objects that are often destroyed). If in the near future this specific quay at the Rijnhaven does not seem anymore appropriate, the building can be relatively easily transported to another water location in the next years.
Artist impression of the future transport to a new destination : The floating construction allows the Pavilion to be transported to another place in the future.
What are spin-offs ?
The ‘Netherlands Water Partnership’, will reside as of now in Rotterdam, with the pavilion as its icon. This national groups consists of 200 public-private-ONG organisations and aims to make The Netherlands the ‘Water-Harvard’, with projects in The Netherlands, as well as in Turkey and Singapore.
I would like to thank Wouter Storm and Rob van Montfoort of RNW Conceptdesign and Wenny Hau of Dura Vermeer for their cooperation.
Filed under: Best Practices in The Netherlands | Tags: Critical Factors, Definitions, Entrepreneurship, Innovation Processes, SME, Sustainable Innovation
Not only the large companies, but also Small and Medium Sized Companies (SMEs) may very well profit from sustainably innovation. It increases competative advantage, reduces (production) costs and improves social and environmental impact.
Hilke Bos-Brouwers, of the ‘Vrije Universiteit’ in Amsterdam in The Netherlands, recently presented theses conclusions of her PHD research.
Based on her extensive research among 1056 Dutch SME companies (< 250 employees), Mrs Bos-Brouwers concluded that SMEs innovate in a sustainably way, but slightly different as compared to larger entreprises. Innovations are often incremental, very pragmatic and type of innovation can vary per industry sector.
Hilke Bos-Brouwer has identified seven critical factors that, significantly contribute to the success of sustainable innovation in SMEs : (1) Obligations, (2) Trained employees (3) Suppliers (4) Industry groups (5) Degree of formalisation (6) Customer (needs) (7) Government.
Bos-Brouwer also brings up a list of (partly new) and definitions that may be helpful. Some of them translated in English :
- Sustainable Development : development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (definition Commission Brundtland, 1987).
- Sustainable Entrepreneurship : integrating environmental, social and economical aspects in the core business of the company, on a volontairy basis, whereby stakeholders needs and supply chain cooperation is regarded key to improve the company results on the short and middle term.
- Innovation : renewing or improving products, services, technical and organisational processes or marketing strategy ; the novelty of the innovation can be related to the industry sector or market.
- Sustainable Innovation : renewing products, services, technical, organisational processes or marketing strategy in such a way that the economical performance as well as the environmental impact and the social impact, on the short and the long term, are taken into consideration, .
- Sustainable Innovation Processes : decision making, design and implementation processes that guide sustainable innovation projets
Sources : (1) http://www.stichtingmilieunet.nl/andersbekekenblog/duurzaam/duurzaam-innoveren-winstgevend-voor-mkb-by-hilke-bos-brouwers.html and (2) press release [PWC-MEDIA] ‘Persbericht VU – Duurzaam innoveren winstgevend voor MKB’, 3 september 2010, Free university of Amsterdam