Athlon Netherlands moves green

The Athlon office in Almere, the Netherlands, accommodates over 600 colleagues – in non-corona times that is. Additionally, the location has a large parking garage where ex-lease cars are parked until they are sold at auctions or through the Athlon Car Outlet, where we sell ex-lease cars to the public.

    For a long time, emphasis has been to reduce the carbon footprint of the location.

    This includes the installation of flooring created from recycled car tyres, promotion of the paperless office, 2-sided printing as default setting on printers, using only FSC-certified paper for stationery and copy paper made from of 50% waste paper and 50% fsc paper cutting waste. Additionally, waste is separated and plastic bottle caps are collected to support a local charity which receives cash per kilo handed in.

    Colleagues are also encouraged to change their behavior by internal campaigns including creating awareness of preventing ‘hidden’ power consumption – by switching off computer monitors, closing doors and windows to ensure climate control is most effective, reducing paper use and separating waste.

    Rainwater re-used to wash cars

    The cars that are returned to us have to be cleaned thoroughly before being sold to individuals or to traders. For this, Athlon uses 2 internal car washes, housed in the on-site multistory car park. These car wash were replaced in 2019 by energy-efficient car wash with environmentally friendly brushes. Among other things, we use rainwater collection and we try to wash as many vehicles as possible with rainwater.

    At the garage in Almere there is a collection capacity of 24,000 liters of water, for an annual amount of 1 million litres. For 2020, some 300,000 litres of rainwater has already been collected, approximately a quarter of the water used so far.

    Power consumption reduced by almost 40%

    The building in Almere is by far the largest in Athlon and has undergone several sustainable adjustments over the past decade, with the power consumption down by almost 40% compared to 2009.

    The adjustments include the upgrade of the cooling and heating systems, these now run on a system using the ground water temperature. Lighting also uses a lot of power. In addition to changing the overall lighting plan and reducing the number of lights and replacing the fluorescent luminaries to extra-long life versions, we also installed sensors so the lights are only on if there are people in the room. In the hallways and on the outside of the building, all lights are LED.

    Last, but certainly not least, the air conditioning system was upgraded last year, resulting in 6% overall power savings.

    As Athlon Netherlands CSR Director Alexander Heijkamp says: “A special thank you to Facility Manager Henk Nijdam and his team, they were crucial in these achievements. You see that many small steps create a huge difference when added together. So I encourage everyone to stay aware of their CO2 footprint, not just while working in the office, but - especially now – also in our home offices. And please don’t forget to always drive as safely and sustainably as possible.”

    What are the most common hurdles for international customers?

    "The hurdles we come across most frequently are: firstly unsuccessful implementation of the mobility strategy. With the result that the goals are not reached, secondly differences between countries in terms of legislation, market maturity, size, etc., thirdly a conflict of interest in the local and international levels of the organization and finally an inadequate mandate that makes it impossible to implement or control every country in its scope", Maarten explains.

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